Nailed It: Embarq’s Kevin Cobb

Kevin Cobb, interactive brand manager at Internet provider Embarq, discusses the company’s “48 Seconds” user-generated video contest.

Q: What was the contest’s premise?

A: The difference between loading a typical page on the Internet with dial-up vs. Embarq high-speed is about 48 seconds. So we asked, “What would you do with 48 seconds?” People created video answers that were posted on our YouTube channel.

Q: What were some objectives?

A: We worked with iCrossing and Google to figure out what works on YouTube and how to get people involved and participate.

Q: What was the strategy behind the promotion of the contest?

A: The campaign was advertised through geo-targeted online adver­tising, paid search and blogger out­reach. We wanted to have an ongoing conversation with our customers and helped us branch out and build achannel that had something useful for our customers on a continuing basis.

Q: What were the campaign prizes?

A: The first 50 video submitters received $50. First place won $5,000 and one year of service.

Q: How did the social media aspects help the campaign?

A: ICrossing worked toward the suc­cess of getting so many submissions. I think that the people who are active on social networks are the same ones who would make a video and upload it to YouTube. So, the social media out­reach from iCrossing spoke to the audi­ence that we were trying to reach. We weren’t trying to send press releases and barrage our customers, we did much more outreach than with just a normal blast.

Q: What was the most surprising result of the initiative?

A: I was surprised by how much interac­tion the contest received and how many submissions we got. The contest ran from late September to the middle of December, and we ended up with 281 submissions.

Q: What was the regional strategy?

A: Our banners and ads targeted the regions where we are. Though we provide service in 18 states, our largest markets are Orlando and Las Vegas. We aren’t necessarily known nationally, so to get that much attention was great.

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