That may prove a basic tenet of marketing, which even plumbing supply companies follow when they put out their yearly calendars: Whether it's a sink drain, a car or a shaver, put a beautiful woman next to it and the guys will pay attention. Especially if it's a shaver.
MediaVest's effort for Gillette's Fusion Power Phenom device was a user-generated-content program that let visitors to SI.com's swimsuit issue site create a "mashup" of video footage of four models who appeared in the issue.
The Swimsuit Video Mashup campaign, developed by MediaVest with an assist from New York-based digital studio Second Thought, garnered 650,000 page views.
Doug Brodman, digital manager of MediaVest, said Gillette--which has been a key partner of SI for several years--came to MediaVest with ideas for Fusion with the SI digital. "The date of launch was the same date as the swimsuit issue release, so the timing was perfect."
The challenge was how to make the mashup compelling. Jason Temming, associate director of Starcom MediaVest, said bringing in a younger male consumer "presents obvious challenges. We needed to invite them in a compelling way."
Stacey Vollman, general manager at SI.com, said there was a lot of potential for the kinds of user-generated content with which Gillette would not want to be associated.
"We controlled the original content," said Vollman, "but let users create their content, through in-house design teams that developed the interface." She said SI.com also monitored language so profanity wouldn't get uploaded along with video mashups--since users could create their own titles as well, "which helped Gillette feel comfortable."
Users could insert original music, and do fade-in/fade-outs and creative overlays, per Vollman, who added that there also was a viral component. She said the effort garnered up to 100,000 viewer-ratings of the videos. Also, 4,400 videos were created during the six-week window around the swimsuit issue, with another 1,500 created since. Also, per Vollman, consumers have spent an average of 19 minutes in front of the smashup window.
The effort included a Facebook application--which had a 60% higher-than-normal adoption rate than average for Facebook. "It stood out," Brodman said.
Temming said the effort for Facebook was also timed well, because it hit before Facebook installed a new policy that moved downloaded apps to a new page.
The effort also got play in the hard-copy swimsuit issue, per Vollman. Sports Illustrated also promoted the mashup and Gillette (as premiere sponsor of the issue) during its February media tour.
"There are 47 million men who read the issue--who go to the Web site, and 21 million men 18-34 are among those consuming that content."
Brodman said the effort included a college tour to 10 campuses, giving out some 10,000 Fusion Razors. "It got the product into the hands of consumers to turn them into brand loyalists. We hit the 18-24 target demo," he said, adding that the company will do it again this year.
Temming said the effort was way above average for user-generated content. "We got 44 times the average number of branded UGC for You Tube."