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August 28 2012

How ‘Project Runway’ Uses Social Media to #MakeItWork


To kick off its 10th season this summer, Project Runway developed a highly visual, multi-pronged campaign designed to round up existing fans and get their friends involved.

The ongoing campaign, dubbed "#MakeItWork," riffs off an oft-delivered piece of advice from cast member Tim Gunn, who occupies the role of "mentor" to designers on the show. Since the show's premiere on July 11, Project Runway's Twitter following has jumped 12% to 130,000+, and its Facebook fanbase has grown by 6% to more than 1.5 million fans.

#MakeItWork extends across an impressive number of online and offline platforms, some large and established, others -- like Viddy and Piictu -- less so.

Here's a…
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More About: A&E, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, Entertainment, Marketing, Social Media, TV, features, lifetime, mashable, project runway


August 07 2012

How Coke Spread Happiness (and Cokes) via Mobile


According to legend, in the early 1970s, an ad exec named Bill Backer was stuck at the Shannon Airport in Ireland and noticed something strange: Although tempers ran high during the actual layover, the next morning, the same irate passengers were talking and joking over a few Cokes.

Backer, an ad man on the Coca-Cola account at the time, scrawled the sentence, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" on a napkin. At the time, such a feat was technically possible. If you knew someone on the other end of the world, you could conceivably mail them a Coke or perhaps wire them the money for one.

Not many people found reason to execute that option, though. Besides, in the spirit of the ad, the id…
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More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, Coke, Google, features, mashable


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May 10 2012

Why Carlsberg’s Toast to Courage Went Viral


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, a relentless digital marketing agency focused on search, social, and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Ready to start marketing relentlessly? Download our free digital marketing magazine, The Merge® today.

Picture this: You walk into a movie theater and almost every seat is full of burly, mean-looking bikers. If that wasn’t already an intimidating situation, the only available seats are right in the middle of the center row, meaning if you want to watch the movie from a seated position, you’ll have to make your way through aisles of bikers who are staring you down.

What do you do?

If you’re like most people, you’ll enter the room and utter sentiments like, “You’ve got to be kidding me” and “This is not what I paid for.” You might even walk out and maybe head to the box office to ask for your money back. But if you’re among a brave handful, you’ll sit down anyway, wait patiently for the movie to start and … receive thunderous applause and a fresh Carlsberg to toast your courage.


The Impact



It’s a simple premise that struck a chord with a lot of people. The video, released in September 2011, had 11 million views on YouTube as of early May 2012. Elke Janssens, senior account manager at Duval Guillaume Modem, the Belgium-based ad agency behind the effort, says that there have been 16 million views worldwide, more than 1.5 million shares on Facebook, 364,000 mentions on Twitter and free publicity in more than 900 blogs, 150 news websites, numerous TV shows, newspapers and magazines — all with a correct brand attribution of 98%. In addition, there was a 4.3% increase in sales, by volume, in the third and fourth quarter of 2011, Janssens says.

What’s remarkable about the campaign is that the bit of theater Carlsberg created tied so closely to the brand’s positioning.

Janssens noted that Carlsberg introduced a new tagline in early 2011 — “That calls for a Carlsberg.” The slogan underpins a new creative strategy, essentially making a Carlsberg the reward for an act of courage. “Starting from this strategy, our creative team came up with some viral ideas for experiments where people have to step up out of their comfort zone and show courage,” Janssens says.

Hence the theater full of bikers.


The History of the Surprise Video



While there’s a long history of ads that involve Candid Camera-style trickery to extol the benefits of a product (like the ad for Folgers coffee above), in the viral age, such videos seem to have greater oomph. Perhaps that’s because of the medium. If you saw that Folgers commercial in the early 1980s on TV, you knew it was an ad. But if someone dropped the Carlsberg viral video on Facebook, you probably had no idea what you were getting into.

Carlsberg isn’t the first brand to capitalize on this phenomenon. We’ve also seen Punk’d-style campaigns of late from startup Replyboard and Contrex mineral water, not to mention TNT’s uber-successful “Dramatic Surprise on a Quiet Street.”


Powerful Emotions, Powerful Resonance


Unruly, a London firm that monitors and markets viral videos, dubs the stunt craze the “IRL trend” for “in real life.” However, not all IRL ads take off, obviously. Sarah Wood, COO of Unruly, says the difference is that there’s a real art to the Carlsberg execution.

“Carlsberg Bikers is a powerful micro-story and a sophisticated example of transmedia storytelling. The ad is a subtle play on a classic cinematic trope — the inexplicable tendency of screen characters to do things that are clearly irrational. How often have we yelled at characters on the screen from the safety of our spectator’s armchair, ‘Don’t open the door to the cellar!’ ‘Don’t invite the vampire in!’ ‘Would you want to spend the night alone in that haunted house?’ In this ad, we see a series of ‘unsuspecting’ couples take their seats amongst an auditorium filled with threatening bikers. What are they thinking?! This means trouble, right? The suspense builds up to an unexpected reveal that delivers a powerful surge of relief, when the horror movie scenario is revealed to be a branded stunt with a happy ending and applause and Carlsberg beers all round.”

The fact that the video evokes a universal response doubtlessly plays a role in its success. Wood cites recent research from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, based in the University of South Australia, that found that videos evoking physiological responses like laughter, anger, crying and shock are the most likely to be shared.

That may seem fairly obvious. After all, Don Draper could have told you in 1966 that a successful ad is one that evokes a response. Perhaps the genius of the ad actually lies in Carlsberg’s positioning. We’ve all seen ads that made us laugh or even cry, but how many have made us feel courageous? The palpable relief that comes from experiencing the ad is almost the aural equivalent of a popping open a cold beer — a Carlsberg, of course.


Series supported by Oneupweb


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, a relentless digital marketing agency focused on search, social, and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. If you’re seeking an agency partner that attacks online marketing challenges with proactive solutions and delivers measurable results, look no further. Download our free digital marketing magazine, The Merge® to learn more.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, hakusan-

More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, features, mashable, viral, viral videos, YouTube


January 12 2012

How Two ‘Cave’ Men Brought Major League Baseball Into the Social Media Age


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, a relentless digital marketing agency focused on search, social, and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Learn how to track your social media conversions with our new technology, ROSI trax™. Watch the demo.

When it comes to capturing the attention of young people, baseball suffers from the same problem that plagues all forms of entertainment — infinite competition.

“You used to go outside and play sports, which put you on that path,” says Terry Lefton, editor-at-large for Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily. “Now there are more things to do. My 14-year-old plays video games constantly. I’ll be watching NFL with him, and if the game gets boring, he’ll go upstairs and play Madden. He doesn’t see any difference.”

To such young people, a three-hour baseball game may seem agonizingly slow and dull. No wonder that, as 2011 dawned, Major League Baseball was looking to revamp its image via social media.

The league’s solution, created in tandem with Boston ad agency Hill Holliday, was a novel one: Last spring, MLB hired two guys — Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner — to watch all of the season’s 2,429 regular-season games plus the playoffs from a super-sized “Fan Cave” in New York’s East Village and then record their thoughts on social media. (Both are pictured; O’Hara is on the right.)

Ten months on, MLB and even skeptics like Lefton think the effort has been successful, even though evidential data is hard to come by. What the league did track sounds impressive enough: 1.3 billion media impressions and 250,000 combined new fans on Facebook and Twitter. What’s more, the effort reached younger fans: The average Fan Cave fan was around 30 years old, versus 45 to 48 for the average MLB fan. “It’s a great way for them to skew a lot younger,” says Ben Sturner, CEO of Leverage, a sports sponsorship and branded entertainment agency, referring to MLB. “Its a really smart move for them.”

Did the campaign convince non-fans to become fans, increase ratings or get more butts in seats at ballparks around the nation? Making that sort of case would be extremely hard to prove, says Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive vice president of business. In any case, those are ancillary goals at best. Brosnan’s primary aim was to inject MLB into the ongoing social media conversation, which he and Hill Holliday dubbed the “digital water cooler.” In prior generations, “the water cooler was a place where folks gathered around to talk about everything and nothing,” Brosnan says. Nowadays, that chatter is happening on digital devices.

During the season and among hard core fans, no doubt some of that dialogue involved specific games. Brosnan wanted to augment that conversation and make it potentially more relevant to non-fans. “What was not being generated was the pop culture stuff with a baseball theme in it that we thought the Fan Cave could generate,” he says.

As Brosnan learned early on, doing so wasn’t merely a matter of letting O’Hara and Wagner loose. The two needed something to react to. Have big-name players with prodigious social media followings like José Bautista and David Ortiz drop by the Fan Cave provided a big boost in engagement. But there was some entertainment crossover as well. Brosnan believes that the Fan Cave was one of the first venues in New York to host LMFAO, the electro-pop duo.


Aside from celeb cameos, Brosnan says that skits also worked well. The video below, featuring Bautista, had a little of both:


Getting fans to talk about Bautista’s awesome acting chops, rather than his home run the night before was a preferable shift in subject matter for Brosnan.

Did MLB need the Fan Cave to do that? Not necessarily. For instance, MLB could have generated chatter by producing videos and holding events without a physical location. Instead of hiring two guys to watch every game, it could have deputized 100 “ambassadors” on Twitter to do the same. But Brosnan and the league are happy with the approach, which is why the Fan Cave will return in 2012, though MLB has tweaked the format a bit.

The biggest change: Instead of the two guys, the league will select “multiple” fans to live in the Fan Cave this season. (Those interested have until January 31 to make their case at MLBFanCave.com.) Otherwise, expect things to play out much like they did in 2011, only with more celebs and events. Recognizing the draw of stars, MLB has announced that 17 celeb players, including Bautista, Bronson Arroyo and Jay Bruce, will stop by the Fan Cave this year.

Now that the format has proved itself, there’s also talk of bringing advertisers onboard. Yet monetizing the Fan Cave isn’t the point. The idea was to make MLB relevant to a new type of fan. By that measure, it’s been a home run. Says Lefton: “Did it do well? Who knows. This stuff is notoriously hard to measure. But [the league is] experimenting in new and interesting ways and that may be more important.”


Series supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, a relentless digital marketing agency focused on search, social, and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Our new social media conversion tracker, ROSI trax™, can show you the value of your marketing investment. Learn more now, and gain access to our free digital marketing magazine, The Merge® for ideas to ignite your marketing strategy.

MLB Fancave dwellers Ryan Wagner and Mike O’Hara tour the MLB Fancave in New York, March 29, 2011. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky.

More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, Business, features, mashable, MLB, sports, Twitter


December 15 2011

Want to Market to Kids Via Social Networks? Good Luck With That


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, a relentless digital marketing agency focused on search, social, and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download our free digital marketing magazine, The Merge, and our holiday bonus, “Drinks and Grub from the Digital Hub” cookbook.

Silly Bandz is one of the most successful children’s product launches in recent years. What’s more, the product provided a blueprint for marketers who want to use Facebook to target kids. Silly Bandz’s Facebook Page now has more than 1 million fans, and the product became a runaway hit without any traditional advertising.

One problem, though: Kids aren’t supposed to be on Facebook.

Facebook’s official age cutoff is 13. Unless you believe that teens and adults are the primary audience for Silly Bandz, something’s amiss.

Of course, Silly Bandz isn’t the only tot-skewing brand with a large Facebook presence. SpongeBob SquarePants has 29.3 million fans, putting him in Lady Gaga territory. “SpongeBob has such a broad fan base that more than a third of the show’s viewing audience is adults,” says a rep for Nickelodeon, which airs SpongeBob. “We want to entertain those fans by bringing the property to life on all available media. Facebook is for 13+, and they actively manage and regulate the platform accordingly.” (Reps from Brainchild Products, the Toledo, Ohio firm that markets Silly Bandz, could not be reached for comment on that brand’s Facebook audience.)

Despite Nickelodeon’s assertion, it’s no secret that kids sneak onto Facebook. A recent survey by Consumer Reports found that there are 7.5 million kids under the age of 13 on the social network.

“While experts agree that there is no ‘perfect’ solution when it comes to verifying ages online, we take a layered approach to preventing children from signing up for our service,” reads a statement from Facebook on the issue, which was supplied to Mashable. “We employ technical checks at sign-up and social verification systems after sign-up to help identify people who may be lying about their age so we can take appropriate action. We also encourage users to report people who have falsified their age through the report links found on nearly every page of Facebook.”

Even Susan Linn, a vocal critic of marketing to children, concedes that the social network’s registration honor system puts the onus on kids and parents to be forthright — the company doesn’t have a way to prove that kids are actually the age they say they are. “If kids are lying to them, there’s technically nothing that [Facebook] can do about it,” Linn says.

Yet if you’re going to consider marketing to kids, you have to contend with critics like Linn, who runs the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group in Boston. Linn believes that marketing anything to kids, even seemingly harmless toys like Silly Bandz, is unethical because kids haven’t developed a sophisticated filtering system. “They don’t have the same cognitive processes as adults,” she says of kids. “They are not teeny adults. They have notoriously faulty judgment.”

That said, you may believe there’s nothing wrong with marketing to kids. Perhaps you have the next Silly Bandz or My Keepon up your sleeve, and you don’t see any harm in letting kids know about it. In that case, Paul Kurnit has some advice for you. Kurnit, the founder of KidShop, a marketing and communications firm specializing in targeting kids, obviously disagrees with Linn’s assertion.

“We often tend to underestimate kids,” he says. “They are savvy, trend-aware and trend creators. We can’t, nor should we, protect them from the world in which they operate and experience.”

Here are three important tips for marketing to kids.


1. Don’t Collect Information on Kids Online or Do Business with Sites That Do


As mentioned, Linn and other critics think marketing to kids is unethical, but not illegal. It is, however, illegal to collect any information about kids under the age of 13. If you do, you run afoul of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which went into effect in 2000.


2. Target Influencers


Influencers have more power over kids than probably any other demo. The older you get, the more you try to think for yourself. Kurnit says a common strategy is to feature kids who are just a little older than your target in ads and such. “A 9-year-old is interested in what the 12-year-old is up to,” Kurnit says, “so you cast an 11-year-old.”


3. Target “Parents” on Facebook


Though Facebook officially bars kids from joining its network, there are a few social networks out there that are specifically designed for kids including Webkinz, Club Penguin, Togetherville, What’s What and ScuttlePad, among others.

Those networks all take pains to shield children from unapproved friends and outside conversations and links, though some are more secure than others.

Not all the networks accept advertising. Webkinz does, but as the company explains, most of the ads on its network are for Webkinz or other products from Ganz, Webkinz’s parent company. Moreover, parents have the option of turning off other third-party ads.

Given the limited opportunities for marketers looking to target kids directly on social networks, perhaps it’s worth taking a look at Brainchild’s strategy once again. As a white paper from Facebook explains, Brainchild used a combination of Facebook ads and “Like” buttons integrated on its site to gain visibility on the network. “Every time someone clicked on one of the ads or liked one of its products, a story was published back to all of his or her friends, creating a powerful viral effect,” the paper notes.

When the brand started its campaign, it had about 400,000 fans, but wanted to get to 1 million. Over the course of 33 days, the company gained 250,000 new fans at a cost-per-click of 4 cents, with ads targeting users who had “liked” Hello Kitty and Justin Bieber. “Our objectives are usually pretty simple: to get our new products and announcements in front of the right demographic,” Brainchild CEO Robert Croak is quoted as saying in the paper.

Croak didn’t elaborate on who that demographic is.


Series supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, a relentless digital marketing agency focused on search, social, and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download our free digital marketing magazine, The Merge, for ideas to ignite your strategy sessions, and our holiday bonus, “Drinks and Grub from the Digital Hub” cookbook.

Images courtesy of Flickr, stevendepolo and M@rg, respectively

More About: Advertising, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, Facebook, features, Kids, Marketing, mashable


July 13 2011

HOW TO: Turn Fans Into Brand Ambassadors


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “Measuring Social Media’s Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics.”


The introduction of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point in 2000 was a tipping point in its own right. Ever since that book was published, marketers have been obsessed with cultivating influencers — those members of the public whose messages go further than most.

