Guest Post: Jordan A. Smith
Guest Post: Jordan A. Smith // @jordieasmith
I'll do anything for a t-shirtWell, circumstances are a large variable in whether or not I'd do anything for a t-shirt. Have I just spilled something on the shirt I was already wearing right before a client meeting? Is it this in XS? Did I show up at party where someone undesirable was wearing the identical garment? Yeah, in these instances, I'd consider friending you for a t-shirt.Would I purchase a product because they gave me a t-shirt? It's the eternal marketing question. The advertising snob inside me exclaims, NO! What a weak, tawdry tactic. Any respectable AOR would fire a creative for such dilatory ideation! But my good-natured Minnesotan upbringing and inherent Catholic guilt makes me feel otherwise. Oh ya know, Jooohr-dan, they did ya a fav-ooohr. The least ya can doooo is give them $8.99 to try their product owwww-t. Maybe I should elaborate. On August 15th, Cheer laundry detergent launched a Facebook/YouTube campaign—Dig it. Get it.—not targeting busy mothers of uninhibited children with quick access to grassy knolls and finger paints. Surprisingly, I am the target, a twenty-something, single, white female with an affinity for bike culture, skinny jeans and indie dance music. Draw your own conclusions, please, I'm not going to say it. So I played their game. It was simple, watch Australian band Strange Talk's new video, and when you see a colorful dancer with an annotation (err—a link box) and click, you are brought to Facebook to claim your bright clothing item. I played almost everyday of the 16 day campaign. In fact, here's a tragic photo of me wearing every item I won, minus a yellow tank top I have yet to receive:
I added my own hipster filter and wiener dogs.The results were: I failed to grow to love the music of Strange Talk, but did start to tie the ends of my t-shirts like the dancers. The packaging was cool enough to save one of the boxes (see below). I tried the samples included and my clothing did not fade (after the one wash). The campaign's basic promise was initially upheld, but after the four bottles of laundry detergent next to my washing machine are used to their final drop, will I consider Cheer in the soap aisle? Honestly, before the campaign, I am doubtful I would have ever noticed their deep blue bottle on the fourth shelf. But now, I incessantly talk about them to any poor soul at my agency because I'm constantly wondering out-loud if they got me. Have they sold me with a t-shirt (and a scarf, tights, tube socks, messenger bag, tank top and a handful of $1 off coupons)?
I can't draw conclusions about Dig it. Get it.'s overall success. I have a feeling that the tech-savvy youth did manage to grab up all the American Apparel, but one did notice the plentiful sour comments from Cheer's usual consumer. They complained about their slow internet connection, a child's bedtime or their lack of understanding about YouTube annotations. An uncomfortable generation gap was being exposed. I'll be very interested in reading the case study to see if Cheer will reign victorious over the generation with a 140-character attention span while maintaining a less techy consumer (they announced in Mashable that 100% of their advertising budget has been pushed into digital). If I am so conflicted about a t-shirt campaign, why did I choose this as my inspiration? This is the first time since 1995 I have gone to a brand's site (or Facebook page) for 16 consecutive days (and counting). It was an idea so simple and so innovative with social media platforms that I wish I made it (though, I have made something similar). As easy as it can be to begrudge the idea of people—real people—wanting to interact with grocery brands while untagging unflattering photos of themselves, this is a fantastic example of people doing just that.