Billabong launches 'I Surf Because' customer acquisition effort

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Apparel brand Billabong launched a digital marketing campaign July 28 featuring a surfing microsite and contests. The company worked with boutique interactive agency Design Royale on the “I Surf Because” campaign's creative and digital components.

The goal of Billabong, an apparel brand that designs products for surfing, skateboarding, wakeboarding and snowboarding, is to engage its consumers in social media. The company's general target audience is 12-to-25-year-olds, but it is targeting surfers of any age with this campaign. Billabong's goal is to acquire new customers.

The branded Billabong microsite, www.isurfbecause.com, asks surfing fans to explain why they love to surf or want to try it. The site features surfing videos and offers prize giveaways on a weekly and monthly basis. There are also share-to-social links for Facebook and Twitter.

The site also allows consumers to view Billabong products and links to online retailers that sell them.

One prize includes a trip to surf Jeffreys Bay in South Africa with Marco Occhilupo, aka Occy, a champion Australian surfer.

“The challenge for any brand is creating intimacy with the consumer. It's so easy to just be a ‘big brand' and assume people all want to hear the same thing,” said Stirling Howland, digital marketing manager at Billabong International. “Creating an intimate message can be a challenge, but at the same time very rewarding — not just for the brand, but also for the consumer.”

Users can also personalize wallpapers with surfing snapshots, and then submit them to Billabong for review. Consumers can also share the wallpapers with friends on social media platforms.

“I believe in the power of word of mouth and if people feel something is worth talking about or sharing, then that's a powerful catalyst in delivering any brand message,” added Howland.

Martin Konrad, managing director and founding partner of Design Royale, said the initiative will also build a database of people interested in the brand.

To measure the campaign's success, Konrad said the company will look at several aspects.

“[We will] track the number of users who register, and we build applications that allows people to see that live. We actually track where people are coming from, the types of content they are viewing and how long they spend there,” he said. “Based on that, we might need to change our approach later on.”

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