|| Best Distributor Self-Promotion Campaign
Distributor: Edventure Promotions (asi/186055)
What’s in a name? A whole lot it turns out.
“Ed” may be one of the more ordinary names around, but it was also the inspiration for a highly successful self-promotion campaign produced by distributor firm Edventure Promotions (asi/186055). Ed Levy, owner of the firm, created a campaign based around, you guessed it, his name. To show off his company’s capabilities to both current customers and prospects, he had different words incorporating “ED” imprinted onto a variety of promotional items.
“Stuffed” was imprinted on tote bags, “noted” on note pads, “scribbled” on pens, “dressed” on T-shirts, and “quenched” on water bottles. Levy then placed the items – with imprints all facing the recipient – in an attractive black box that has the company name printed on the front. He produced 50 of the packages, half of which went to existing customers and the other half were delivered to his top 25 prospects.
Levy says his goal was two-fold. “Using basic items, we wanted to show that you could create an extremely impactful, useful and memorable branding experience without reinventing the wheel,” he says. “And, we wanted to illustrate that packaging is as important – if not more important – in creating attention and distinguishing yourself from the competition.”
Done and done. The mailings, which went out over a 90-day period last spring, did exactly what Levy was hoping for. Including the products, packaging, shipping, prototypes, creative, and printing, Levy says he spent $5,300 for all of the 50 kits – $106 per kit. The existing customer mailings received an 80% response rate, with 20 out of 25 recipients contacting Edventure on their own after receiving the package. Out of those, 10 clients used the distributor’s new services, resulting in $37,000 in new revenue. Of the prospects who received the promotion, four new companies placed orders for a total of $13,000. Overall, Edventure garnered $50,000 in new business directly from the promotion – a 940% return on investment.
“Because my name is Ed and the company is Edventure Promotions, using the “Ed” concept was a perfect way to extend my brand into something meaningful and memorable,” Levy says. “We creatively used a pun to exemplify that we can be unique and create results.” – AC
| Best Client Promotion:
Distributor: Jack Nadel International (asi/279600) &
Madagascar: The Crate Escape was a working title for the animated blockbuster Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Since several plot twists in the film series involve animals being crated or escaping crates, Paramount/DreamWorks wanted to promote the picture using plush animals presented in a crate.
When they approached Jack Nadel International (asi/279600) for help, however, the distributor had an even wilder idea. If you’ve seen the movies, you’ll be familiar with the King of the Lemurs character, King Julien. And even if you haven’t seen them, you’ve probably heard King Julien’s catchy dance song, “Move it, Move it.” JNI’s idea featured this character and his signature tune. The goal of the promotion was to build early buzz by sending an intriguing branded item to key press contacts long before the movie came out.
“We changed the concept so we did a jack-in-the-box ‘crate’ with all the characters shown around the outside,” says Josh Ebrahemi, partner at JNI. “Then, a PVC molded, hard-plastic King Julien character pops out and does the dance.”
JNI tapped Greater China (asi/58135) to produce the custom jack-in-the-box. The key to the success of the program was that the item was completely custom and unique to this movie release. “Greater China took the project from a brief description and color image to actual production pieces,” says Kelly Borre, account executive for the supplier.
The piece was originally intended for use in a press kit, but the clients saw so much value in the item that they expanded their plans. “Some went to key press,” Ebrahemi says. “The rest were used in radio spots, TV spots – anything like an instant-win. Then, the majority of them were given away at other DreamWorks films before the movie came out to advertise the movie’s release.”
And today, the studio attributes the momentum created from the promotional items to helping lead to box-office sales of more than $200 million.
|| Best Supplier Self-Promotion Campaign:
Supplier: Sweda Company LLC (asi/90305)
One of the most effective ways to conduct a promotion is when your target audience doesn’t even recognize that it’s a self-promotion effort at all. That’s what Sweda Company LLC (asi/90305) did last year when it launched its Killer Case Study Challenge.
In an effort to create a library of tools and resources that it could offer distributors (as well as increase awareness of its brand in the market), Sweda asked distributors to submit interesting and unique case studies of how they’ve used promotional items in specific client programs. The challenge happened over a three-month period, and all case studies could be submitted through a dedicated Web page on www.swedausa.com. Distributors that submitted qualified case studies received $10 in free Sweda product samples plus access to the case study library on the Web site. Sweda then judged the more than 100 qualified case studies it received and whittled the contestants down to a final six.
Those six case studies were announced on September 8, and then distributors had 10 days to vote on their favorite one. After receiving more than 4,000 votes, Sweda announced the winner of the contest, Laura Lyons of Spartan Promotions, on September 21 of last year.
The genius of this campaign, though, was the integrated nature of it. Sweda wanted the promotion to go viral as quickly as possible, so it used a variety of outlets to spread the word: e-mail blasts, press releases, flyers, postcards, updates and announcements on Twitter and Facebook, a new Web page on its site, a script for sales and customer service people to use when discussing the promotion, and T-shirts about the promotion that trade show booth staffers wore during last year’s SAAC show in California. Plus, Sweda even created a follow-up promotion that announced the winner of the contest and that was mailed along with the supplier’s new pen catalog in the fourth quarter last year.
Ultimately, the whole promotion resulted in increased exposure for Sweda’s brand, as well as a new tool that it could offer to its distributor customers. “Our goal was exceeded and then some,” says Lou Nicolaides, Sweda’s director of marketing. “Between all the marketing tactics, especially through social media channels, we estimate this campaign created over 500,000 impressions. As a direct result of the promotion, Sweda gained unprecedented exposure and new business from many companies who promoted participation to their employees.” – AC
|Best New Media Promotion
Supplier: Clayton Kendall (asi/162968)
When you’re launching a new Web site, you better come up with something creative to stand out. After all, a new Web site on its own simply isn’t news. But how about a Web site launch in conjunction with an online promotional video that has nearly 3 million views? Now that’s news.
That’s exactly what distributor firm Clayton Kendall (asi/162968) did earlier this year when it launched its new www.rushtshirts.com Web site. To attract attention for the launch of its new business, Clayton Kendall decided to hire two YouTube stars to create and star in the video. The duo used stop-motion technology (also known as stop-action or frame-by-frame), along with 220 individually-printed t-shirts, to show the capabilities that Clayton Kendall had. The video can be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKWdSCt4jGE
“We wanted to create a video that exemplified our T-shirt concept, was entertaining and had mass appeal to both a business-to-business and business-to-consumer audience,” says Dan Broudy, vide president of Clayton Kendall. “We hired two YouTube stars and it was their idea to use stop-motion animation and to approach this from a T-shirt battle scenario. It was a fun project.”
It was also a project that brought lots of attention in the form of online clicks both to the video and to Clayton Kendall’s new Web site. The video shows the two stars battling it out to create the fastest and most creative T-shirt. In a fast-moving video, the two put on and shed a total of 220 individual T-shirts. In all, it’s a professionally-produced and compelling video that absolutely fulfilled the goals of this distributorship – to increase awareness for a new online business and to sell T-shirts.
“We wanted to garner maximum exposure for the new Web site,” Broudy says. “Within four weeks of posting the video, we had over 2.5 million views. It brought a lot of traffic to our Web site, and informed 2.5 million people of our existence. Sales for the T-shirts are going strong, and we have been selling them all over the world. In fact, sales are still coming in for the T-shirts from the video, and we have had many custom T-shirt orders as a result of the video.” – AC