Venables Bell & Partners the San Francisco based agency behind #OptOutside a successful entrant in the 2016 New York Festivals International Advertising Awards®, where they took home 9 awards and one finalist position, across Mobile and Social competitions.
Lee Einhorn’s, Associate Partner, Creative Director at Venables Bell & Partners takes us through the thought process when building this campaign, and using social as a successful channel in advertising.
NYF: What is the most important factors to think about when planning how to successfully integrate social into a campaign?
Lee Einhorn: In this case, and in many cases, social shouldn’t be “integrated into a campaign”, in our view. Social should be the center of gravity of the campaign. When working on this effort, we knew that we had a big idea that people would have an opinion about. We also knew that we didn’t have a lot of money to buy our way into the busiest and loudest media time of the year. For us, the most important aspect of the initiative was finding a simple way to let people be our media. We had to create a delivery vehicle that people would be proud to badge themselves with. That delivery vehicle would come in the form of a simple hashtag message, #OptOutside.
NYF: What do you think led to this campaign going viral, and being picked up by the media, and social channels so successfully?
Lee Einhorn: Meticulous planning across all channels (paid, owned, and earned) and teams. The PR and social success for this campaign was not accidental. We had a message that was relevant and that garnered attention and engagement. Additionally, that message was carried and delivered by a hashtag that was simple and communicative. The hashtag also gave people the opportunity to badge themselves, creating a shared point of view. Ultimately, we built a campaign meant for participation, and a culturally relevant story that the press could run with also.
NYF: With the increased use of social media, as part of integrated marketing campaigns, how do you make sure you are using social in the right way?
Lee Einhorn: Start by asking “what’s the point?” If there is no point, don’t do it. Or give it a reason for being. But don’t just do social to do social.
NYF: In your opinion, what’s the best Social Media Campaign you’ve seen recently?
Lee Einhorn: The mannequin challenge! It’s not for a brand, but there’s a lesson in it. People want reasons and methods to make personal content that says something about who they are and how interesting/smart/fun/funny/pretty they are. Brands will fall flat on their faces in the years ahead trying to start the next “challenge”. But, the brands who give people a method and a reason for making content that makes themselves the hero - those are the brand who will win, in my view.
NYF: Anything else you think is important to share in general when creating a campaign, can be social specific, or not….?
Lee Einhorn: Keep it simple.