Campaign Trail is our look at some of the best and worst new creative efforts from the marketing world.
This week, Marketing Dive's editors take a look at some fun approaches to user-generated content from Maroon 5 and Febreze and a sweet use of Facebook's augmented reality camera from fan-favorite ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's.
Maroon 5 taps UGC to turn fans into evangelists
The rundown: In advance of today's release of Maroon 5's latest album, "Red Pill Blues," the band launched a user-generated content strategy for its fans in February enabling them to make a guest appearance in the video for its single "Cold" and appear on a digital mockup of the album cover. Key to the strategy, which was developed in partnership with Vivoom, was making it easy for fans to create and share content directly from within its existing digital platforms. Using their smartphones, fans could click a link, record a video and publish original content with branded, custom filters.
The results: By targeting the band's fan base on its existing digital platforms and giving them a way to create fun, authentic content they could share, Maroon 5 was betting this would get them in front of a new audience more effectively than traditional ads, which consumers often tune out. At the same time, with more people making decisions about what to buy from social media, the strategy was also designed to drive sales for the band's new music.
The results suggest the effort succeeded at grabbing attention and encouraging fans to share. Vivoom reports Maroon 5 saw 250,000 video shares and views. The click-through rate exceeded 11%, and more than 71% of videos were viewed to completion. The click-through rate was significantly higher than what brands typically see with ads on Facebook and Twitter, according to Vivoom.
Whether the effort will translate to album sales remains to be seen.
Febreze encourages parents to play up their holiday wild side with some help from 'Bad Moms'
The rundown: Procter & Gamble's Febreze is extending its #LiveNaughtySmellNice campaign with new, limited-edition scents and a movie tie-in that encourages fans to indulge their wilder side this Christmas — or, as a company news release dubbed it, the "Super Bowl for moms." That naughty spirit fits into the theme of "A Bad Moms Christmas," which premiered Nov. 1 with a red carpet treatment from the brand. And we literally mean a red carpet treatment, where Febreze sprayed the walkways at Los Angeles' Regency Village Theatre with its odor-deterring product.
It also brought out Little Things.com host and "Truth Bomb Mom" Kristina Kuzmic to interview the film's stars about their parenting tips and whether they're being naughty or nice for the holidays in a video hosted on Little Things' Facebook page. The brand appeared at the premiere's after-party as well with holiday-themed desserts and an especially fresh-smelling bathroom.
It's looking to loop followers and fans of the movie in on the fun by sharing their bad but agreeably-scented behavior with the campaign hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Ten-second spots with Mila Kunis, a titular bad mom, are providing additional support on social:
The results: "A Bad Moms Christmas" — a holiday-themed sequel to the raunchy surprise hit from last year — is a bit of an odd partner for a company focused on household cleanliness like Febreze. The very R-rated comedy probably needed a brand with a bit of a grittier rep for the tie-in to snag real naughtiness, but that's not to say P&G hasn't pulled out some stops here. It also previously partnered with one of the lead actresses, Kathryn Hahn, to launch #LiveNaughtySmellNice, making for a familiar fit.
The red carpet stunt cleverly calls out the underlying dirtiness of Hollywood premieres — there are a lot of feet mulling around for photo ops — as do the after-party shenanigans. The real meat of the campaign will come from the user-generated content aspect, however, as fans of the movie — probably a lot of exhausted moms — share their letting-loose holiday activities on social media.
Febreze's tie-in comes at a time when the brand is trying to broaden reach past its usual shopper set. Earlier this week, it introduced a Febreze One fabric and air freshener with a spot from Grey New York. The product is intended to court those "who don't typically reach for air fresheners," according to the release and as shown in the humorous ad.
Ben & Jerry's 'special stash' has people playing with their food
The rundown: Apparently, Jimmy Fallon is a full-time comedian and part-time flavor guru. He announced his latest partnership Wednesday with Vermont-based Ben & Jerry's on a new ice cream flavor, Marshmallow Moon. To promote the s'mores-like treat, the campaign includes an augmented reality filter on Facebook for users to virtually catch marshmallows in their mouths. The feature, created with agency 360i, overlays a digital image of eyeglasses and ice cream cones onto a selfie through a smartphone camera, encouraging users to play with their food and serving as a solid social tie-in for younger consumers already familiar with the ice cream brand.
This effort is the first product in Ben & Jerry's "Special Stash" series, a collection of micro-batch ice cream flavors that are produced in limited quantities and sold only in the brand's shops and online. That element of scarcity is pretty clearly aiming to make consumers with a sweet tooth want to get their hands on the limited-edition product while they can. Sprinkle in a fun, interactive game on social media and a TV icon that reels in 2.66 million viewers a week, and Ben & Jerry's seems to have a strong campaign. To top it off, all the proceeds will be donated to SeriousFun Children's Network, a nonprofit that organizes free camps for kids with serious illnesses.
The results: Though Ben & Jerry's has its own sizeable consumer base, the ice cream brand smartly tapped into the networks of a popular night show host and the world's largest social media network to help boost buzz around the product launch. The partnerships continue even further, with people in five cities — New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and Memphis — getting free delivery of the new dessert through UberEATS.
Ben & Jerry's is ahead of the game with its interactive AR filter on Facebook, a feature that's been a bit slow to gain traction since it rolled out in April. Other brands like Rimmel London and "Game of Thrones" have deployed similar features on the camera platform, but not as part of a product launch.