Monthly Archives: February 2009

Should We Launch Online Campaigns via Traditional Media?

Does Jack in the Box have the right formula?

Ever since Jack in The Box “Hang in there Jack” launched, I’ve wondered if launching an online social network, or viral campaign via TV is efficient. (Ok, truthfully I missed the spot all together when watching the Super Bowl, but that doesn’t help prove my point.)

I know several successful online “viral” campaigns have launched via TV, but it’s time to move on to a different strategy. BMW was very successful with their BMW films campaign, but it’s a much different time now, and I don’t know if that was “viral” in the first place. (I hate how viral is used in reference to online campaigns, so I feel better when I put it in quotes.  Don’t ask me why.)

Why not launch the campaign online first, and use social media to promote it? This is not only cheaper, but increases the chances influencers online will adopt the campaign as their own and help promote it. Using mass media to promote something online is almost shunned by this group, and it will be hard to get their acceptance once you do.

Another benefit to launching online is that the company or agency behind the program can test the campaign and see if it works before spending millions of dollars promoting it with traditional media. You could even refine the campaign to see what works before launching it on a larger scale.

Best case scenario would be if the campaign went “viral” without mass media at all. You could reach millions of people for a fraction of the cost of a Super Bowl ad, and you would get a sense of ownership from those participating, that you don’t get using mass media.

One of the reasons something goes “viral” is that it seems special to the viewer. So special or unique that those who see it want to share it with their friends.

If a campaign launches during the Super Bowl, how special is it? Do you think, “wow I bet my friends have not seen this and would enjoy it”? Probably not.

Maybe I’m wrong. By the looks of the numbers to the site, the Twitter account, Facebook group etc. Jack in the Box seems to be getting a lot of participation. I think that has more to do with the fact that they are one of the first to have a truly integrated social media campaign, not because of a brilliant execution strategy.

What do you think?

Denny’s did you think about an ROI?

From Arbyreed's photostream

From Arbyreed's Photostream

Everyone is all a buzz about the Denny’s Super Bowl Grand Slam Giveaway.  Adweek calls it a “Hit” in this article. But if it was such a hit, why doesn’t everyone simply give away their product in promotions?

Heck, anyone could giveaway stuff for free to millions of people, the key is doing it and making money. The main question Denny’s and anyone that does a giveaway needs to be asking is, “am I creating new customers by doing this”, or “does it get my current customers to increase their spend”?

Is Denny’s ever going to get a positive return on the $5 million they spent (according to Adweek) on this promotion? For the sake of easy math, let’s look at some easy numbers and calculate their break even point.

At best Denny’s makes $5 on each Grand Slam they sell (according to Adweek).  That means they need to sell an additional one million of them, to make this promotion break even. (They could sell higher margin product etc. but is it really gonna make that big of a difference? They’re not a steakhouse)

Does anyone believe the people receiving these free Denny’s meals were so happy with them, that they are going to come back for more? Let alone one million of them? Was the experience so gratifying or outside their expectations they had for Denny’s that they said, “dang I need to go to Denny’s more often”?

I don’t think that many people were convinced of that, nor do I think Denny’s believes it.  That is why they gave away coupons to try to get these new customers to come back.  So again they result to discounting their product to get rid of it.

The only way a company is going to make a giveaway like Denny’s work, is to exceed the customers expectations in some way. Everyone knows what a Grad Slam taste like, why didn’t Denny’s introduce a new product and give that away? At least that way customers might find a new product they love, and it would give them a reason to come back.

Or better yet, why not use this giveaway to introduce a lower price for the Grand Slam meal? Use the economy angle to promote it. Obviously they feel their product is not worth the $5.99 they charge, because they are giving  it away for free and couponing it. Why not start charging $3.99 everyday for a Grand Slam and say they are celebrating by giving them away for free for the first half of Feb 2nd?

It’s gonna take longer to get a return, but at least some people might actually come back. And by doing this it benefits everyone, not just the few who took advantage of the free breakfast.  At the very least some people might remember that Denny’s has a complete breakfast for only $3.99, right now all they remember now is that Denny’s gave away some free food.

What can I edit in a Twitter Re-Tweet?

Did, he get in jail for bad Twitter RT Etiquette?

Did, he go to jail for bad Twitter RT Etiquette?


What’s the deal with the Twitter Re-Tweet (RT)? Talking about getting more RT’s seems to be all the rage lately, but what rules are their around the RT? 

What room do we have to edit a RT?  Can I merely RT the link with credit and then post my own comments around that?  Or do I need to keep the original tweet as close to the original as possible and then try to add my comments at the end if possible? Switching as many of the you’s to U, and two’s to 2, etc.

Shouldn’t we as Twitters be able to simply RT the link and post our own comments? If we can, how would we show this? Take the below example of something I RT’d the other night.

“RT @mitchjoel: By the looks of this, Social Media is just getting started. Where do u think it’s going? Add ur side here:”

Can I change this to,..

“RT @mitchjoel ;(The changing demo of social media and what’s gonna happen next?)”

Or am I not giving the originator of the Tweet his proper credit? Or maybe, because I added new content to the tweet do I even need to give credit to the original tweeter at all for the link?

What if I read the post by Mitch, but then saw his tweet afterwards?  Do I need to RT him, or can I simply do my own Tweet?  Same question can be asked for other content on Twitter as well.  Before I post a link should I scan everyone I subscribe to in order to see if they have already Tweeted the link?

Please free me from this Twitter RT jail, and let me know what you think.