I wasn't aware that execs at Dr Pepper were such fans of hard rock. Apparently, in March the company said that if Guns N' Roses finally released its interminably awaited album, Chinese Democracy, in 2008, then it would give everyone in America a free bottle of their pop.
At the time, it seemed like a sure bet. No one thought the album would ever come out. GNR hasn't put a studio album out since 1993, and its next work has been in limbo for so long it was assumed that it had become just another industry pipe dream. By 2005, the recording bill was reportedly up to $13 million, with no release in sight. Axl's general absence from the music scene turned him into into a legendary living ghost, like Doris Day.
Well, if Indiana Jones can come back, so can Axl. The album drops this week on Geffen (and no going backsies -- MTV already got its copy). Making good on a claim that no one remembers in order to snag a little publicity, Dr Pepper will release a coupon online starting at the first minute after midnight on Sunday morning. It will be available on its website for Sunday only before it vanishes again, Axl-like. The coupon will get you a free 20-ounce bottle until the end of February.
Pretty clever, Dr Pepper, to release the coupon on Sunday, when fewer people are working and so presumably, more people will forget to go online and there will be fewer downloads.
By the way, you may not have noticed it, but Dr Pepper doesn't have a period in its name. The brand dropped the punctuation years ago, so if you see the name spelled with a dot, it's spelled wrong. I imagine the punctuation savings over time has been extreme. Enough, perhaps, to buy the world a Coke.
UPDATE: As a few commenters have pointed out, the Dr Pepper website got verrrry slow on Sunday, coupon-requesting day. Also, it forces you to provide the company with an address to which it can send the coupon in "4 to 6 weeks." Dr Pepper is being difficult to deal with and takes forever to deliver. Just like Axl! On Monday, Dr Pepper agreed to extend the coupon offer until 6pm Monday, and coupons will be good through Feb. 28. SECOND UPDATE: And it only took 2 and a half weeks. On Dec. 17, the coupons started arriving in the mail, way earlier than the "4 to 6 weeks" forewarned by the webforms. Embazoned in giant burgundy letters on the same piece of paper: "THE DR DELIVERS OUR PROMISE." Hmm.
Brad and Angelina are the reigning King and Queen of Celebrity Charity. Angelina is a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, and the pair has traveled the world trying to bring relief to the neediest. According to tax records, the couple donated more than $8 million to charity in 2006 alone.
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Oprah Winfrey has invested $40 million in her Academy for Girls in South Africa and raised over $58.3 million for various non-profits through her Oprah's Angel Network. Plus, she's given cars, hams, toasters, etc. to underprivileged audience members on her show.
Denis Farrell, AP
She gives no mercy on the bench, but famously nasty-on-TV Judge Judy Sheindlin is much more charitable in real life. She supports a mentoring program called Her Honor, which pairs high school juniors and students with dynamic female leaders.
Brad Barket, Getty Images
Paris Hilton is charitable... in theory. After her brief her prison stay, Paris Hilton announced she was traveling to on a philanthropic mission to Rwanda. Her inability to follow through made her less giving than some of her celebrity pals.
Chad Buchanan, Getty Images
George Clooney, who goes to United Way board meetings, traveled to Darfur and then headlined the Save Darfur rally in 2006. Clooney is a co-founder of Not On Our Watch, took part in the America: A Tribute to Heroes charity telethon for victims of 9/11... and he takes care of his own, too. He donated $25,000 to writers during the 2007 strike in Hollywood.
Win McNamee, Getty Images
Hurricane Katrina rallied many celebrities; Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis joined Habitat for Humanity's rebuilding efforts in their hometown of New Orleans.
Al Bello, Getty Images
Bob Geldof was one of the first to leverage fame in the name of charity by founding LiveAid, Live 8, and the Commission for Africa. He received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his charitable work in 1986.
Jens Meyer, AP
Madonna, with daughter Lourdes, visited a U.N. Millennium village in Malawi and funded several projects. But the controversy surrounding her adopting of local boy David Banda made her goodwill a little fishy.
Karel Prinsloo, AP
Irish musician Bono speaks in front of British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at a plenary entitled 'Delivering the Promise of Africa.' Bono has been instrumental in raising awareness of global poverty and the AIDS epidemic with his ONE and Product Red campaigns.
Laurent Gillieron, AP
Daryl Hannah was removed from a walnut tree in 2006 while protesting the demolition of a 14-acre urban garden in Los Angeles.