Tag Archive for viral marketing

TJ Maxx benefits with iPad discount

TJ Maxx successfully managed to thrown more fuel on the fire around the rumour that they were going to offer a $100 discount of iPads leading up to the annual US Black Friday sales which start this week by effectively using social media.  According to National Retail Federation last year around 134,000,000 US consumers took advantage of Black Friday for their Christmas shopping.  The Black Friday promotions like the TJ Maxx deal offer consumers often steeply discounted products but online and offline stores compete for the same consumer so will even sell products like the iPad at a loss to get traffic to their stores/sites.  The Black Friday sales are similar to the Australian boxing day sales the key to capturing the consumers dollar is to get early traction or deals spread via email newsletters, Google AdWords campaigns and traditional media.

Scale is based on the average traffic of black friday from United States in the last 12 months

The Google search volume around black friday surged to around 40 times average volume according to Google trends and with the recession it is possible that the interest will be even higher this year based on the spike already seen by TJ Maxx shown below.

Scale is based on the average worldwide traffic of tj maxx in the last 30 days

The story broke just after 11am on Thursday the 18th November and received approximately 20 articles published around its iPad promotion which was followed up the next day with around just under 20 more articles from a number of technology and media publications.  In the space of 3 days they had around 63 articles written by websites such as Cnet, Computerworld, PC Magazine, ZDNet, Engagdet and PC World which is worth thousands in terms of free press.  Along side the main stream media sites to cover the story they were featured on at least 17 blogs from Fortune, Baltimore Sun to PC World’s blog and of course this blog showing a fairly successful initial campaign prior to Black Friday.

Twitter TJ Maxx

Above was the confirmation tweet from the official TJ Maxx account that in fact the deal was real but the stores were unadvertised so you would actually have to ring them or go in a visit in person.  This was both a smart online marketing move to encourage consumers to contact or visit their stores in order to get the deal, using online to push offline sales. They also used social media heavily with no advertising to accompany this promotion outside blog and media coverage.

TJ Maxx reached a decent social media audience

Using TJ Maxx’s Klout data the official tweet had a true reach of around 656 actual twitter users of their 14,132 followers. The first official tweet was retweeted 26 times giving it a further true reach of around 3156 actual twitter users providing a true reach of around 3812 followers on twitter. They also reinforced their message that the reason they were not advertising any of the locations is part of their message you never know what you might find in one of their tweets and in their landing page. TJ Maxx sent out 8 public tweets around the iPad promotion, exposing their promotion to at least 5248 followers on twitter over a 2 day period based on each tweet having a true reach of 656 users. Their initial Engadget story also received 671 retweets, 292 comments and 707 people sharing the story with their friends on Facebook, which also expanded the value of the campaign to TJ Maxx.

TJ Maxx got Twitter followers

From before the story broke and based on the current growth TJ Maxx’s official twitter account received its highest spike in followers in the last 3 months with an estimated 8% jump in followers by the end of the weekend.  This is important as leading up to Black Friday TJ Maxx needs the biggest possible audience to reach if it want’s to successfully compete against stores like Amazon, Walmart & Best Buy.  It is important to measure the impact of the campaign by more than one metric as growing your audience by 8% is both significant and when done with viral promotions like this very cost-effective.

TJ Maxx 3 Month Follower Growth

What could TJ Maxx have done better?

The screen shot below showed a very poorly implemented landing page, that could have at least had a product image to reinforce the promotion along with a reminder of the pricing discount. It’s a shame that when companies have promotions like this go viral they are not prepared or able to roll out landing pages quickly the improve conversion rates for campaigns.

TJ Maxx Tablet Landing Page

TJ Maxx Tablet Landing Page

While it would have been nice to have a store locator that might have cluttered up the landing page since the product sold out in 1 day it would have made sense to make this stock issue clearer or at least highlighted the SOLD OUT words. For a more effective campaign based on the viral nature of the promotion leading up to Black Friday it would have made sense to include both the link to stay connected with a link to their Twitter account, the button to become a fan of them on Facebook and to make sure you don’t miss out next time a sign-up section for their email newsletter.

