In its brief life, the web may have spawned more idiotic, wasteful, and non-productive marketing schemes than perhaps any other medium on earth.
The latest was an attempt by Dr Pepper to hitchhike on the 17-year saga of Guns N' Roses releasing an album called Chinese Democracy.
Apparently without authorization from the band, Dr Pepper claimed it would give away a free can of soda to everyone in America when the album was finally released.
Okay, so far it looks like a cheeky way to have some fun with an ongoing cultural melodrama.
But here's where it gets dumb.
In order to claim your can of soda, you had to go to the Dr Pepper website. Why the website? Because every fucking thing a marketer does now has to have a web component. It's the law.
You see, then you can force all the poor idiots who want a free can of soda to register...and then you have their email addresses...and then you can send them spam...which will wind up in their junkmail boxes...and then you will have tens of thousands of email addresses which are essentially worthless...but in some vague way it looks like you have a web strategy.
So, of course, the website crashed.
And Dr Pepper wound up with a zillion pissed-off, thirsty freeloaders, a possible lawsuit from Guns N' Roses, and soda all over its face.
Would somebody please invent web 3.0 already. Web 2.0 just ain't cutting it.