On Sunday, Dr Pepper gives America a free soda...now extended due to bad service


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.

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.

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.