Posts Tagged ‘engagement’

By Ben Lies, MBA Class of 2012

Last year, K-Swiss introduced a new advertising campaign that is, well, unorthodox to say the least. The shoe company has completely distanced itself from political correctness and a focus on spokesperson “role models.” Instead, the company enlisted the egocentric, foul-mouthed, bad boy, fictional character and star of the HBO series Eastbound and Down, Kenny Powers (played by Danny Mcbride) to be the face of the campaign and of K Swiss shoes.

In the debut of this campaign, the crude yet magnetic Kenny Powers was simply a spokesperson appearing alongside real K-Swiss Athletes to promote the brand. The brashness of this campaign is overwhelmingly evident right from the start. In the first video, Powers is in a meeting with K-Swiss Executives complaining about an underwhelming encounter he had with a transgendered prostitute. Although some may consider this campaign to be distasteful and crude, the success it experienced speaks for itself. Some of the campaign’s stats are listed below:

  • The videos have received millions of views online, including one million on FunnyorDie alone
  • Resulted in a 1256% increase in Facebook fans
  • Landed K-Swiss atop the “biggest buzz” list in the industry trade Footwear News
  • K-Swiss reported a 250% increase in online sales after the campaign was launched

Because of the campaigns success, Fastcocreate and countless other marketing blog outlets have covered the story.

The incredible success of the debut campaign spawned a second campaign that is just as raunchy as the first, but instead of just a spokesperson Kenny Powers is now portrayed as the MFCEO. For those of you who may not be familiar with the famed Kenny Powers take a look at the video and you will become quickly aware of what the MF stands for.

This video instantly went viral. According to Viral Blog, the spot experienced 500,000 views in its first 10 days. The real genius behind this campaign is not only the viral video, but the fact that it is a completely integrated campaign featuring clips, print, a microsite, billboards, social media, mobile, and events. (see campaign creative agency 72andSunny for details and examples).

The website, social media, and mobile advertising are built to engage customers, and not just merely expose them to the ads. The platforms feature soundboards, ringtones, videos, sweepstakes, and of course instant ability to purchase the shoes online. Apart from being a fully integrated campaign, it also was used as a three way co-branding vehicle to promote not only K-Swiss but also Eastbound and Down and Danny Mcbride – an up and coming actor who started his own production company, Rough House Pictures.

These two online campaigns featuring Kenny Powers have been so overwhelmingly successful that, according to sharethrough.com, K-Swiss is launching a third campaign to coincide with the third and final season of Eastbound and Down. I guess all we can do is sit back and wait to see what kind of antics the MFCEO of K-Swiss embarks on next.

Questions for Discussion

Interactive customer engagement is becoming more and more important as our web browsers, and lives, get filled with an increasing amount of clutter and distractions. Do you think that the amount of customer engagement this campaign offers is enough? Do you think they could do more? if so what?

As branding goes K-Swiss may be taking a risk using a spokesperson like Kenny Powers. How do you think this campaign will affect the brand’s image in the eyes of its customers? Will it be positive or negative in the long term? Do you feel this may be a re-branding attempt? Why?

This campaign has attempted to utilize mobile platforms to reach its customers. Do you think that mobile advertising is appropriate for this type of campaign? Because it is a primarily video-based campaign, do you think mobile use will create frustration amongst the audience?  Is there a platform that would be more appropriate? why? (Visit 72andsunny for an example of the mobile platform advertising)

By Lindsey Dietz, MBA Class of 2012

SMW is an emerging trade show in its third year that takes place in 21 cities across the globe. The purpose is to discuss and share emerging trends in the ever-changing landscape of social media. The discussion spans across diverse industries, technology platforms, cultural and geographical areas.  This year, the overarching topic is the global impact of social media and how it drives social, political, economic and even cultural change. SMW is owned and operated by a New York based strategy firm called Crowdcentric Media LLC.

Social Media Week

Nicky Yates of Crowdcentric Media wrote the introductory post to kick off SMW12. The post – which can be found on the global blog alongside daily updates from SMW12 – informs interested readers on ways they can follow and engage in the discussions taking place at SMW12. Attendees and fans can engage in the following “social” activities, to provide and receive real-time updates during the event.

  1. SMW RealTime: A data aggregation dashboard that gives up to date tracking and trending information regarding the show.
  2. Twitter: Individuals interested in the show can follow and interact on Twitter. To make it a little more interesting, each SMW host city has its own twitter handle. They are competing for attention and engagement. You can get involved!
  3. Social Media Week Live: Live streams of the content being offered at the shows from different cities.
  4. Social Media Week Blogs: There is the global blog located on the main SMW website and city specific blogs written by college students and editorial staff.
  5. SMW Mobile App: The app is available in six languages and makes it easier to engage while on the move.

Social media are tools for customer engagement. In our e-marketing class we drilled down to define engagement and how it differs from conversion. Engagement uses interactions and relationships, which are qualitative, pull strategies. Social Media Week is all about engagement and metrics. Crowdcentric Media is focused on engagement for SMW12, and is likely measuring successes based on the level of engagement created.

What metrics are they likely using to measure engagement?

Which of the five following activities described in the blog are engagement tactics? Why do you think so?

Based on the dashboard information provided with SMW Real Time do you think they are successful at generating engagement?

One of the videos created for SMW12 is “Future Hipsters.” This is a funny video depicting a group of social media gurus in 2062 reminiscing about the good old days. Check it out for a laugh: