For its "Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees" campaign, the ice cream maker's agency of record Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners created a video showing costumed bees performing a unique bee dance set to hip-hop music, only to then slowly disappear from view.
Then, Los Angeles-based marketing shop Feed Company was brought in to formulate and execute the "seeding" strategy for the video online. "Seeding," which is Feed Company's specialty, is a less hackneyed term for "viral marketing," but essentially means the same thing.
The Honey Bee cause campaign incorporated a number of mediums, from traditional television ads and "Plant this page, Save a bee" flower-seed print ads to a microsite and philanthropic sponsorships. Feed Company was tasked with introducing the video to a large online youth-based community that actively shares video content and champion social causes on top social networks, video sites and blogs.
"Youth online have a lot of socio-political energy and word-of-mouth impact," said Christine Chen, associate media director for San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. "So we really needed to get the video to key social locations on the web where it couldn't be overlooked. Feed Company understood this and delivered the expected reach and engagement."
In two weeks, "Bee-Boy Dance Crew" was viewed over 2 million times online. In addition, it received more than 3,500 comments on YouTube and was "buzzed about" on more than 130 sites and blogs and over 11,000 forum discussion sessions. The video continues to receive a four-and-a-half star rating on YouTube.
According to Feed Company president and founder Josh Warner, the company typically charged between $60,000 and $75,000 for a campaign of this scale. "Häagen-Dazs definitely got their money's worth," Warner said.
Founded in early 2007, Feed Company quickly established a name for itself when it helped Ray-Ban spread a video of a guy catching sunglasses on his face to the tune of over 13 million views.
To achieve such impressive numbers, Feed Company employs word of mouth, social media and public relations to build up online views for brands and their videos. The company optimizes viral videos for search engines, and buzzes about the videos with influential bloggers, editors, and social networking sites. Other clients include Microsoft Zune, Intel, Disney, and Deutsch/LA.
"How do you take your product into different online environments? Do you do user-generated content or something more professional? How do your other marketing efforts intersect with these efforts? What brand themes are you bringing to this new audience? Do you reveal who you are, and if so, how? These are just some of the questions a marketer has to answer when considering seeding video online," Warner said.