- The Advance Guard was engaged by Campfire & Verizon FiOS to design social media activities for My Home 2.0
- A comprehensive strategy covered both broad, national buzz and precision-targeted local initiatives
- Components included viral video, influencer outreach, social networks and local meetups
- The award-winning program saw excellent metrics, and favorable ROI compared to more traditional methods
2008 will be seen as the year Social Media hit the national headlines. With the growth of social networks and messaging applications such as Facebook and Twitter, the world seem to shrink a little more, enabling conversation between a global community through a new form of online connectivity.
At the same time , Verizon FiOS embarked on a marketing program that would test whether social media strategies could prove equaly effective at the other end of the spectrum - connecting fans, early adopters and potential customers of their services not only nationally, but also at a regional and local level.
My Home 2.0 is an ambitious marketing campaign created by Campfire that combines a TV program, local events and website to demonstrate the transformational effect that FiOS high speed network can have. Local families are “auditioned”, and a few are selected to receive a technology home makeover. A team of Techno-Gurus then get to work, transforming their home, and revealing the results at a local block party where the whole community is invited. Along the way, they demonstrate that technology - specifically high speed internet and TV services - are a means to end that can help reconnect families and enable them to lead richer lives.
Engaged to help plan and execute those parts of the campaign that connected with early adopters & influencers across social media and online networks, The Advance Guard realized that there was an opportunity to create campaign hooks that achieved three aims:
- Create national-level conversation that generated buzz across top blogs, websites and amongst influencers & authoritative voices
- Supplement regional penetration of the program with geo-targeted and niche interest social media initiatives
- Create opportunities for local bloggers and the community to get involved on a personal basis, either via social networks or actually on-site at the family’s home location.
To begin seeding the national story, a series of DIY videos featuring the Techno-Gurus were created. These segments were designed to form short, self-contained (and potentially viral) introductions to the TV show, while each targeting a specific niche audience, including music lovers, sports fans, parents, and kids.
One highlight was a DIY project that showed how to take an old animatronic teddy bear, and connect it with the online microblogging service, Twitter.
In a program that included viral videos, an ebay auction for charity, a live uStream video show and an interactive video feed, Twittering Teddy gained national prominence, featured on Gizmodo, Engadget, and BoingBoing, raising the interest of influencers such as Chris Pirillo, and provoking hundreds of Twitter comments.
At the same time a series of Blogads - and social media ads on Facebook - targeted potential FiOS subscribers by niche interest or region. Those who found FiOS on Facebook has the opportunity to join the My Home 2.0 Group to get updates on the latest build, and to accept an invitation to the local block party to see “the big reveal”.
On set activity was supplemented with a visit by Cali Lewis, the star of top technology podcast GeekBrief.TV. She visited the to the “lair” where many props and ideas for the show were made, and created several segments for her show.
And as the block parties grew nearer, local bloggers and podcasters in the Philadelphia were invited along, provided with Flip Cameras to record the event, and offered the use of a specially-provisioned “bloggers tent”, fully equipped with FiOS high speed connection.
A success both quantitatively and qualitatively, conversions gained across the entire program provided a cost per acquisition than rivaled direct response methods, while providing national coverage of the Verizon FiOS technology as it begins to roll out from state-to-state. The TV show averaged 100,000 households per episode, the block parties attracted a total of 6,000 guests, the Web site counted about 500,000 visitors and a 4.75 percent click-through rate to verizon.com, and the video series registered 100,000 online views and more than 200 blog entries.
What’s more, the program was to go on to win awards that recognized the work put in by the team - including one in the Best Social Marketing category at the 2008 Mixx Awards, and also a Buzz Award for Best Integrated Campaign.
“The lesson of all this” says Beth Mulhern, Verizon’s director of Go to Market for the Mid-Atlantic region, “is, do not be deceived and think that social media is all about widgets — and do not think it is about putting TV commercials online or running banners on networking sites.”
“In the end, social media shouldn’t rely on ‘hand me downs.’ You can’t create mass media or direct- response executions and shoehorn them into social-media spaces and expect success. Start with your vision, your target audience, your product and your partners — determine what people are saying vs. what you want them to say. And then build an experience across all tactics, leveraging your existing tactics, and deliver to the sweet spot.”
Twittering Teddy couldn’t agree more.