Monday, March 9, 2009

Doritos Social Media Case Study - Positive "Brand Hi-Jacking"

Continuing with my notes on last week's IAB Canada’s MIXX Canada Conference which attracted 550 online media marketers here in Toronto, I was so impressed by the magic of a brand "hi-jacking" case study that was presented that I had to share it here.

Fernando Barbella, Interactive Creative Director from BBDO Argentina gave a great presentation on a social media case study for the PepsiCo. brand Doritos. His presentation showed how the brand’s message resonated so completely with its target that it created its own movement.

The Strategy

After 2 years in the Argentinean market, Doritos had built “street cred” with young people - the brand had already been accepted. By 2008, BBDO developed a strategy that would stimulate interactivity and “advocate a truth and a necessity for the target audience”. According to Barbella’s team research, at that young millennial age, men and women are preoccupied with love, and relationships. Doritos’ research revealed a couple of key barriers to individuals connecting with one another:

– At the pubs and discos only techno/electronic music is played (it’s too loud and couples dance separately.
– Flirting and approaching somebody has become a bit difficult at a house party. Shyness and fear of ridicule play an important role.

So, in light of these challenges, Doritos took on the defense of the target audience with a proposal for solving the dilemma. The crusade was entitled “Bring Slow Dancing Back”.

The campaign launched with 5 TV ads. All of them focused on specific benefits of slow dancing. All of them were funny.

Following is a taste of one of the commercials:

Once the crusade was out via TV, they began to expand to other media: billboards, radio, guerrilla and actions at discos, etc. Consistent with the TV ads, each piece told of one benefit of slow dancing.

The Goal

The purpose of the campaign was to gather signatures at (bring back slow dancing) which is now directed to a MySpace page. The petition effort was to lobby the discos in these markets and show the legitimacy of the cause.

The “Hi-Jacking” and Result

Three weeks after the campaign launched, a movement started on the Internet. Two friends decided to throw a party (mob) to celebrate the return of slow dancing.

This is where we would start to classify the project as a “Brand Hi-Jacking”. The idea had been seeded and the target nurtured and grew it to something much larger.

The idea was simply to get gather around the biggest disco ball in Buenos Aires (the Planetarium) to slow dance. Consumers themselves were in charge of the organization and music. News of the event spread through e-mail, Facebook, Hi5, MySpace, Sonico, Twitter, Muxtape, Mixaloo, blogs, messenger, SMS, etc.

The result confirmed that the crusade launched by Doritos was something that people wanted; it was latent in the target audience. On Thursday, March 13, 4000+ people got together to slow dance at the Planetarium, and did so for an hour.

Here are the results:

Social Media Generated:
  • 33 Facebook Groups
  • 20,000 members
  • 240 blogs
  • 200,000 views on YouTube
  • Top TV and radio channels attended the event and reported on prime time news, which generated news coverage in the major national newspapers the day after the event.
$600,000 US in media impact from the “Hi-Jacking”.

Actual Goal Achieved:

Respecting the client's wishes, I've removed the actual sales lift numbers from this post. Suffice to say, the numbers were quite positive across all categories. There were surprising results in increased awareness top of mind positioning.

This crusade was clearly a success. The 2009 crusade is “Make it to the second date”...(by following Doritos advice).

As a testament to the power of subtlety in brand marketing, here’s my favourite line out of the presentation:

“Doritos could have done an advertising campaign to sell their product. Instead, they are wasting money to help me. That´s cool.” Rulo (25), Buenos Aires

It was truly a pleasure to discuss this with Fernando after the event. There are some fascinating things going on in South America, particularly in the Social Media space. I’ll be looking out for similar results generated by Fernando and the innovative team at BBDO Argentina.


skripper said...

Great case study! Really interesting results - and proof that CPG folks need to be comfortable with loosening the control around their brand.

Lauren Rosenblum said...

Excellent summary! I really enjoyed Mr. Barbella's presentation as well. I added a link to your blog in my recent post on MIXX Canada:

Sonia Carreno said...

@Skripper - It's true - the loosening up is a big factor here. It's not an easy step and the intangible value of the social spin is still hard to estimate and bank on. I guess if the message resonates, there's nothing to hide.

@Lauren - Thanks for reading, I thought it was such a valuable case study!

Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


henrylow said...

Having been a part of the Online Universal Work Marketing team for 4 months now, I’m thankful for my fellow team members who have patiently shown me the ropes along the way and made me feel welcome

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