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Case study 1: HP’s 31-Day
• HP provided its flagship notebook HDX Dragon systems
to 31 selected influencers to give away to lucky readers
on their sites over 31 days (one per blogger)
• Worth US$5,500: 500GB HDD, Blu Ray player, games,
• Each blogger was able to create
their own unique contest
• 31 days of ongoing discussions as
bloggers also created and shared
custom marketing materials,
graphics, logos, videos,
RSS feeds and then
cross-promoted these items.
Month over month data from HPshopping.com
84% increase in sales on the HDX Dragon system
14% increase in traffic
10% increase in overall consumer PC sales
Sales figures for the month of the program set
Usually a softer month and does not include
The sales gains continued even 2 months after the
• Total cost for systems, shipping, software and
paying to offset taxes $250K (costs shared by HP
• $0 media spend
Google reports well
over 380,000 links
discussing the 31
sites and giveaways.
Virtually no negative
comments about HP
or the promotion
associated with the
• 31 participating sites/blogs saw an average 150%
increase in traffic, with some increasing as much
• Estimated reach for the programme is well over
50 million impressions (Alexa data)
• Coverage reached 123 countries and was
translated into 40+ languages
• Readers/entrants created more than 10,000
videos on sites such as YouTube.com and Blip.tv
• In excess of 25,000 entries received by
Why it worked
1. HP and Buzz Corps built up real relationships with
the influencers: “We really know them at a personal
level – we consider each other friends, not just cards in a
rolodex. We spent over a year demonstrating that we were
willing to do the right things for, with and by them and
therefore earned their trust.”
2. Provided the tools, then gave them control: They
helped design the rules and helped manage and organize
3. Not just for big boys: Mix of small and large blogs/sites
to vary the coverage
4. Social media marketing is about conversation, not
news: The HDX Dragon had been shipping for 10 months
when the giveaways began
“Word of mouth is so effective
because of the natural credibility
that comes from real people with no
profit or agenda tied to their
Andy Sernovitz, Word of Mouth Marketing
Case study 2: Blendtec
Blendtec’s viral videos
• 6 million views in 5
• Was 3rd most
viewed video on
• 2006 revenue up
• Blendtec, little-known blender company spends
US$50 to make unusual video
Case study 3: Dove “Real Beauty”
• Unilever's “Campaign for Real Beauty”
marketing campaign sought to
• Featured non-models that did not fit in
with the idealized images of super-
• Videos went viral online and raised
debates in countries it was launched.
Mothers were encourages to talk to
daughters about self-esteem.
• Some critics felt the campaign was
contradictory because it aimed to
convince women to buy Dove's Firming
range, a product for reducing cellulite.
One of the most effective new marketing
strategies uses “viral” techniques that spreads
through “word-of-mouse” among members
Power of Viral Marketing
• Builds awareness through low-key
• Lets word-of-mouse spread your message
• Gets people talking about your product,
service or campaign
• Inexpensive: Others do the distribution
• No hard sell or interruption: It spreads
from peer to peer. Audience chooses to
view it and engage in conversation.
Viral Marketing: Cons
– You don’t control the distribution
– Randomness to who gets the message
– The context of the message can be distorted
since others are distributing it
– Audience may mash it up and change intent
– May be difficult to show how it translates into
GM “Chevy Tahoe” campaign
• General Motors invited
Internet users to create or
remix their own
“advertisement” for the
SUV truck “Chevy Tahoe”
• A website was created with various elements of
video that the user could use to arrange the
• The user could also add their own “text” over the
Viral Marketing Campaign Misfires
The goal was to let users
interact with the product in a
fun, unique way. They would
then distribute their creation
and the message to friends and
via their blogs. GM hoped to
build brand awareness of the
Success? Or Not?
• Some Internet users decided to create
negative commercials that complained about
the environmental impact of the gas-hungry
• 21,000 user-created ads were submitted
• 2.4 million page views
• 80% of the ads were positive
• However, 20% of ads were critical
– The media coverage focused on the
Fail: J & J Camp Baby blogstorm
• Johnson and Johnson invites mommy
bloggers a 2-day all-expenses paid event in
early April, 2008 at their HQ.
• Mommy bloggers looked forward to seeing
their friends, making new ones, lots of
conversation ensues in the blogosphere.
• Then two well-read moms, Julie Marsh and
Stefania Pomponi Butler, were “disinvited”.
• Apparently, it was an adults-only event with
no child care!
Faking it: Online Street Teams
• Boston-based Alt Terrain arranges “alternative
media” marketing campaigns
• “Online street teams” infiltrate chat rooms and
blogs to post positive information on clients
• They pose as fans expressing spontaneous
opinions, but they are really paid promoters
• The web community hates fakes!
• Avoid such techniques
like the plague
• If outted, there will be a
• Online community will be
skeptical of future
Astro-turfing refers to a brand of artificial grass.
In marketing, is an artificial attempt at gaining
“grassroots” support covertly for a political or
Case study: Post-it
From prank to marketing campaign?
What not to do
• Dec 2006, pranksters covered a co-worker’s beloved
Jaguar with 14,000 Post-it Notes.
• Scott Ableman posts photos of prank on Flickr. Idea
goes viral online.
• A year passes before marketing geniuses at 3M Corp’s
Post-it Note thinks to capitalize on the viral success.
• In spring 2008, they contact Scott photographer to ask
about using the photos in a marketing campaign. He
quoted an amount for a typical licensing fee.
• Their response: They tell him they’d rather not pay
when they can just recreate the photograph
3M Carjacks Idea
Mentos-Diet Coke geysers
video of geyser
Mentos site links
to video, then
around the world.
• Mentos: “We are tickled pink by it,” says Pete
Healy, vp of marketing for company's U.S. division.
“When they appeared on Late Night with David
Letterman and The Today Show, we were there.”
The company spends less than US$20 million on
U.S. advertising annually and estimates the value of
online buzz to be “over US$10 million.”
• Coke: “We would hope people want to drink (Diet
Coke) more than try experiments with it,” says Coke
spokeswoman Susan McDermott. She adds that the
“craziness with Mentos ... doesn't fit with the brand
“In the world of the Internet,
you don't own your brand. Your
customers and your users own
your brand,”David Sifry, founder
Idea 1: Using Flickr.com
Memories come alive in photos
• The Star and Federal Hotel KL organises “1957
Photo Album” project in June 2007.
• Readers submit old photos with creative captions.
• Received close to 150 photographs.
• Held for over 12 weeks.
• The photo album was available for viewing at the
hotel and online at Flickr at visiting
Idea 2: Reaching out to fans
Idea 3: Adopt-A-Pilot
Idea 4: Southwest Airlines viral video
1. US airlines Southwest asked people to post a 20-
second clip of something embarrassing or
humiliating happening to them, with the winning
video to be used in Southwest's official "Wanna
Get Away" campaign.
2. Contestants signed up and posted video at
3. Winning videos and honourable mentions were
Idea 5: Doritos chips contest
• Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest
encouraged wanna directors to produce an
ad that would be aired during Super Bowl
• More than 1,000 submissions were
uploaded to Yahoo! Video and Jumpcut,
and voted on by consumers at
• Two winners were aired: ‘Live The Flavor’
and ‘Check Out Girl’.
Dale Backus, 21, and
Wes Phillips, 22, shot
the 30-second spot,
featuring Dale’s wife
Cori, with borrowed
equipment, a skateboard
and total expenditure of 12 dollars. They were
awarded a prize of $10,000 and a trip to the Super
Bowl in Miami, where the winning entry was
announced and aired during the game for est.
Production cost: US$12