With the Olympics just around the corner, brand marketers will be looking for ways to leverage their marketing for the Games and to boost their ad buys with social components, as brands increasingly integrate social video into larger broadcast campaigns.
There is evidence that such event-based brand marketing can get an extra boost from social elements. Social video platform Sharethrough shared some data on a campaign that it ran for JCPenney around the recent Oscars, and the results offer insight into how brands can link TV ads with viral video and social media. The marketer’s goal was to boost awareness of its TV spots featuring Ellen DeGeneres that ran during the broadcast of the awards. To do that, the agency SS+K rolled out a pre-show teaser spot, then four commercials during the telecast. Sharethrough then timed the distribution of each spot online to follow its TV airing and also pushed them out on a new JCPenney/Ellen Web experience that included sharing buttons for the videos. The social spread came as JCPenney and DeGeneres talked up the spots via Twitter and Facebook. JCPenney then added some paid media with Twitter-promoted ad units.
"We had two great assets: a compelling series of spots starring Ellen and Ellen’s enormous Twitter fan base,” said John Swartz, senior VP and director of content and creative operations at SS+K, a marketing and communications agency, in an email interview. “We simply connected the two through social content experiences like Sharethrough's distribution and sharing platform, tagging all channels with #jcpEllen and let the natural conversations build on each other. This generated far greater views and deeper engagement overall."
To be sure, Ellen is a major star and can generate buzz for nearly anything she does, but this campaign also demonstrates the value of a systematic approach -- and it’s one that many brands will likely implement during the Olympics. The JCPenney/Ellen spots have generated nearly 1.6 million total views on YouTube and have been discussed or shared over 25,000 times on Facebook and Twitter, Sharethrough said. The company added that exposure to Sharethrough video units increased positive brand lift by 23% and achieved 30% higher recall than industry norms for the retail/shopping category, according to its research.
Of course, not all videos need to be big to be effective for their market. Video production shop PookyMedia created a virtual world animated video as part of a PSA for some Los Angeles school districts to educate kids on what to do if they encounter a tiger mosquito. It’s a cool example of how video is used in so many different ways today.