If you are still looking to buy an iPad you can always check out Amazon.com which has theApple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi)

Bavaria Beer free advertising with FIFA

The World Cup 2010 fever is alive and marketers are getting their act into gear and the promotions, scandals and ambush marketing have started reaching front page coverage, so it’s also about time I covered one of the latest beer spill overs…

Massive TV Audience
According to FIFA marketing information the 2006 FIFA World Cup had a cumulative TV audience of 26.29 billion viewers.  When you are talking audience figures like that its hard for any advertiser to not overlook a few moral and legal aspects to get some coverage.  There is a lot of sponsorship money that is available that because it wasn’t spent on official FIFA World Cup marketing packages but will still seek to get some associated benefits such as Bavaria Beer.

PUMA City is ambush marketing
Currently running in Puma City NYC, where you can participate in the world cup with mini soccer matches, photo booths and party into the night.  What is interesting is that Puma while a great brand is not one of the FIFA marketing partners, it is actually Adidas.  The bitter point is that both of these companies were started by two brothers who split over differences and even after their death it seems the marketing battle to win the hearts and minds of football fans continues. The focus of this post is around this type of guerrilla or ambush marketing where brands can be associated by consumers with the event without having to pay the big bucks. This is common during other large events such as the Olympics which official sponsors can imply they are associated with the event.

Sydney 2000 Olympics
During the Sydney 2000 Olympic games the official sponsor Ansett was ambushed by Qantas Airlines. A majority of Australians surveyed later believed Qantas was an official sponsor, showing the campaign paid off and Qantas had won the hearts and minds of the consumers without the cost associated with an Olympic sponsorship package.
2006 Fifa World Cup
Our featured beer company Bavaria was also present during 2006 Fifa World Cup when Netherlands supporters were told to remove Bavaria’s branded Leeuwenhosen “overalls”, the reason is that Budwesier was the official sponsor for beer.  The question around picking a national colour and outfits for marketing campaigns has apparently annoyed FIFA but is the company playing dumb when it gives away promotional merchandise with the purchase of its products and then is surprised when they wear them to sporting events such as the World Cup?

Copyright > Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins The orange Leeuwenhose could be purchase for €7.95 with any purchase of 12 cans of Bavaria Beer.  Heineken had already lost a legal battle to stop the fans from wearing the outfits to Dutch football games.  The reason in case you didn’t guess was that Heineken is the official Dutch FA sponsor…

Super Bowl XLIV

During the recent Super Bowl XLIV a gay dating site produced a controversial ad knowing that it would not be accepted and had hoped to not pay the $3 million fee for airing the commercial.  It is was expected the controversy would attract the attention without the Super Bowl ad cost, it seems it did get a bit of a spike but only one news outlet ran with the story according to Google news.  Looking at past data from Google Insights for Search it shows that the spike was short lived and the only extra coverage was in the US market, which if that was their plan they would have got a reasonable spike in website traffic but was not sustained.
Super Bowl Coverage for ManCrunch

2010 FIFA World Cup

It seems Bavaria Beer is back in town well at least some of their beautiful marketing team, with a group of around 30 women were dressed in tight fitting orange mini-dresses referred to as “the dutchy” shown in the promotional image below. They were escorted out during half time of the Holland vs Denmark match when FIFA officials accused them of promoting a brand not an official sponsor which was Budweiser.  The relevance to Bavaria beer was that these “dutchy” garments were part of a promotional give away leading up to the 2010 World Cup as you can see in the background of the image below.

Duchy Dress

While a majority of the fans watching would have no idea about Bavaria Beer or the importance of the “dutchy dress” because of the way the match officials ejected the group of girls and detained them for questioning the brand has likely got much more coverage than it could have ever hoped for. When a company gets caught out doing something it knew it shouldn’t have done it is usually hoped that the coverage and controversy surrounding the event will exceed any fines/penalties imposed by officials.  Based on the growing media coverage below I would say congratulations for Bavaria Beer for taking a risk and getting more coverage than the actual match would have got otherwise.

For official pictures check out some of the news sources below and a big thanks to Thomas Rasinen for alerting me to this story and please follow him on twitter.