The Tipping Point preceded social media as we know it today, but Gladwell’s model of “connectors + mavens = marketing success” fits well in the age of Twitter and Facebook. For a marketer, the mission is pretty simple: Find a bunch of influencers, get them charged up and then sit back and reap the rewards.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Just look at the range of brands in the market. On the one hand, there’s Apple which has a cult-like following that is so pervasive and dedicated that it doesn’t even need to be on Twitter or Facebook. But if you’re marketing something less buzz-worthy, like paper towels or frozen pizza, you might find that cultivating brand ambassadors is a bit more tricky.

Nevertheless, experts on social media marketing have a few tips that any brand in any category can use to create a devoted following. Here are a few.


Rate Your Fans


Dave Balter, the CEO of BzzAgent, a word-of-mouth marketing agency, says the first thing you should do is take stock of your existing fan base. “Understand who is a fan and who is already an advocate,” he says. Of course, there are tools on the market, like Klout, that let you do this. Audi USA is one of the first brands to integrate Klout scores on its Facebook Page, letting you earn a desktop or a ring tone based on your score.

Klout uses an algorithm based on various factors to create its rankings, but it’s tempting to try to short-circuit the process by looking at which fans have the most followers. Balter says a better metric is sharing: “It’s important you place value on elements like how often they share and how often others engage with what’s shared. Another, simpler way of identifying potential brand advocates is to simply ask them how likely they are to recommend the brand to a friend. When rated on a 1 to 10-point scale, that is known as the “Net Promoter Score.”


Give Them Something to Do


Getting people to “like” your brand on Facebook is great, but you still have to generate discussion and activity. That can be fairly easy to achieve. Last year, for instance, Oreo got its fans to weigh in on a Pandora playlist, and Philadelphia cream cheese spurred conversation by soliciting ideas for recipes and offering how-to videos.

Another, simpler, way to create engagement is by asking fans questions. “You have to create a compelling dialogue,” says Paul Longo, vice president and group digital director at MediaVest, a media-buying firm. Such give-and-take should fit in with a brand’s image and make the fans feel like insiders who “get” the brand. Here are a couple of recent status updates from the Skittles candy brand’s Facebook Page. Both got tens of thousands of “likes” and thousands of comments: “If you drop Skittles on the floor, you should abide by the 3 million-second rule,” and “I need to stop adopting every octopus that follows me home.”


Use Exclusivity


Give your fans exclusive opportunities to make them feel special. For example, Walmart has been known to court mommy bloggers by flying them to its Bentonville, Arkansas headquarters and letting them test new products. On the other side of the marketing universe, Howard Stern lets his self-proclaimed “Superfans” host a call-in show on Sirius XM’s channel 101 once a week. “One quick way to turn someone into an advocate is to ‘bring them into the fold’ and to help them feel part of the deeper community,” Balter says.


Pamper Your Advocates


Walmart doesn’t just give its Walmart Moms exclusive products and experiences. The company also hosts a blog and YouTube channel for them, using its huge media reach to reward its most loyal brand advocates. Similarly, Oracle has a program called Oracle ACE that spotlights various IT pros as Oracle experts. SAP’s equivalent is the SAP Mentor Initiative, which recognizes SAP experts and gives them a forum (an SAP site plus a YouTube channel.)


Go Up a Lifestyle Level


So if you don’t market new computers and smartphones, how do you get people to care about your brand? Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at Altimeter Group, calls this practice “going up to the lifestyle level.” For instance, it may be hard to get people excited about a tile cleanser that gets rid of soap scum, but keeping a house clean and germ-free is something people can feel passionate about. That’s exactly what Lysol, the disinfectant spray, is doing. The brand has more than 460,000 fans on Facebook, whom it engages with live chats and tips on how to keep your house clean.

Beyond those basic tips, MediaVest’s Longo suggests something counterintuitive: Doing nothing. At least for a while, he says, let your fan base breathe a little bit and avoid heavy-handed interactions. “In general, brands are so caught up in the technology because it’s so cool right now,” he says. “But don’t rush into anything.”


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download the Oneupweb sponsored Marketing Sherpa free study, “Measuring Social Media’s Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics” to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Images courtesy of Flickr, bnilsen, navets, Daehyun Park and iStockphoto, terraexplorer, Yuri_Arcurs

More About: 360i, altimeter group, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, facebook, Malcolm Gladwell, MARKETING, twitter

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June 19 2011

Behind the Scenes on 8 Innovative Social Media Campaigns

With the Behind The Social Media Campaign Series, supported by Oneupweb, Mashable took an in-depth look at the makings of eight innovative social media campaigns from Ford, Mattel, Internships.com, Old Spice, Toy Story 3, Edge Shaving Gel, The Voice and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare and SCVNGR, among other social tools, these brands executed successful and engaging social media campaigns worth applauding.

This roundup is dedicated to outlining each campaign. If you find a particular campaign interesting, click through to the article to read the full story.


1. Twitter + Random Acts of Kindness = A Successful Social Campaign



Edge Shaving Gel’s #soirritating Twitter campaign spreads the word about its anti-irritation gel through random acts of kindness. Here’s an inside look at this creative play.

In its first three months, @EdgeShaveZone gathered about 1,500 followers, the #soirritating hashtag was used about 6,800 times, and attention from numerous media outlets contributed to mounting buzz — all of which likely contributed to Edge’s decision to continue the campaign throughout 2011. Mashable recently spoke with the team at Edelman Digital that runs the campaign, about the factors that have contributed to its success.

Read the full story here.


2. How Social Media Helped Toy Story 3 Win at the Box Office


Toy Story 3 was one of the biggest films of 2010. As Pixar’s 11th full-length film, the third and final chapter in the world of Buzz Lightyear and Woody hit theaters in June 2010.

Months before that, Disney and Pixar embarked in a wide-scale marketing blitz that covered television, print and social media. Using Facebook and YouTube to help promote the film, the studio raised awareness and successfully targeted demographics that don’t traditionally flock to Disney animated feature films.

Read the full story here.


3. Lessons Learned From The Old Spice Campaign & Its Imitators


Charles Caleb Colton once said, “Imitation is the sincerest (form) of flattery.” Obviously, Mr. Colton was not talking about the success of the Old Spice campaign (seeing as how he lived during the 1700s), but we’re sure he would have reiterated that sentiment if he were to see how many spinoffs the aforementioned marketing miracle has inspired.

The campaign launched just over a year ago — centered around the theme “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” — and captured the imagination of the public. Case in point: The original ad has garnered more than 30 million views to date on YouTube.

Its success also earned Old Spice a legion of students, as it were — folks who cribbed ideas from the ads and applied them to their own marketing efforts. Mashable chatted with a few of these businesses — who have all enjoyed success from following the Old Spice model — about what aspects of the campaign worked for them.

Read the full story here.


4. Was the Charlie Sheen Tweet a Win for Internships.com?


When it comes to brand building, there are basically two schools of thought: “Build it and they will come” and “brainwash the masses.”

The latter is based on the belief that any publicity is good publicity. If you get your name out there, the rest will fall into place. A good example of this philosophy is GoldenPalace.com, which recently bought Justin Bieber’s hair, and in the past has purchased William Shatner’s kidney stone for the free publicity.

At the moment, Internships.com fits the latter category as well. If you’ve heard of the brand, it’s most likely due to a single effective marketing campaign: An endorsement by Charlie Sheen via Twitter.

Read the full story here.


5. How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media


Exactly seven years after their controversial split on Valentine’s Day in 2004, America’s favorite plastic lovebirds reunited, sending the socialverse down memory lane. In celebration of Ken’s 50th anniversary and just in time for the Valentine’s Day release of its Sweet Talkin’ Ken doll, Mattel launched a grandiose marketing campaign to reunite its iconic doll couple, Barbie and Ken.

We spoke with Lauren Bruksch, director of Barbie marketing at Mattel, to get the inside scoop on the success of the campaign’s social media components.

Read the full story here.


6. Sock Puppets & Social Media: Inside Ford’s Risky Marketing Campaign


On the heels of its successful and well-received Ford Fiesta Movement and 2011 Explorer Facebook reveal initiatives, Ford has crafted yet another innovative social media campaign, this time to raise awareness and introduce consumers to the 2012 Focus.

