Every brand would love their campaign to go viral - but that’s notoriously difficult to achieve. The creatives that strive to make viral hits are akin to alchemists. The benefits are obvious, the potential to create millions of earned impressions for the brand. It’s therefore imperative that when you do have a potential viral hit on your hands you have a social strategy in place to give it the best possible chance of reaching the hallowed ground of viral success.
On Friday Three UK launched a new campaign that clearly got the creative part of the process spot on. It stars a moonwalking pony dancing to Fleetwood Mac, lots of boxes ticked there!
But as well as nailing the creative they also had the three key ingredients for a textbook social strategy in place:
At the end of the spot they had the hashtag #DancePonyDance positioned prominently in the centre of the screen. Without this the ad might have a generated a decent number of tweets but lots of different hashtags would have been used, if used at all, and they would have lost the ownership of the social conversation.
The next thing they did right was to buy promoted tweets for the #DancePonyDance hashtag. This meant that anyone clicking on the hashtag would see the brand at the top of the timeline or if they had tweeted the hashtag they might have seen it in their own timeline.
Most importantly the tweet contained an embedded youtube video. This both allows the viewer to view the spot again and to easily share the video among their friends simply by retweeting the promoted tweet.
At the time of writing the video had been viewed well over a million times despite the campaign only starting on Friday. In 5 hours of Friday night primetime the campaign generated almost 14k tweets. The biggest peak came during the first airing during Coronation St which had an audience of 8.5 million. This spot generated 2.4k tweets in the 10 minutes after airing. The second biggest peak came in Alan Carr’s Chatty Man, which has a much larger social audience.This generated 2.1k tweets in the first 10 minutes after airing despite the series only averaging under 2 million viewers. This shows that placing spots in shows with large social audiences is much more efficient for generating online buzz for a campaign.
A few months ago we wrote a post about another great piece of creative that targeted the highly social Made in Chelsea audience.
This had many of the ingredients to go viral, but without an integrated strategy in place the campaign didn’t capitalise on the strong Twitter reaction it gained. They didn’t use any on screen hash tags to own the conversation and they didn’t make the content easy to share by buying promoted tweets with embedded videos of the spot.
The end result is that despite generating thousands of tweets from the first couple of screenings alone there was no long tail to the engagement as too much was required of the viewer to share the content. To date the video has only got just over 9,000 views on youtube.
By Ted Littledale