Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who is #UncleDrew? Only the Face of a Perfect Social Media Campaign

If you were like millions of Americans on Tuesday night, you watched a great battle between the young and energetic Oklahoma City Thunder and the arch-villain Miami Heat. (hey, that isn't an opinion...the Heat introductions featured Star Wars' 'Imperial March') It also featured exactly what it takes to make a great social media campaign.

If you were paying attention during the commercials, then you noticed Pepsi's "Uncle Drew" campaign. The commercial featured Cleveland Cavalier's young star Kyrie Irving dressing up in professional makeup and quite the impressive grey beard. Essentially, Irivng hustles a bunch of locals at a game of streetball. After initially acting as a feeble old man, he soon starts skying for alley oops and crossing up the other team.

A cool experiment by Pepsi no doubt, but an even more impressive example of the power of social media. While there is no doubt that every company has entered onto Facebook and Twitter, the jury is still somewhat out on how to use these tools effectively. Brilliant examples of social media are well documented (as are the horror stories), but I feel that this #UncleDrew campaign by Pepsi exemplifies exactly what to do. While there is no ultimate formula as to what will work and what will not, there are a few common themes to successful Twitter campaigns/hashtags:

  1. Create curiosity and enable the user to take action: This is by far the most important factor...make users seek out an answer to a question that they are genuinely interested in. In this case, it was who dressed up as Uncle Drew.
  2. Link the brand to the hashtag while attempting to not sound overly 'corporate': Pepsi was flashed throughout the commercial, but they did not shove it in your face, nor did they create a hashtag like #PepsiCreatesUncleDrew.
  3. Don't allow a hashtag to take a negative spin: This is a tricky one and requires a little bit of judgment and experience. Try to think of it this way; put yourself in the shoes of a 'hater' as the kids say these days. How can your campaign be negatively spun. If you cannot think of any logical ways, then you are probably clear.

What other factors do you think influence a hashtag campaign or social media trend?

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