News Coverage (estimated online audience)
That gives an early estimate of the potential coverage of the Bavaria Beer stunt at 25,350,000 readers who visit the news sites listed above each day who might have not been following the game but still were able to find out about the Bavaria Beer girls.  I would say that the team at Bavaria who organised the first stunt will be hoping the subsequent stunts they have planned go this well, but I’m sure FIFA will be watching for any girls dressed in orange from now on….

GM fails with Chevy

Chevy LogoIt seems that once again marketing has managed to get the upper hand over common sense, with a company menu announcing that staff will no longer be allowed to refer to Chevrolet as Chevy when speaking with family, friends or customers.  There are two problems with this heavy handed approach, first the memo should have not been made public as it makes it less credible and the second is forcing consumers/customers to use correct terminology is not always the best way to rebuild a brand. Consumers don’t always welcome change especially when its forced on them for the benefit of marketing and not making the brand part of their lives as Chevy was…

Some other branding examples where a brand has accepted its use in time and not tried to kill a brand like Chevy:

  • Google is not a verb – Google lawyers used to send out letters  to warned media organisations not to use Google as a verb “Googling, Googled”
  • Coke – It is now accepted and used for marketing brands such as Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Coke II and also extensively used throughout the corporate site to describe their range of cola products.
  • McDonald’s is Maccas – The Australian abbreviation for McDonald’s is now a trademark, which is heavily used in marketing and promotional campaigns.

Googled vs Googling

Googled Search Chart

Analysis: The actual volume for the term “Google” is around 8000% higher but it skews the graph and doesn’t allow you to see the use of the term “Googled” has found a place in consumers hearts as the preferred alternative to “Googling” over the last 6 years. It would be a bad branding decision for Google to select “Googling” as its preferred branded verb as consumers have shown they are increasingly preferring to use the alternative “Googled”.

Coke vs Coca-Cola vs Coca Cola

Coke Search ChartAnalysis: The correct branded term “Coca-Cola” when measured against the variation of “Coca Cola” or the abbreviated “Coke” show that consumers don’t typically use the exact product/brand name.  The chart shows a massive 911% difference in web interest using the “Coca Cola” phrase and even the use of “Coke” seems to be starting to match the product phrase.  So the point would be that if Coke were to be disallowed from marketing, it is likely that a majority of consumers would not switch to using the correct “Coca-Cola” phrase when referring to their beverage product.

The top markets that are suitable for marketing only with “Cola Cola” are Mexico, Brazil, Spain & Germany.  The US, Canada and UK consumers seem to prefer the abbreviated version “Coke”. So if Coke was to make just a change in english speaking countries it would likely affect branding and interest in the brand.

McDonald’s vs Maccas

Google Results for Maccas

Analysis: The interesting point to note is that until mid 2006, the term wasn’t often used online but is increasingly common in company advertising and is often used by Australian consumers in casual conversation with friends and family. The screenshot above shows that even Google understands Maccas is the same as McDonald’s in Australia, but notice the 2nd result is actually referring to Macca’s breakfast as a product the company offers consumers.  This shows a company has accepted local colloquial names and integrated them into marketing, encouraging Australian consumers to accept the US fast food chain as has Google.

Hungry Jacks vs HJs

HJs or Hungry Jacks

Analysis: The Australian Burger King franchise is often referred to as “Jacker’s or “HJs” by consumers and you can see from the screenshot above that Google understands consumers intentions when searching for fast food restaurants, and they don’t try to correct consumers with their “did you mean” search assist.

Chevy vs Chevrolet (USA)

Chevy Chart

Analysis: A majority of the US states have a stronger preference for the term “Chevy” but a few states stand out as they have a massive preference towards “Chevy”. The few states below are ranked top down by from strongest preference for “Chevy”.
  1. South Dakota
  2. North Dakota
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Iowa
  5. Arkansas

Chevy vs Chevrolet (Worldwide)

Chevy Search Chart Worldwide

Analysis: According to AdAge’s article on the issue, the reason for the change is for their global brands, but there is a clear movement worldwide that is showing preference for Chevrolet, so what the sudden need for the change, which will impact mostly on their US Chevy supporters.  This is a perfect time for the old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” principal to be applied by GM to the Chevrolet brand.

