Social media is not a new or emerging concept for Brazilians, if anything it is a booming industry. In 2008, 85 percent of the individuals ages 15 and up who accessed the Internet from a work or home computer visited a social networking site. From a cultural standpoint the popularity of social networking is easily understood because Brazilians are community oriented and enjoy connecting with their peers online and offline.
Brazilians are rapidly adopting social media, its online growth market has outpaced the world wide average growing by 27 percent as of June 2008. The potential for a brand to leverage social media and engage its consumers is huge in Brazil. But, simply using social media tools will not bring a bring success. It is important to remember that the savvier the target market the better the marketing campaign must be.
For this post I set out to find a great example of a brand breaking the norm and creating buzz by leveraging social media. In 2008, Doritos and Brazilian agency Cubocc launched a “How Many Doritos are in the Bag” challenge and the contest had all the elements of a great social media campaign. It was authentic, creative, engaging and fun.
The campaign initially created buzz and captured interest by hanging a giant bag of Doritos (3 meters tall and weighing 132 kg) in downtown Sao Paulo and gave the target audience a simple ask: “Place your guess on the Doritos website.”
This question drove fans to the Doritos website where there several other web 2.0 tools at work. The website had a 24-hour streaming webcam of the giant Doritos bag which eventually spurred other un-planned events such as live concerts and performances by Mariachi bands. Unexpectedly but brilliantly the giant Doritos bag became a backdrop for cultural events in downtown Sao Paulo.
Check out this video:
The campaign also succeeded by creating a community of fans on Orkut who enthusiastically stated, “I want a 5kg bag of Doritos” and in return the company sent each member their own giant bag of Doritos. This led to satisfied customers sending in pictures with their giant bag to a Doritos sponsored Flickr site, further establishing a sense of community and excitement around the campaign.
Giant Dorito bags and information about the campaign were also sent to targeted bloggers, journalists and Twitter users to maximize the campaigns buzz potential.
Each online element of this campaign provided an opportunity for its target audience to join in the conversation and have fun talking about an oversized bag of Doritos.
The great part about this campaign is that the creators figured out how to take social media tools and make them something more than tools. They took into consideration the culture of Brazil and their love for flavor, fun and community and injected this into the overall campaign.
My biggest takeaway from researching this campaign and a lesson I will use in the future is the way Doritos and the Cubocc agency achieved success. They implemented a variety of tools that all complimented one another to keep its audience engaged by doing the following:
- Creating buzz (Hang a giant Doritos bag)
- Engaging the target audience (Guess how many are inside)
- Giving an action item (Submit your guess online)
- Joining brand enthusiasts (Orkut community/Flickr page)
- Rewarding participants (Free Doritos bag)
I typically tend to work on social media campaigns that are created to support a social cause or raise awarness. This research allowwed me to look at how a purerly commercial campaign can leverage social media with the basical goal of generating buzz about its product. There was no emotional story to tell or concerning issue to address, Doritos simply wanted people to talk about its product and I found that surprisingly refreshing. At the end of the day, I find I can appreciate the campaign because of the substance and strategy that is behind it.
I think brands looking to tap into the booming Brazilian market should take note from the work done by Doritos and the Cubocc agency. They combined their knowledge of the target market and social media strategy to deliver a successful, viral and fun marketing campaign.