I saw an interesting mobile marketing case study this evening at CaseCamp in Toronto.
Brady Murphy of Vortex Mobile and Lisa Rowe of Armstrong presented their “Mobile Marketing for Levi's @ Virgin Fest Toronto” case study.
Here’s a summary:
Levi's wanted to re-capture market share from competitors like Parasuco, Seven and other emerging brands that have attracted their elusive 17-24 year old target.
Implement a grassroots campaign appealing to their target's inherent desire for 15 minutes of fame. The idea was similar to American/Canadian Idol in that people were able to vote for the next Levi's model.
The Virgin Fest was selected as an appropriate venue as it delivered the right audience.
Scouts were sent out to search for trend setting candidates to enter the contest to be the next Levi's model. A tent was set up at the event with all makes of Levi's jeans. Selected candidates were fitted with the best pair of jeans for their body type, photographed and then given a unique voting ID.
The unique voting ID is a simple application that is increasingly being used for various purposes (polling opinions at conferences being one of them).
So, the candidates were given their unique codes plus instructions on how their friends could vote for them by text messaging their short code. And so it began…
One of the elements that made the voting a success said Murphy, was “the ballot counter”. As friends would text vote, they were instantly given latest statistics on their friends’ votes. Murphy went on to explain that this created a major lift in voting activity. "It made the promotion believable" claimed Murphy.
Another interesting feature of this campaign was the use of MMS to download the Levis pictures of the candidates directly to the phones. Once downloaded, friends could forward the picture to other phones or emails. The viral component of the campaign was tremendously enhanced through this.
The third factor that made this campaign a success was the use of social networking by the candidates to gain votes. 25 groups were created on Facebook and MySpace involving 3,500 members and 2,000 wall posts.
Finally, there was an "instant win" feature implemented. Gift certificates were awarded instantly to voters who called at particular points of the campaign. The tenth voter might have received an instant SMS response saying “congratulations, you won a $100.00 gift certificate”.
Due to the rich elements incorporated into this campaign, the activity outlived the duration of the contest. 57% of unique votes occurred after the event was finished.
Campaign Results – 11 days of activation
• 314 models recruited
• 22,000 sms votes generated
• 1,000+ MMS downloads
• Forwarded messages (not calculated)
"The number of SMSs generated through this year’s campaign outperformed 2006 by 106% and their inaugural event in 2005 by 800%" said Murphy.
This case study is one of many that show the potential implementations of mobile marketing to teens.
I was impressed by the way in which this campaign truly spoke to the market using the right environment (Virgin Fest), the right messaging (find your fit and be famous), the right platform (text vs. email) and the freedom to use tools outside of the campaigns’ parameters (social networking sites).