I recently came across Eurostar’s ‘lamest excuse campaign’; an intriguing and engaging campaign which invited consumers, across different social media platforms, to share their most feeble of reasons for wanting to travel to Europe.
Suggestions included a necessity to replace a dilapidated wine supply; A desire to return a French bread dog to its capital city; and a solution to overcoming the chore of shaving! Across six heats, public vote determined the most popular upload and the lucky creator won a pair of tickets to their European destination of choice. There was further opportunity for one of these six to win a year’s free Eurostar travel through the documentation of their journey.
The aim of the campaign was to educate the audience on the services’ ability to act as a connection to European destinations further afield and to challenge the view that it is a one stop train to France.
So, with this initiative ticking all the boxes of incorporating education, branding and user generated content to share across social media content, why was participation so modest? On the YouTube channel a total of 41 video up loads were made, with the most popular video being viewed only 1, 556 times!
Maybe it was because no one knew?
At a recent interview I attended I discussed this Eurostar campaign, but the guy grilling me on the other side of the table hadn’t a clue what I was going on about. This was bad news for Eurostar; Firstly because my interview was at an advertising agency giant and it’s these peoples’ job to know what communication is occurring out there; and secondly because this person was a regular user of the Eurostar service. This was contemporary news and he was a contemporary customer!
Granted, he may have not been in the primary targeted demographic (I suggest this was students as the campaign was designed to inspire travel within a group of people who were media savvy and had free time but little money)- But the message was still relevant to him even if the participation element was not.
Some important points can be taken from this;
Firstly (and obviously); although it has been found spending resources on maximising frequency is more efficient than spending it on maximising reach (big up to Seth Goddin, ‘Permission marketing, Turing Strangers into Friends and Friends into Consumer’), reach cannot be totally neglected!..
Next; Advertising is education. Like in education, the best results are seen when the information is reworked through different mediums. Not only does this allow the message to be reinforced, it plays a vital role in directing the consumer to your content.
The internet is a crazy content over loaded haystack, and you are just one needle wanting to prick the unsuspecting consumer. An interested consumer is more likely to act upon information when their attention has been caught by relevant bait…