At the center of the campaign is Doug, an irreverent and absurd tweeting, Facebook updating and YouTube uploading sock puppet serving as the spokesperson for the new car.

Mashable spoke with Kelly extensively to get a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign and a progress report on how it’s going.

Read the full story here.


7. How SCVNGR’s First National Brand Partnership Scored Big During March Madness


SCVNGR is a location-based gaming platform –- there are challenges at every venue, and businesses can also “script” their own challenges. Customers can do challenges (take a photo, eat a certain dish) to earn points, which are redeemable for real-world rewards, such as a free drink or 10% off. The Cambridge-based company launched in 2008, and was founded by a 22-year old Princeton dropout who wanted to add a game layer to the world. And that he did.

In January 2011, SCVNGR partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) — at all 730 of its locations — for a 12-week campaign leading up to March Madness. The competitive game layer of SCVNGR worked well with the BWW patrons, who thrive on competition, community and games. SCVNGR’s SVP of Marketing Chris Mahl says that what differentiates SCVNGR from other location-based services is that it’s “not a checkin-based service, [but something] that goes further into brand goals [and] consumer goals.” The success of the campaign indicates that may be true. BWW was the first national SCVNGR promotion, and in the first three weeks, the game accrued nearly 30,000 players. By the end, the campaign had 184,000 players at 730 BWW locations.

Read the full story here.


8. The Voice: How a TV Show Became a 24/7 Social Media Conversation


First there was scripted TV, then reality television became the “it” format. But now that’s getting old and stale, and the audience wants something new. The Voice delivers that, with a highly engaging and social co-viewing experience that’s earned it a spot as the top-rated new show this season. People are ready for a change in entertainment, and The Voice is providing a nice alternative.

Mashable spoke with Nicolle Yaron, the show’s supervising producer, Andrew Adashek, the social media consultant, and Alison Haislip, the social media correspondent, about the show’s social media integration and why it’s effective.

Read the full story here.


Your Favorite Social Media Campaigns


If we didn’t mention your favorite social media campaigns in this roundup, let us know about them in the comments below. We’re always looking to learn from innovative marketing campaigns.


More Business Resources From Mashable


- 6 New & Innovative Social Media Campaigns to Learn From
- How JetBlue’s Social Media Strategy Took Flight
- 5 Ways Social Media Has Changed Marketing Campaigns
- The PR Pro’s Guide to Facebook
- How Converse Became the Biggest Little Sneaker Brand on Facebook

More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, facebook, scvngr, social media, social media marketing, twitter, youtube

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June 15 2011

The Voice: How a TV Show Became a 24/7 Social Media Conversation


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “Measuring Social Media’s Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics.”

First there was scripted TV, then reality television became the “it” format. But now that’s getting old and stale, and the audience wants something new. The Voice delivers that, with a highly engaging and social co-viewing experience that’s earned it a spot as the top-rated new show this season. People are ready for a change in entertainment, and The Voice is providing a nice alternative.

If you’re not familiar with it, The Voice features musician coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, along with host Carson Daly. During “blind auditions,” singers performed one at a time, and if they caught the attention of one the judges — based on voice alone, as the judges were turned around — then they would join that coach’s team. Each team started with eight artists, then were whittled down to four. The coaches, all of whom have achieved success in the music industry, are grooming the artists and developing their voices and performance skills. Each week, a few artists are eliminated, and the last one standing will be crowned “The Voice.”

Mashable spoke with Nicolle Yaron, the show’s supervising producer, Andrew Adashek, the social media consultant, and Alison Haislip, the social media correspondent, about the show’s social media integration and why it’s effective.


Borrowing an Idea and Making it Bigger


The Voice isn’t exactly a new show — it was adapted from a Dutch television show called The Voice of Holland. During its first season, the show began trending on Twitter worldwide, and NBC executives realized that there was something to the format. Executive Producers Mark Burnett and Audrey Morrissey were passionate about the highly social program and “stood behind us” as the American crew adapted the show, says Yaron.

The Dutch set had screens with live tweets, a social media room, a social media correspondent and a website. Yaron says NBC’s challenge was to take the format from something that serves a small country the size of Rhode Island and make it work over multiple time zones, and also create much more noise and value and push the boundaries in American TV.

“From the very beginning, the social media and digital aspect of the show was very important to us,” says Yaron. She wanted to create active engagement and offer accessibility to the coaches to mirror how the show offers access to top stars. “We wanted to create a true, real-time co-viewing experience.”

The American version expanded the social aspect to include coach tweets, as well as fan tweets, and because of the massive audience, NBC had to create a filtering program to manage the volume (something the Dutch didn’t have to deal with). So while the idea derived from Holland, the U.S. crew had to develop an entire infrastructure to manage the social media content that would be generated each week.

But what separates The Voice from other social television shows is that NBC doesn’t use social media as an awareness and marketing tool — it is core to the show as a whole, so the digital integrations are very organic. “In this day and age, digital and social media for a successful television show can’t be an afterthought — it has to be established in pre-production and developed throughout the show,” Yaron says. She and Adashek laid out a three-stage digital strategy and spent countless hours figuring out the social media strategy and how the show would leverage the judges and the artists. “All the goals we set out have been reached or exceeded, and I think it’s only going to grow and grow as we go into next season. As digital and social media change, we will change too. We set the trends now and we will incorporate new technologies as they develop.”


Casting The Coaches


The show is called The Voice, and not surprisingly the four judges all have distinct radio voices — the raspy Cee Lo Green, the belting Christina Aguilera, the high tenor Adam Levine and the crooner Blake Shelton. Christina wasn’t even on Twitter when she joined the cast as a coach, but her effusive “you go girl” tweets and diva-stacked team have garnered her more than 440,000 followers since she joined — and she has only tweeted 47 times. While Christina’s not the most active tweeter, Yaron says her fans are the most dedicated, and on the show’s premiere day, the “bionic army” had #TeamXtina trending from 9 a.m. until the premiere.

Green had a Twitter account before the show, but wasn’t very active. Levine was moderately active and Shelton was very active on Twitter. But all four coaches had to step up their game for the show, since NBC pushed coach engagement. Since the show is about the artist’s journey under the leadership of the coaches, Yaron says she wanted the coaches to live-tweet the show and broadcast the feeds onscreen in real time “so we continue the storytelling and enhance the experience for the viewers” even when the coach is not on camera. One joke amongst the crew is the “bromance” between Shelton and Levine, which is unabashedly broadcast on Twitter and followed by many of the show’s fans.

Much of the digital integration onscreen in driven by Alison Haislip, who’s no stranger to digital and social media — she spent four years at tech and gaming site G4. Now she’s The Voice‘s “in-show and online correspondent” hanging out in the V-Room with the contestants and serving as “your direct digital connection to everything” related to The Voice.


Encourage Conversation


If you watch the show, you’ll notice that “#TheVoice” isn’t always on the screen reminding you to vote — it’s strategically placed onscreen at times when the producers feel the audience “would be compelled to talk about it.” And it’s an effective strategy. Yaron says that 70% of the tweets about the The Voice include the hashtag #TheVoice, a “phenomenal” rate that a Twitter spokesperson says is an “industry high.”

Last week, during the first of the live shows, tweets that used #TheVoice or the handle of the show, a coach name or an artist name appeared in the lower third section of the screen during parts of the live show. In the V-Room, Haislip is tasked with bridging the online and broadcast elements of the show, and encourages fans to take their dialogue to Facebook, Twitter, NBC Live and NBC.com. “Fans could tweet or post on our Facebook wall and then I could, on air, ask the artists the questions and fans can see the response,” says Haislip. “It really engages the viewers instead of letting them sit back — they become a part of the show.”

The challenge has been managing the sheer volume of tweets — during airtime, there are upwards of 3,000 tweets per minute. “Filtering tweets live has been really interesting because as the show is progressing, the conversation around the show really transforms,” says Adashek. “We have to make sure it fits within broadcast standards, and we want to keep the tweets super fresh and relevant to what the viewers are seeing on TV.” (In case you’re wondering, the West Coast sees a rebroadcast of the East Coast show, so the “live tweets” are taken from the initial airing. However, the West Coast viewers are activated in other ways, and Haislip encourages them to live tweet.)

