I must say, when a client tells me that they want to create a viral campaign, my first reaction is to cringe. Viral marketing is an incredibly risky proposition, and for every hit there tends to be 99 misses. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good viral campaign when I see it, especially when it's produced locally. So when Arthur Koulianos sent me the MyCarBudget case study I thought it was definitely worth featuring. What I like about the campaign is the fact that they've created an entertaining piece of branded content that has accrued over 125,000 views for what is essentially a boring product. First, take a look at the video, and then check out Arthur's commentary on how they went about creating the campaign…
MyCarBudget is a product launched by FleetPartners earlier this year. It is essentially an employee benefit that we market to medium to large employers that can then be offered to their staff/employees. It provides an easy way to budget for the cost of your car expenses as well as access great savings on fuel, roadside assistance, servicing and tyres.
The sale process with these types of programs initially happens at the employer level (HR) and once approved, the bigger task of marketing to employees begins. The challenge with marketing within an employer environment is getting cut through. Whilst it might seem that you have a captive audience, in fact having employees read an email or a poster/flyer or even attend a presentation is quite difficult. If you think about the amount of material and information that passes your desk or work area in a given day it can be significant. In a white collar environment, the emails, paper and screens that you see all day mean most things just blend in. In a blue collar environment access to communication is really limited to breaks (tea and lunch).
Therefore our challenge was to develop something that could get cut through. We wanted it to be digital so that it could be viewed at work or at home. It didn't need to talk about the product but it needed to have a vehicle flavour to it. We also wanted it to generate discussion within the workplace, so that once the other material came around (email, posters, flyers and invites to a presentation) employees were more likely to read it. Finally we wanted it to have the potential to go viral.
We used a company called Snapper Screen Productions to create the video for us. They presented a few concepts and this is the one that looked to have the biggest impact. It was shot in Melbourne (near Queen Victoria Market). Within a day of the shooting, one of the extras had posted excerpts on YouTube "Day in the Life of an Extra". On seeing this we thought why not have it go viral.
The idea with going viral is really about generating leads and building some brand awareness. We started with distributing it to staff (our staff) and allowing them to have YouTube access for two weeks so that they could view it and send it on. We posted it via our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We also sent it to as many online vehicle magazines as we could find (all over the English speaking world).
The biggest impact came when we employed Rippling Media to help us. The video has been posted on several video sites and through the various video syndication networks that they are connected with.
The challenge now is to focus on local Australian viewing, as this is where any relevant leads will come from. Developing a "non corporate" video is a first for FleetPartners. Wanting it to go viral also raised a few eyebrows. Personally I think video can be very powerful in explaining complex stories and I hope our work can be used with other products that are offered.
We do have plans for a part 2…