Having a Partay

Having a PartayWho needs Google? Not search-marketing agency Outrider. It faced a challenge: Market products for Diageo's Smirnoff Progressive Adult Beverages using a comprehensive strategy, but do it without Google, which doesn't accept alcohol advertising.

Playing off the success of Smirnoff PAB's "Tea Partay" viral videos, the St. Louis-based firm and sister agency Beyond Interaction, Diageo's digital agency, created a search strategy for Smirnoff Ice and Smirnoff Raw Tea that recently took top honors at Yahoo's third annual Searchlight Awards, where the audience voted à la American Idol.

Outrider CEO Chris Copeland credits the campaign's success - the first search-engine marketing effort for Smirnoff PAB - to its innovative approach, which often drove visitors to properties other than those owned by Diageo in order to reach the target audience of 21- to 29-year-olds looking for fun summertime drinks.

Smirnoff PAB already had a runaway hit in its first video for Smirnoff Raw Tea, featuring preppy rappers, and part of the campaign involved launching a sequel on YouTube and driving traffic to Banner ads were supported by search around the video that went beyond the obvious, including such terms as "finger sandwiches," "hip hop music," "summer drink ideas" and (boldly) "hilarious video."

Paid search also took advantage of interstitial roadblocks on set up by Beyond Interaction. When Smirnoff Raw Tea had 100 percent share of voice on Citysearch, Outrider drove visitors there instead of the official site, buying terms around the Fourth of July and Atlanta, which added 1.6 million impressions.

The strategy paid off, with more than 14.9 million impressions for both brands over four months. The terms had huge click-through rates, notably "finger sandwiches" at 9.53 percent. And within the first month, more than 15,500 visitors went to the YouTube page with the launch of the Tea Partay sequel video, which, after being shared on social networking sites, has been viewed more than 5 million times.

Next story loading loading..