Showcasing creative campaigns
Retailer takes social studies class
In their second back-to-school campaign together, JCPenney and Hearst Magazines Digital Media teamed up this summer to promote the multichannel merchant’s fall 2008 collection online. However, this time, JCPenney wanted a way to effectively incorporate social media due to the explosive growth of the channel over the past year, especially among high school and college students.
Kaboodle.com, a Hearst-owned online social community, became the central focus of the campaign. On Kaboodle, registered users, which are mostly teenagers and college students, can create Styleboards — outfits using articles of clothing from various retailers that they can share with friends. When these users added a JCPenney item to a Styleboard during the promotion period, they were entered into a sweepstakes.
“This was a chance for our users to engage with the brand and to have fun expressing their individualism,” says Manesh Chandra, CEO and founder of Kaboodle.
The campaign was promoted through search engine optimization and Hearst’s network of online teen properties, which include Seventeen.com, CosmoGirl.com, Teenmag.com and eSPIN.com.
“We wanted to improve the consumer experience by [cross-promoting] these sites,” says Kristine Welker, VP of advertising sales and marketing for Hearst Magazines Digital Media. This would help insure that the user would “have a fluid experience with no dead-end content.”
In the first five weeks after the contest’s launch on July 21, more than 15,000 Styleboards using JCPenney items were created, and more than 2 million unique users visited Kaboodle.com. –Mary Hurn
Objective Management Group
Better blogging for search engines
Approach: Sales development firm Objective Management Group worked with HubSpot last fall to make its blog more search-friendly. Analytics from HubSpot helped determine qualified leads and that the focus of the blog should be shifted to coaching.
Results: Google organic search grew from 200 to 300 visitors a month to nearly 1,500 in October. The number of leads jumped from an average of 15 each month last spring to 70 each month in the fall. –Chantal Todé
University of Advancing Technology
Personalized campaign drives online enrollment
Approach: Fabiano Communications enhanced the University of Advancing Technology recruitment Web site with a custom navigation system and a predictive algorithm which anticipates the links a user will want next, with the goal of boosting enrollment in fall 2007. Data from the site are fed into an XMPie program to develop tailored direct mail, response URLs and Web site landing pages.
Results: Online enrollment increased nearly 30%. -Lynne Miller
Stu Hill, Creative director, The Marketing Arm
The Kaboodle creative works well because it understands exactly who it is talking to. The consumer it is attempting to engage has grown up online and appreciates the simplicity of interfaces like Google and Facebook. Simple, clean, functional and completely user-friendly. Kaboodle’s site has a Facebook-ish tone, something that the target is familiar and comfortable with.
There’s nothing fancy about the Objective Management Group Web site, though in reality there doesn’t have to be. The creative is a step in the right direction from what it had, but most importantly, it’s functional. The site is a tool, not a piece of art, and tools are hardly ever beautiful. The navigation is simple and practical and the site is clean. My only knock on the site might be the use of stock photography in the header, which seems a little soulless to me.
As with Kaboodle, I think the “urban grunge” feel of the UAT creative effectively speaks the target’s language. I love the idea behind personalized messages, but wonder if the target perceives that message as authentic, or sees it as just another attention-grabbing gimmick. Additionally, I could have done without the stock image of the college-aged guy. I’m not sure what he’s drinking, but that head full of unkempt hair and a trendy-looking zipper fleece jacket makes me think I need to go back to school.