NBC has been working closely with Twitter to master the live tweet process, and Adashek says Twitter has been very helpful and “really forthcoming with a lot of data and metrics,” which helps the show maximize the impact of its social media-centric platform and also measure its success.

And it is indeed successful. Adashek says that last week, during the show’s first live performances, every contestant, coach and team trended, as did song titles and “Jersey Girl” — an homage to contestant Raquel Castro, who starred in the 2004 movie of that name. “Everything trended last week, no matter how good or bad it was,” he says. “There was enough inertia that everyone was trending.”

“When we look at the graphs and data on Twitter, we can see the peaks and valleys around the calls-to-action — the tweets and the hashtags and the performances,” says Adashek. “It’s like watching The Matrix — we’re pulling massive amounts of data, and when you’re seeing that many tweets, you really can see [trends and sentiment] right way.”

“Twitter was a natural first because it’s very live and real-time, so it lends itself to events,” says Adashek. Facebook is also an important platform for The Voice, but Adashek says it’s more long-term, has different content and is building a fanbase and laying the groundwork for future seasons. Since the coaches have their own highly engaged Facebook Pages, The Voice has been able to reach out to those fans and pull them to the show’s Facebook hub. For instance, last week when Team Christina performed “Lady Marmalade,” the Page gained nearly 10,000 likes within a few minutes.


Nonstop Storytelling


The Voice is about a journey, and Yaron says the NBC.com homepage has been focusing on “24/7 storytelling and continuing all of the reality stories and experiences of the artists and the coaches and the rivalries between them.” By cultivating the story online and providing a look behind the scenes, The Voice is becoming more than just a weekly television show — it’s nonstop entertainment online, complemented by an hour or two of live performances every week.

“The artists are not sequestered, they’re encouraged to talk about the show as much as they can,” Haislip says. “Regardless of how they do on the show, they still will come out of the competition with something that is going to help them in the future, and they’re all getting a huge leap ahead of the competition.”

That “something” Haislip refers to is digital savvy and a strong fanbase. From the minute they landed in LA for blind auditions, artists were given training in blogging and Facebook Pages and handed Samsung Galaxy Tabs and cameras to document everything from team dinners to rehearsals with photo and video. Each artist has his own hub on the site that links to a blog, Facebook, Twitter, video and photos — viewers really have the opportunity to be heavily invested in the show and the artists, and that translates to better ratings and higher engagement. Giving the artists free reign has let their personalities flourish — Beverly McClellan has started a fake talk show called, “What’s Up With That?” and Jared Blake captured his new ink session on video.

“This is something that every other reality show has kind of shied away from, but we feel really strongly about it,” says Yaron. “We are giving the artists the same platform that real musicians have. We’re training them and mirroring the new ways in which the music industry works. We’re giving them the tools to be the next Lady Gaga. It will help them stay in the competition and become successful music stars. We felt that it was time for a reality show to do that.”


Innovative Voting


While traditional shows like American Idol (and even The Voice of Holland) use calls and texts to log votes for contestants, The Voice has gone digital. Of course there’s the old standard of voting by phone, but there’s also an NBC Live app, NBC.com and an iTunes-driven voting platform. Instead of texting to vote, you can vote with your wallet and purchase your favorite songs, available from Universal Republic Records. Viewers can vote up to 10 times with each method, so the show encourages cross-platform engagement.

“The iTunes component was a huge part of the digital strategy — it’s an active vote,” says Yaron.


Conclusion


“The story of The Voice is not just an hour or two every week,” Yaron says. “It lives online all day and all week long, and it will continue all year long. This is a living, breathing entity, it’s not just show-based.”

And it might just be the future of television.


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download the Oneupweb sponsored Marketing Sherpa free study, “Measuring Social Media’s Contribution to the Bottom Line: 5 Tactics” to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- Twitter + Random Acts of Kindness = A Successful Social Campaign
- How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media
- Lessons Learned From The Old Spice Campaign & Its Imitators
- Was the Charlie Sheen Tweet a Win for Internships.com?
- How SCVNGR’s First National Brand Partnership Scored Big During March Madness

More About: american idol, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, nbc universal, social media, television, the-voice, tv, twitter

For more Media coverage:


June 01 2011

How SCVNGR’s First National Brand Partnership Scored Big During March Madness


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media.”

SCVNGR is a location-based gaming platform –- there are challenges at every venue, and businesses can also “script” their own challenges. Customers can do challenges (take a photo, eat a certain dish) to earn points, which are redeemable for real-world rewards, such as a free drink or 10% off. The Cambridge-based company launched in 2008, and was founded by a 22-year old Princeton dropout who wanted to add a game layer to the world. And that he did.

In January 2011, SCVNGR partnered with Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) — at all 730 of its locations — for a 12-week campaign leading up to March Madness. The competitive game layer of SCVNGR worked well with the BWW patrons, who thrive on competition, community and games. SCVNGR’s SVP of Marketing Chris Mahl says that what differentiates SCVNGR from other location-based services is that it’s “not a checkin-based service, [but something] that goes further into brand goals [and] consumer goals.” The success of the campaign indicates that that may be true. BWW was the first national SCVNGR promotion, and in the first three weeks, the game accrued nearly 30,000 players. By the end, the campaign had 184,000 players at 730 BWW locations.


The Concept


Interactive agency BFG drove the campaign and helped spread awareness of it via several avenues. BWW had several goals, including generating earned media and consumer engagement, improving customer return rates and, of course, driving revenue. By turning the act of watching games into a game in and of itself, these brand goals were accomplished in a fun, meaningful way.

Mahl attributes the success of the BWW promotion to a few things that created a sort of perfect storm for the campaign:

  • Good timing. It revolved around March Madness, when there is a heightened interest in sports and school spirit, even for those who might otherwise not be interested.
  • Excellent staff training. BWW staff played around with SCVNGR for a week before it launched to consumers, so they were invested and well-versed in the game once it launched. They could answer any questions about the app and encourage people to get in the game.
  • Prominent marketing. The BWW campaign was well promoted via Facebook, Twitter, a tab on the BWW Facebook Page, web embeds on the BWW website, in-store television spots, menu inserts, table tents and SCVNGR window clings.

These guerilla marketing tactics made it so that when you walked in the door at BWW, there was no way you didn’t know what was happening. Plus, the March Madness-obsessed fans are a captive audience, and they were targeted in a comfortable, laid-back environment where they were already hanging out and drinking with friends, so it didn’t take much to get them involved.


The Campaign


BWW set up three custom challenges and offered restaurant rewards for those who completed. Rewards for completed challenges included $5 off (3 points), a free Coca-Cola (20 points) and free wings (30 points). Serving staff, having been trained with the app, were prepared to redeem rewards immediately, so the challenges and redemptions were happening in real time. If someone was hungry and wanted more wings, they could figure out a challenge that would earn them such wings and be much more fun than shelling over some green.

BWW’s challenges asked people to take pictures of their friends, the sauciest wing in the basket, fans of rival teams and the crowd going wild, to name a few. These photos were shared on the SCVNGR network, and many chose to share them on Facebook and Twitter, too.

The custom challenges allowed people to go from being players and participant to becoming “authors” — they weren’t just playing SCVNGR, they were “engaging with us” and creating their own adventures, Mahl says. SCVNGR gave them ownership to do what they wanted in order to earn points to unlock badges and rewards. Further, one could find the reward he or she wanted and figure out exactly what challenges needed to be done to get it. This kept people engaged in the game and the app, and spurred people to bring friends into the game, too.

Once a player completed the custom challenges scripted by BWW, he became a sort of power user who could create his own challenges. The user-generated challenges that were most popular floated to the top of the list, acting as a sort of crowdsourced filter. As with any crowdsourcing, there’s a risk of inappropriate or bizarre material, and though many of the BWW patrons are what Mahl describes as “edgy, passionate and strong personalities,” the user-generated challenges went slightly awry. But SCVNGR acted quickly and built a curation system to “keep it clean” and sift through the challenges twice a day to pull out any subpar challenges.

The campaign went well beyond the walls of each BWW location, too. A web-based leaderboard showed the point total for users on a national scale, spurring even more competition amongst players vying for the grand prize — a trip to the NBA finals with former Chicago Bulls player and Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.