Chevrolet Google Results

Chevy Search Results

Analysis: You can see clearly that GM is still referring to their products on the company sites as Chevy marked with the red boxes on the search results above.  This practice seems to contradict the memo asking for staff to stop using the short term when they are still clearly advertising it to consumers.  It would be easier for GM to start with properties it controls such as their corporate website and then expand offline via dealer networks, but I see it as going up a creek without a paddle. The other side issue not shown here is a number of car enthusiast groups are more commonly named “Chevy….” and typically its easier for consumers to spell than Chevrolet.

Chevy Bing Results

Chevy Results BingAnalysis:  On Bing once again the official Chevrolet site is the place for all new 2010 CHEVY cars…. so this shows that they are not really serious and it might just be a publicity stunt to get consumers and media promoting the importance of the Chevy brand.  Can it really just be a viral marketing stunt?

Cummins Nitro wins 3rd Grand Prix @ Cannes

cummins-nitroAdAge just reported this morning that Cummins Nitro had won their 3rd Grand Prix award for the “Best Job in the World” campaign at the bestjob-in-the-wordlinternational advertising festival Cannes 2009.

This effective campaign was built around a strategy where Tourism Queensland set the task of launching a new brand.  It was built around the islands of the Great Barrier Reef targeting 8 key international markets.

The great use of the media and its inquisitive nature would be to follow up on a story where they had a job offer that was too good to be true.  Was this a scam? with were dozens of online recruitment bestjob-in-the-world-adsites, display ads were all setup to direct traffic to www.islandreefjob.com.

The media buzz that was built around this amazing offer help build up the international interest without the use of traditional and expensive media.  The reef job website was supported by a extensive social media presence on Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and Twitter which allowed direct brand engagement with the target audience.

The best part of this campaign was that it drove massive interest and supported Tourism Queensland’s other online marketing activities such as Twitter, Email Marketing and Micro-sites, undertaken by fellow Brisbane agency XCOM Media. cannes-grand-prixThe “Best Job in the World” campaign ended the campaign with media coverage of over $Us100,000,000 from an initial campaign budget of $US1,200,000.  For more details about the campaign visit CumminsNitro’s case study.

To see more details about the campaign, what staff were responsible for the amazing 3 wins at Cannes, and what the Cannes jury thought of the campaign, visit the Cannes Lions Winners section.

Youtube Dominos Gross-out

This update is related to recent blog posts as it deals with viral video and how they sometimes cannot be beneficial to a companies image.

In the last 24 hours a new viral video has started its rounds, it shows 2 Domino’s staff involved in a Gross-out. The interesting thing is that the company was made away of the video when the AdAge article went to press, so based on the response to #amazonfail how would they react?

Dominos decided not to issue a press release or post a statement online, it was felt that the company could deal with tens of thousands of impressions and a strong response from Domino’s would alert more consumers to their video and cause more embarrassment.

YouTube views

7am – 20,000
9am – 51,000
2pm – 151,000
11pm – 690,000

So is this still the correct response, when will companies acknowledge that once a video/story goes viral nothing can stop it quick enough.

*Update* after 3 months people since this story was first covered, this blog post still attracts a decent number of visitors looking into find out about this issue.  What makes this important for understanding is that just because the viral campaign has stopped this ongoing article traffic shows that the potential fallout may have only just begun.

How to get viral marketing working

This is my reply to my post on MarketingMag regarding how to optimise video for seo and how to make the video work for you and not just look pretty.

The most interesting thing about most of these viral videos, is that they were mostly spread through what we feel is old media, tv/radion, word of mouth, emails, blogs and newspapers.  They didnt have true scale using medium such as twitter, while this played a part they did not depend on this new technology to spread.

Skittles Twitter Campaign

Skittles Campaign – Marketing Mag Blog covers this post in detail, this blog posts covers my overall review of the their campaign.

Skittles.com has gone through the following social media in this campaign: Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, Youtube, Flickr

The interesting thing is that the campaign has seemed to have lost some strength as its recent youtube clip “Transplant the Rainbow” had only 42 views at 1pm 11th March. Not the amazing figures that you would expect from such a large campaign, this would point that their viral video campaign might have been a failure.