A Widget Case Study
Yesterday, I gave a teleconference on Facebook as a ready-made marketing program. I gave a few examples of success, and the audience was hungry for success metrics and numbers. One of the case examples was about rebranding an application/widget in this case, Rock You’s vampire application.
Sony rebrands popular Vampires Widget with 30 Days Night, upcoming Vampire movie
Vampires, which you may already know as the RPG where members bite each other to receive points (and duel) was already popular with over 3 million installs in Facebook.
Sony pictures, the parent company of the very scary 30 Days Night vampire horror film rebranded the existing application, and launched a sweepstakes contest to generate registrations and glean intelligence. The grand prizes? 4 wheel ATVs and $1500.
Specifically, they placed banner ads on the rebranded vampire applications which promoted the movie (one could assume that those who opt-in for the vampires application would also like a vampire movie) promoting the sweekstakes.
The measurable results?
The campaign was only live for 3 weeks, and there were 59,100 sweepstakes entries. (success was deemed at 10k, this clearly moved beyond that)
The visits (I don’t know if they were unique or repeated) were 11,642,051 for the bite page, and 17,652,567 for the stats page (I believe these are part of the interactive experience of the game.
Sony was happy, it exceeded expectations, and users of the application weren’t over branded.
RockYou asked me to keep the price confidential, but based upon the results they told me, I suggested they double the rates, this is despite what Mashable reports on.
Fishing where the fish are: Sony figured out where the already existing community was (remember to fish where the fish are) and rather than trying to rebuild something completely by scratch, they leveraged an existing successful application.
Rely on specialists for new arenas: In my many briefings with vendors and clients, specialized firms often provide something a general interactive firm or corporate web marketing team can’t. They have experience, know their area, and in this case, they knew to rely on someone that already knew Facebook.
Compliment the existing user experience: Sony didn’t beat the 3 million existing users with heavy advertising (and I’m sure RockYou wouldn’t have let them) over the head, instead offered value by giving away prizes, and tied in a movie that already existed.
What could have been better?
In my opinion, it would be great if:
The campaign lasted longer than 3 weeks.
Rather than simply embedded, Sony could sponsor elements from the movie and integrate within the game. (vampires could fight at different scenes from the movie, key characters from the movie could become non-player characters, etc). They already have a multi-player game that could have tied in.
A spin off game could have emerged just around the game, where members could give virtual gifts to each relating to the movie, then cross-selling other sony products and merchandise.
Also realize there are very few applications in Facebook that are this popular, don’t expect these type of results to occur every time.
Widget Network Developers
Looking bigger, RockYou isn’t the only vendor doing this type of work, also see Slide, Clearspring, Gigya, and a bunch of others. If you’re in the space, feel free to leave a comment below adding to the conversation.
For those Forrester clients who attended the webinar, I hope that clears up the question (as I promised to find the answer), and thanks to Ro Choy and team of Rock You for the details. If you need to know more, read this weekly digest of the social network industry, or see all posts tagged Facebook.
Web Strategist Connie Benson pointed out the Target Wal-Mart Sponsored group in Facebook isn’t getting a warm reception. As I cruised through the group, I noticed a much higher degree of interaction, amount of members, and community engagement.
[Target and Wal-Mart have both deployed a Sponsored Group within Facebook, each deploying contrasting strategies with different results]
Here’s a comparison of the two groups as of Sept 10th, 2007:
Please note, it’s impossible to tell who’s really behind some of these comments and threads, some could be hired on various services.
The timing is right to launch these site, as it’s back to school season
Wal-Mart: College students, dorm rooms
Target: College students, dorm rooms
URL to view live group:
Wal-Mart: Direct lnk (Facebook account required)
Target: Direct link (Facebook account required)
Target: ? (update: AKQA)
Launch Date, estimated:
Wal-Mart: Early August
Target: Early July
“Your Personal Checklist” eCommerce links to Walmart.com
“The Roommate Style Match Quiz” Personal persona wizard, eCommerce hooks, very clever
“Mix it Up” Mix and match roommate styles
“SoundCheck” Media samples of popular bands
“College Store” Green products, Freshman tips
“Tip Me” Product Marketing images
“Is it edible” interactive animation, I found to be clever
“Not your mom’s checklist” eCommerce selector
“Find your soul furniture” customized product wizard
“Snoop for inspiration” Design ideas gallery
“Good roomate” Media animations with tips
Number of current members:
Number of Discussion Threads:
Wal-Mart: Sadly, None, as feature is disabled
Target: 33 Discussion threads
Most are under 5 responses, however “Tips from someone with experience” (started by Target employee) has over 55
Number of Pictures:
Target: 396 Photos, many appear to be CGM (can’t confirm)
Wall Posts Quantity:
Blog Trackbacks (Technorati:
Wal-Mart: 6 Tracbacks
Target: 51 Trackbacks (most are from Marketing and PR professionals)
Wal-Mart: Very negative, details on this post
Target: Majority positive on wallposts
I need data to check interaction levels, only Facebook and the respective companies will have this. I would want to see, time on site (attention), interaction levels, spikes and trends, and other information.
Screenshot: Target’s Sponsored Group, “Dorm Survival Guide”
Screenshot: Wal-Mart’s Sponsored Group “Roommate Match”
Web Strategy Analysis: Embracing customer interaction yields Target as leader
Last month, I published a White paper on Social Media Measurement (co-authored with Matt Toll) and I could easily quantify these numbers are return a score card, if I had more time (or if it was my job) I would measure and score. Regardless, it’s clear that based upon engagement and interaction that Target is performing much better. Students even linked to their “Dorm room tours” on YouTube, whereas Wal-Mart lacks a discussion feature.
[Brands that "release control" to customer involvement have an improved chance from brand stewardship, customer ownership, and consumer advocacy. Let go to gain more]
What’s the difference between the two strategies? Target is clearly involving students to shape and be part of the group, whereas Wal-Mart’s strategy appears to be more of interactive web design, which is evident as the discussion forum is not enabled. I also suggested to Wal-Mart to consider an authentic evangelism program, the comments suggest a female evangelist would be best.
Update: If you want to know more about Facebook, read my Web Strategy: What the Web Strategist should know about Facebook. Also, I’ll be Keynoting The Seattle Facebook Conference on Dec 5th.