The Results


Here are some statistics from the three-month campaign:

  • Players generated 20,000+ challenges, 15,000 of which were approved (remember the curation filter?).
  • There were 184,000 unique players at 730 nationwide BWW locations.
  • 1 in 3 players returned to play again.
  • On average, users completed 7 challenges, meaning they did all the ones provided by BWW and a few user-generated ones.
  • The campaign generated more than 100 million social impressions via Facebook and Twitter.
  • On average, a player spent 90 seconds per challenge, meaning that BWW saw the equivalent of 3.6 years of brand engagement in its locations during the campaign.

“This kind of engagement just doesn’t exist,” says Mahl, referring to the stats from the BWW campaign. He adds that the campaign went off without a hitch — people were badged, recognized and unlocked their rewards. “Everything worked,” he says.

To boot, the successful campaign came at a “surprisingly low cost” to BWW, though Mahl would not disclose the exact figure. So what made it click?

“[The] BWW [campaign] was well-advertised,” says Mahl. “Sometimes you just don’t know there’s a game. BWW understood that and took the time to properly promote it and invited employees to play first.” Further, BWW is what Mahl calls a “socially progressive, community-based place,” which lends itself to the SCVNGR model. People come ready to play, with their game faces on.

Three months have passed, and BWW is refreshing its campaign as the “Flavor Fanatic Challenge.” Since BWW already has a player database of 184,000 people, BWW used the in-app invitation to get the March Madness players back in the game and back in their seats at BWW.


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media” to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- Twitter + Random Acts of Kindness = A Successful Social Campaign
- How Social Media Helped Toy Story 3 Win at the Box Office
- Lessons Learned From The Old Spice Campaign & Its Imitators
- Was the Charlie Sheen Tweet a Win for Internships.com?
- Mattel Launches Digital Campaign Aiming To Reunite Barbie & Ken

More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, Buffalo Wild Wings, business, march madness, MARKETING, Mobile 2.0, scvngr, social media, social media marketing, startups

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


May 18 2011

May 05 2011

How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media.”

Exactly seven years after their controversial split on Valentine’s Day in 2004, America’s favorite plastic lovebirds reunited, sending the socialverse down memory lane.

In celebration of Ken’s 50th anniversary and just in time for the Valentine’s Day release of its Sweet Talkin’ Ken doll, Mattel launched a grandiose marketing campaign to reunite its iconic doll couple, Barbie and Ken.

We spoke with Lauren Bruksch, director of Barbie marketing at Mattel, to get the inside scoop on the success of the campaign’s social media components.


The Campaign


As with all integrated marketing programs, the Barbie and Ken reunion campaign took a village to produce. Attention, Ketchum Public Relations and Mattel‘s internal marketing, design and digital media teams worked together to pull it all off.

Billed as Ken’s new year’s resolution to win Barbie back, the campaign was heavy on social media marketing, utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube to spread its message.

BarbieandKen.com was the hub of the campaign, where users could vote on whether Barbie should “take Ken back” or not. The site features a Love-O-Meter, gauging voters’ feelings on the topic. (Now that the campaign has ended, the page now redirects to Barbie’s Facebook page.)

Mattel managed separate social accounts for each doll across various platforms during the campaign. On Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, fans could follow Ken’s adventures as he attempted to woo Barbie back into his arms.

Of course, this love story isn’t complete without a damsel in distress. Barbie’s Twitter and Facebook accounts were flowing with updates about Ken’s grand gestures and requests for suggestions about how she should handle the situation.

Since reuniting, the two now share Barbie’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, “hopefully forever,” tweeted Ken. To minimize confusion, Ken’s updates are signed with “-Ken.”

Mattel also launched a web series on Hulu called Genuine Ken, featuring host Whitney Port and eight “Ken-testants” competing for the title of “The Great American Boyfriend.”


Integrating Online & Offline Efforts


Mattel’s campaign to reunite Barbie and Ken was one of the most integrated campaigns in recent months. In conjunction with the digital and social media tactics employed, the brand put on a slew of offline stunts, including a “Catch Me If You Ken” outing that featured a pack of smoldering hot Ken doll models at last year’s NYC Fashion’s Night Out event. Ken was also spotted at New York’s Magnolia Bakery, designing a special cupcake for Barbie, which was available for purchase through Valentine’s Day.

Keeping up the sweet trend, Mattel went all-out at famous candy shop Dylan’s Candy Bar. The windows of Dylan’s Manhattan flagship were decked out in Ken-branded Valentine’s Day candy, and the store carried a number of Barbie and Ken products for the holiday.

The brand paired its online efforts with a mix of traditional media buys. Billboards of Ken professing his love to Barbie were erected in New York and Los Angeles, and a two-page spread was placed in Us Weekly, published on Valentine’s Day (pictured at right).


Diving Into the Online Dating World


During the campaign, a video (embedded above) was posted to Barbie’s YouTube page, showing Ken creating a profile on the dating site Match.com, only to find that Barbie is his perfect match.

“What we love about the Match.com video in particular is that it allowed us to, again, showcase the realness of the relationship between Barbie and Ken as romantic dolls in 2011,” says Bruksch. “Barbie and Ken, being the modern dolls they are, would have checked out online dating sites. They, of course, would be on Facebook, browsing through their upcoming Facebook events and checking out the occasional Facebook ad … just like the rest of us!”

The video was the icing on the cake for this campaign. Mattel approached online dating with realistic ideas of how people meet and communicate on the web. Bruksch explains why digital dating played such a role in the duo’s reunion:

“The way the reunion came about was not unlike many other modern romances that are often documented and shared via many social media channels. Many can likely relate to many of the moments that Barbie and Ken shared — such as writing a flirty status update in hopes of gaining the attention of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, running into an ex at an event and tweeting the surprise encounter, testing out the online dating waters … these are all common social actions in today’s dating world.

“What did Barbie do today? Has she run into Ken? How did she react to the cupcakes Ken commissioned for her at Magnolia Bakery?

“All these aspects of Barbie’s and Ken’s lives are displayed through YouTube videos, Foursquare tips, TwitPics, Facebook updates, blog posts … where one would expect to find them in their own lives. If someone created cupcakes for you with a delicious bakery, would you not show them off on Facebook?

“The Barbie and Ken modern love story was a delightful (doll-ightful!) one to tell through social media, and we’re ecstatic that the two are — rightfully — united once again.”


The Results


“The strategy was to leverage Barbie and Ken’s various social channels to authentically share moments and insights into their romance as they began to find their way back to each other and emerge as the ultimate Roman-TECH couple,” explains Bruksch.

The campaign was a huge success across each social platform it employed. During the reunion courtship, lasting from early January to February 14, Barbie’s Facebook Page experienced a 34% increase in fans and a 200% increase in engagement, through comments, likes and shares. Bruksch notes that this enhanced engagement has sustained post-campaign.

Mattel utilized Twitter to share tidbits from Barbie and Ken’s romantic journey. Bruksch says, “Whether it was a Twitpic of Barbie noticing one of Ken’s grand gestures in Us Weekly magazine or Ken sharing his Match.com online dating search with his fans, every key moment in their romantic journey was captured and shared via links, pictures, tweets, video clips.” The flowing content got followers excited about sharing the couple’s news. On February 14, the reunion day, the words “Barbie” and “Ken” were tweeted every two minutes, and #BarbieandKen was a trending topic in 15 cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco.

BarbieandKen.com, the hub for the campaign, “was a great destination for [fans] to learn about the Barbie and Ken romance, share their own content around the romance and help determine what might happen next,” says Bruksch, noting that “the crowdsourcing of the voting was central to the narrative of their journey.” The page garnered more than 5 million pageviews, and hundreds of thousands of users voted on whether Barbie and Ken should rekindle their flame.


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media” to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- Twitter + Random Acts of Kindness = A Successful Social Campaign
- How Social Media Helped Toy Story 3 Win at the Box Office
- Lessons Learned From The Old Spice Campaign & Its Imitators
- Was the Charlie Sheen Tweet a Win for Internships.com?
- Mattel Launches Digital Campaign Aiming To Reunite Barbie & Ken

More About: barbie, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, business, digital marketing, MARKETING, online marketing, social media, social media marketing

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


April 13 2011

Was the Charlie Sheen Tweet a Win for Internships.com?


