The other day, while sharing some examples of digital media usage, I shared the Blendtec case study with my friends in the office. For those who had not seen it before, it was a jaw-dropping experience. They saw the power of viral marketing at its best.
Here was an unknown manufacturer of blenders. The marketing head saw the endurance tests that the blenders were put into in the company’s lab. In the old-world marketing scenario it would have perhaps led to the traditional advertising campaign on ‘tough blenders’. They would have spent millions on film production, airing and hoped like hell that it boosted sales. Instead, they spent US$ 50 (yes!) in buying a labcoat and creating a video. The video which showcased the toughness of the blender and featured the CEO, Tom Dickson. The masterstroke was in calling the series ‘Will it blend?’ and going on to blend the most unlikeliest of objects in it: plastic toys, an iPhone, golf balls, marbles, the iPod and so on. The first videos went on the company’s website on Nov 2, and after only 1 day the site had received 23,000 hits. After being released on YouTube the videos exploded, with their version of a ‘golf ball smoothie’ receiving over 1.7 million views.
Not only has brand awareness jumped, it has boosted their sales. Reports say that the YouTube videos helped the company boost its sales by 5 times. Another source of revenue for them is ad sharing through Revver. Imagine the power of viral marketing, given the investments!
What worked? They kept the idea simple – blend anything. They tied it to the product benefit (their site offer regular recipes like shakes apart from the bizarre ones like Chuck Norris!). They encouraged consumer feedback through requests on what they want to see blend. They made it entertaining. Overall, a great inspiration for what’s possible in new media.