Ever find yourself viewing pictures on Pinterest and realize you’re in something of a trance-like state, zoning out while you scroll? It happens more often than you think.
UNIQLO and Firstborn came up with a campaign that simultaneously promoted a product, something not typically seen on Pinterest, and rustled users from their viewing rut.
UNIQLO promoted its dry mesh t-shirts by creating a branded mosaic from smaller blocks of images that mesh together and form a large mosaic.
Mosaics appeared in the feed of five Pinterest categories: Men's Apparel, Women's Apparel, Geek, Fitness and Sports. Any visitor to Pinterest could see the mosaic, regardless of whether or not they follow UNIQLO.
There was no paid media used, so how were the UNIQLO-branded mosaics created? One hundred “shell” Pinterest accounts were made and subsequently changed to UNIQLO-branded accounts.
“Any user can change their account name, ID, password and profile image at any time as part of Pinterest's current functionality,” said Dave Snyder, creative director at Firstborn. “Everything we did was in accordance with Pinterest's system—we just gamed it a bit.”
For the images to appear together, each shell account had to be verified as a branded UNIQLO account and multiple pinners had to post images at the same time. That equated to approximately one dozen Firstborn employees working side-by-side to launch the pins.
Each pinned image was clickable and brought users to UNIQLO’s site for more information on dry mesh t-shirts. International users could go a step further and purchase from the link.
Synder said the campaign concept came to him when he was “observing people browsing Pinterest at work. Pinterest turns people into scrolling zombies. That insight provided us with a pretty cool opportunity—to wake users from their scrolling slumber.”
The agency’s biggest challenge was determining how, and if, the pinned images would appear online at the same time.
“We also tested long pins (super tall jpgs) to learn just how far we could push the platform,” said Snyder. “By making our pins tall we were able to ‘own’ a certain section of the scrollable real estate on Pinterest.”