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media.”

When it comes to brand building, there are basically two schools of thought: “Build it and they will come” and “brainwash the masses.”

The latter is based on the belief that any publicity is good publicity. If you get your name out there, the rest will fall in to place. A good example of this philosophy is GoldenPalace.com, which recently bought Justin Bieber’s hair, and in the past has purchased William Shatner’s kidney stone for the free publicity.

At the moment, Internships.com fits the latter category as well. If you’ve heard of the brand, it’s most likely due to a single effective marketing campaign: An endorsement by Charlie Sheen via Twitter.


Internships.com, Charlie Sheen & Ad.ly


When Sheen joined Twitter on March 1, it’s safe to say he wasn’t a great fit with a lot of brands. Sheen had just had a major falling out with Chuck Lorre, the producer of Sheen’s hit show Two and a Half Men and gave a series of bizarre interviews. It was clear that the star was something of a train wreck, and, to many, a fascinating one at that. Sheen became a trending topic on Twitter and, when he joined, set the Guinness World Record by getting 1 million followers in about 25 hours.

That combination of public pariah and social media star had appeal for a brand that was chiefly concerned with creating awareness. But Internships.com and Sheen needed a matchmaker.

That’s where Ad.ly came in. Founded in 2009 by Sean Rad, Ad.ly sought to link celebrities with social media endorsements. The firm first came on a lot of people’s radars when it arranged for client Kim Kardashian to receive $10,000 per tweet for spreading the message about Carl’s Jr., a fast food chain. By now, Ad.ly claims more than 1,000 celebrities, who make endorsements on behalf of some 150 brands.


About the Internship


As it so happens, Internships.com’s CEO, Robin Richards, sits on Ad.ly’s board. Nevertheless, the year-old company — which connects internship seekers with companies offering internships — had some stipulations for working with Ad.ly and Sheen. “There were two things we needed to make sure of,” says Kat Garcia, a rep for Internships.com. “We needed to make sure this was a legitimate internship and it was a paid internship.”

The eight-week internship is real, but it’s a little odd — the winner gets to manage Charlie Sheen’s social media operations. It also pays — $10 an hour.

With those specifications in place, Sheen gave his tweet/plug on March 7: “I’m looking to hire a #winning INTERN with #TigerBlood. Apply here – http://bit.ly/hykQQF #TigerBloodIntern #internship #ad.”


A Win For Internships.com?


The response to Sheen’s tweet was immediate. Within the first hour, the tweet got 95,333 clicks. A week later, the offer got more than 82,000 replies. “It’s been overwhelming in a positive way,” Garcia says.

While the promotion was undeniably successful in getting responses to the internship, it’s not clear that Internships.com can build a brand off of it. The company, which had previously only run paid search advertising and the occasional print ad, is now known to most people as an extension of the Charlie Sheen brand.

Rob Frankel, a Los Angeles-based branding expert, says that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but that this appears to be nothing more or less than a publicity stunt. “Awareness for awareness’s sake never works,” he says. “Cancer has a high awareness, but how many people want it?” Frankel says he believes that an attention-getting strategy is fine as long as it ties in with what the brand is offering — for him, the fact that the promotion is around a Charlie Sheen internship doesn’t cut it.

When asked if there are potential downfalls to being yoked to Sheen — what if he dies for instance? — Lindsay Plotkin, another rep for Internships.com, sidestepped the question, focusing instead on what the promotion has meant for Internships’s brand. “It kind of propelled us from maybe not being as well known to being a contender in this space,” she says.

Potential concerns aside, Internships.com still has control of some of the message. One of the cleverer aspects of the campaign is that a single tweet launched a story arc for Internships.com. After narrowing down the field, the winner of the contest should be announced in a few weeks, no doubt providing more free publicity. After that, it will be up to Internships.com to plan what it will do with its newfound awareness. When asked, however, if anyone has successfully built a brand with publicity stunts, Frankel thought for a second. “I can’t think of anyone that has,” he said. “That should tell you something.”


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media” to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- Twitter + Random Acts of Kindness = A Successful Social Campaign
- How Social Media Helped Toy Story 3 Win at the Box Office
- Lessons Learned From The Old Spice Campaign & Its Imitators
- Top 5 Innovative Ways PR Pros Are Using Social Media
- How the Real Estate Industry Is Using Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

More About: advertising, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, charlie sheen, Internships.com, MARKETING, twitter

For more Business & Marketing coverage:


February 18 2011

How Social Media Helped Toy Story 3 Win at the Box Office


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media.”

Toy Story 3 was one of the biggest films of 2010. As Pixar’s 11th full-length film, the third and final chapter in the world of Buzz Lightyear and Woody hit theaters in June 2010.

Months before that, Disney and Pixar embarked in a wide-scale marketing blitz that covered television, print and social media. Using Facebook and YouTube to help promote the film, the studio raised awareness and successfully targeted demographics that don’t traditionally flock to Disney animated feature films.

In the following, we take a closer look at the Toy Story 3 social media campaign.


The Campaign


For Toy Story 3, Disney and Pixar heavily marketed the film across different demographics. Pixar films are unique in that they typically appeal to broader audiences and skew older than other animated films. Thanks to films like The Incredibles, WALL-E and Up, it’s not uncommon to see more adults than children packed into theaters when watching a Pixar movie.

From the very beginning, Disney and Pixar made it clear that individuals in their twenties would be a big target for Toy Story 3. The TV and print campaigns for the film largely targeted families and younger children. In an interesting move, however, Disney ran a parallel campaign targeting twenty-somethings via Facebook, YouTube and movie blogs.

In March of 2010, Disney and Pixar announced special cliffhanger screenings of Toy Story 3 at college campuses around the country.

Using Facebook, students with a valid college ID could sign up for special screenings of the film. These screenings were 65 minutes in length and designed to whet viewers appetites for the final release in June 2010.

Targeting college students and doing special campus screenings was the first sign that Disney was serious about targeting socially savvy audiences.

Pixar and Disney also targeted older Generation X viewers with its “Groovin’ with Ken” character profile. The clip, which is very Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous in its approach, introduces audiences to the character Ken. Voiced by Michael Keaton, Ken is one of the funniest characters in the film.

Here’s the YouTube clip:


Going Viral


In April 2010, Disney and Pixar raised the ante for social media campaigns everywhere with the release of the Lots-o’Huggin’ Bear “vintage” YouTube commercials. Purportedly from the 1980s, these ads oozed nostalgia. From the lighting to the clothing, the ads could easily be mistaken for something from 1983. To add to the effect, the clips were given a “bad tracking” VHS effect.

Directed by Chris Cantwell, the two ads were shot in high-definition. The Toy Story 3 Blu-ray edition features a 90-second “making-of” clip showing the ads both untreated and then treated for YouTube.

The details in post-production — as well as the decision to release the clips on YouTube — made the Lotso spots a viral sensation.

To date, the main Lotso clip has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube — and we imagine that number can be multiplied several times to counter the variants and copies floating around the web.

These ads, which were released in late April 2010, immediately opened up a wave of press and blog coverage that extended far beyond the typical movie news cycle. The ads worked because it gave viewers a look into the the alternate reality of an animated film — while also acting as a genuinely cool Internet video.

Moreover, the ads managed to promote the film without promoting it. The advertisements were for a new character in the Toy Story universe. This character is integral to the film, however his role in the story is not revealed from the faux ads.

The faux ads were successful enough that Disney released an actual collector’s edition Lotso toy in the fall of 2010.


Targeting Adults


A marketing tie-in between Toy Story 3 and Dancing with the Stars aired in May 2010. Airing on the Disney-owned ABC, a special segment showcased how Dancing with the Stars influenced the animation of a Latin dance number.

This aspect of the campaign felt the most false to us. As funny as Spanish Buzz is in Toy Story 3, the tie-in with Dancing with the Stars just feels awkward. The fact that the appearance received little coverage even across movie and Disney-focused blogs indicates that perhaps this wasn’t the strongest part of the campaign.


