Having to complete my MSc Marketing dissertation combined with striving for perfection has unfortunately meant I have had no time left for blogging during the past few months. However, my hard work has paid off and I am very pleased with my achievements, the result and all the valuable knowledge I have gained. In my dissertation research I came across a variety of viral marketing cases and I would like to discuss some of them further here and in my next posts.
Mary Woodbridge – Mammut Sports Group AG
The Swiss brand for technical outwear Mammut has had some impressive global headlines back in 2005/2006 with their campaign called “Mary Woodbridge”. The campaign was made by the Swiss marketing agency Spillmann / Felser / Leo Burnett who came up with the story of Mary Woodbridge in December 2005. The campaign featured an 85-year old lady from Greenfield, UK, who planned an expedition to mount Mount Everest with her dachshund after having bought a Mammut winter jacket of such superior quality that unexpectedly, the elderly lady felt empowered to master any challenge. They created an interactive webpage showing her expedition training, introducing her dog and expedition partner “Daisy”, training sessions, a guestbook and movies (see here). As well as her age Mary’s story hits controversy as she planed to use a direct route from the base camp to the top, rather than using the suggested route offering four additional intermediate camps to rest. In addition, she wanted to dispense with the use of Sherpas as well as the use of an oxygen mask, as there are no such masks for her dog Daisy.
Having created a very insightful webpage, which seems to show that Mary Woodbridge had thought through everything and was more or less ready to go the only missing point seemed to be funding. In order to cover the financial side of her plans, “she” contacted major mountain equipment companies, international media, climbing magazines to request sponsorship for her and Daisy’s trip. A number of ads are placed in mountaineering magazines and internet forums were consulted for useful tips and advice. A great way to create buzz within the climbing and mountaineering scene and the social networking space. Quickly climbers, alpinists and bloggers discovered Mary, her story and webpage and soon after she hit the headlines. Once the story took off, media coverage and online discussions on forums, discussion boards and social networking sites were mounting. Globally, 250 newspapers, magazines and TV broadcasts reported about Mary, wishing her the best of luck for her undertaking. For some examples please see the list below:
- Mounteverest Net (English)
- Alpine (German)
- Czechclimbing (Czech)
- DNA India (Indian in English)
- Het Niewsblad (Belgian)
- Informativos (Spanish)
Once the buzz reached it’s peak the story was revealed by Mammut stepping out of the dark with the slogan:
“Equipment this good can cause a loss of common sense”.
Initially, clips like the one above were shown without Mammut’s branding at the end. Bringing Mary Woodbridge to life was the start of Mammut’s new marketing communications strategy that intended to promote their core value of mountaineering safety of best Swiss quality. Their intention was to remind sportsmen that the ever improving Mammut gear offering increased safety, does not justify unnecessary risk-taking. Follow up advertisements of Mammut built on the Mary Woodbridge story and the above introduced slogan, please see below.
Moreover, point of sale and magazine advertisements were supporting the Woodbridge campain, which helpet to increase the buzz as well as to promote the campaign’s message (if you want to download Mammut’s promotional brochure with Mary’s story please click here). Another case, showing that the combination of online and offline marketing efforts has a positive outcome on a campaign’s objectives.
The publicity campaign was a huge success in terms of awareness creation and international brand disclosure and was also awarded with numerous awards such as the Swiss advertising film award (EDI Award), the Swiss Marketing Trophy, the Crossmedia Award, the Epica Award, the ADC in Switzerland, ADC bronze in Germany and silver at the New York Festival.
Leaves – Zimtstern GmbH
Staying within the area of Swiss technical outwear, I came across a clip by Zimtstern, a Swiss snowboard and street clothing brand. The clip was directed by Marco Lutz, a Swiss film director, who has been responsible for a variety of memorable cult snowboard movies, which have been a worldwide success and produced by Stefan Bircher. Matching to this winter’s collection by Zimtstern, which is following the theme of “wildlife” the idea around “leaves” came to life. Hence, the viewer is surprised with classy snowboarding on a nice sunny day in fall, on leaves and as fas as the eye can see – no sign of snow!
From a viral marketing perspective, a viral video requires certain key characteristics in order to appeal to a wide audience. In my research about “The Strategic Use of Viral Marketing amongst Social Networks” I identified the following key content criteria: entertaining, compelling, creative, relevant to target audience, adding value to viewer, share worthy, engaging, simple, interesting, honest, shocking/surprising, short, unique and new. Watching the leaves spot I am very keen to say: this spot, if seeded successfully, has got all the potential to become a huge viral success within the snow sports industry and reward Zimtstern in terms of an increased brand awareness. It has only been two months and the clip has already received considerable coverage from bloggers, forums, magazines, social networking sites and is placed on several video sharing sites. Additionally, the clip is free to download on www.zimtstern.com, which supports the ease of viral spread.
And because it has been so nice, please see below the making of the spot “leaves” by junior film maker Pierre Castillo Bernad.