The Results


Toy Story 3 was a huge hit with critics, and with fans. The film has gone on to gross over $1 billion dollars worldwide, making it the most successful animated film of all time.

Even before the film’s release, it seemed inevitable that Toy Story 3 would be nominated — if not win — the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. For Disney, however, that’s not enough. In November, Walt Disney Studios Chairman Rich Ross launched a tongue-in-cheek Oscar campaign for the biggest award in Hollywood: Best Picture.

Speaking with Pete Hammond at Deadline, Ross said:

“With this movie we wanted to come up with a campaign that kept our aspirations clear but at the same time used a tongue-in-cheek approach. It’s all to recognize the quandary which is that no animated picture had won Best Picture, so we used only Best Picture images to reflect that. I feel very confident we have a movie everybody loves, and I want to make sure with our support and our campaign that people don’t feel the consolation prize is the appropriate prize for a movie like Toy Story 3. I think people will look at the ads and feel it’s very Pixar and very Disney. At the same time it’s very clear. Toy Story 3 is a Best Picture. Vote for it. Please.”

The campaign continued to run through January, and Disney has compiled a gallery of the campaign posters. This Oscar campaign is really a cut above.

When Oscar nominations were announced last month, Toy Story 3 received five nods — including Best Picture, Best Animated Feature and Best Adapted Screenplay. Toy Story 3‘s chances at taking home Best Picture are a long shot, though — it’s only the third animated film in history to secure a Best Picture nomination.

In the end, the campaigns for the film before, during and after its release have solidified Toy Story 3‘s role in history, both as a film and as a case study for effective uses of social media and viral marketing.


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an award-winning agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Download Oneupweb’s free whitepaper, “The Bloody Truth about Social Media” to learn how to cut through the clutter and be sure to catch up with them on Facebook and Twitter.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- HOW TO: Create a World-Class Online Community for Your Business
- How Social Data & Mobile Tech Can Improve the Retail Experience
- 5 Creative Facebook Places Marketing Campaigns
- Top 9 Job Sites to Bookmark for Your Career Search
- Twitter for Brands: 6 Winning Strategies to Learn From

More About: Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, Film, MARKETING, movie marketing, Movies, toy story 3

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January 18 2011

Twitter + Random Acts of Kindness = A Successful Social Campaign


The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb, an agency specializing in search marketing, social media and design for mid-to-enterprise level brands. Keep up with Oneupweb through its blog and monthly newsletter.

Running out of cereal is usually a problem that one must face on his own. But when David Berkowitz awoke to the dilemma one morning this October, he got some support from an unexpected source. After reading a tweet about his irritation, Edge Shave Gel sent him enough cereal that it should be a very long time before he runs out again.

“I’m still eating the cereal they sent me, so the positive brand association continues,” says Berkowitz.

Since September, 234 people have benefited from similar random acts of kindness from the @EdgeShaveZone Twitter account. As part of Edge’s Anti-Irritation Campaign, a team of two devotes its full-time efforts to seeking, responding to, and relieving irritation across Twitter, much of which is conveyed using Edge’s #soirritating hashtag. The team has given out everything from iPads and computers to megaphones and dancing panda YouTube videos in their efforts to “solve irritation.” One woman tweeted that she had voices in her head that were speaking in Spanish — Edge responded with the gift of a Spanish/English dictionary.

In about three months, @EdgeShaveZone has gathered about 1,500 followers, the #soirritating hashtag has been used about 6,800 times, and attention from numerous media outlets has contributed to mounting buzz — all of which likely contributed to Edge’s decision to continue the campaign throughout 2011. Mashable recently spoke with the team at Edelman Digital, that runs the campaign, about the factors that have contributed to its success.


Using Twitter, Not Changing Twitter


Twitter_prof

When was the last time you used Twitter to rave about a product you use every day? Most of us do that quite often. Designing a Twitter campaign that both promotes a brand effectively and fits the platform can be challenging. Instead of trying to change the way that people use the platform, the #soirritating campaign builds on top of what Twitter users are already doing: complaining.

“We picked Twitter because we noticed that a truth about Twitter was that people were always talking about how irritated they were about things, and we have a product that matched that truth, which was anti-irritation, so that was a good place for us,” says Katie Facada, the copywriter who composes tweets for @EdgeShaveZone.


Getting the Word Out


Edelman’s traditional PR agency handled media outreach to help spread the word about Edge’s random acts of kindness, but they also tried a unique angle. They asked popular humor blog someecards to design cartoons that promoted the campaign.

Another strategy in getting the word out was to solve irritations even before people picked up the #soirritating hashtag. The team set up Hootsuite to scan Twitter for its most irritated tweeters and surprised them by offering solutions. As people started becoming more familiar with the campaign and following @EdgeShaveZone, the team could respond to requests or tweet out timely conversation topics like “What Halloween candy is #soirritating?” (Orange foam peanuts, clearly.)


Becoming a Personality



When someone tweeted it was #soirritating that they had no Microsoft Surface, @EdgeShaveZone used this photo to explain that the team was in the middle of a game on the Microsoft Surface that happened to be in the lobby and wouldn’t be able to send it.

Nobody wants to converse with a marketing bot. And Edge made significant efforts to avoid being boring. They kept their tweets honest, conversational, and as the campaign’s community manager Kevin DeStefan puts it (though he hates this phrase), “real.”

Obviously, many people find it #soirritating that their iPods, computers and other expensive electronics are broken, but the team continues to focus on unique requests they can start conversations about.

One woman, for instance, tweeted that her husband never put his hearing aids in.

“We can’t send him hearing aides, we can’t really make him wear hearing aids,” explains DeStefan. “So, we sent her a megaphone.”

This was something they could start a conversation about (i.e. “It’s like caps lock for real life”). The woman posted a Twitpic of herself speaking to her husband using the megaphone.

“It was great for us, we got that engagement, and people actually followed us. So, other people were interested in what [was] going on,” DeStefan says.


Dolling Out Creativity, Not Cash


The team has given out a good share of expensive prizes: iPads, game tickets, and even a MacBook Pro. But they’ve found that it’s really the thought that counts.

“A lot of times we didn’t even have to give out prizes to solve irritations,” DeStefan says. “We had one computer programmer, she tweeted us saying that it was so irritating that she was having to program for old browsers. And obviously we really couldn’t do much about that irritation, so we sent her a video of a dancing panda, and that made her day.”


Taking Twitter Seriously


The Zone
Copywriter Katie Facada and Account Executive Kevin DeStefan relieved irritation on a full-time basis from “The Zone” at Edelman Digital

During the campaign, Facada and DeStefan spent all day monitoring irritation on Twitter in a special room that they began to refer to as “the Zone.” This was no half-effort.

“One of the top things is really resource commitment, and really understanding that in order to have the frequency and the level of engagement required to talk with people in a meaningful way, it takes time,” explains Andrew Foote, senior vice president of Edelman Digital. “This isn’t something that you would typically add to the bottom of a program, you know—hey, put a few hours toward Twitter, send out tweets.”

In order for the campaign to be effective, it was also important to be able to interact in real time without waiting for client approval. Had the team, let’s say, had a weekly meeting with the client to approve that week’s tweets, the campaign would have lacked its conversational tone and much of its ability to engage.


Series Supported by Oneupweb

The Behind the Social Media Campaign Series is supported by Oneupweb. The agency has been a leader in the digital marketing space for nearly 15 years, creating and executing integrated online marketing plans that blend search, social and design to deliver maximum impact and ROI to their mid-and enterprise-level clients. An award-winning agency, Oneupweb is committed to helping brands grow. Visit OneUpWeb.com to learn more.


More Business Resources from Mashable:


- HOW TO: Create a World-Class Online Community for Your Business
- How Social Data & Mobile Tech Can Improve the Retail Experience
- 5 Creative Facebook Places Marketing Campaigns
- Top 9 Job Sites to Bookmark for Your Career Search
- Twitter for Brands: 6 Winning Strategies to Learn From

Image courtesy of Flickr, MARCOS XOTOKO.


Reviews: Flickr, HootSuite, Mashable, Twitpic, Twitter, YouTube

More About: #soirritating, advertising, Behind the Social Media Campaign Series, edelman, edge, MARKETING, social media marketing, Twitter campaign

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