Monday, November 7, 2011

Timberland Aces Social Media

Timberland’s Sundance Film Festival Night Out events add to the company’s already deep experience in social and mobile. They’ve had a mobile site since at least 2009 and are leaders in social in aspects from their interactive Facebook page for this promotion (see the Photo Contest tab also) to their use of 2D bar codes. Note that their “Go Out and Be You” tag line appears throughout the material, one way in which they integrate their marketing communications.

The event came to Boston last week and store manager Sara Keneally was gracious enough to include my social media marketing students in the invitation-only event. They went, they saw, they bought, and they came away with a host of ideas that can be applied by other organizations, large and small. They’ve posted videos; the Boston video gives a good sense of what happened there from DJ to the stylist outfitting attendees in Timberland merchandise to the photographer snapping their pictures.

The next day they sent attendees a thank-you email. It included their picture taken the night before (good system at work here) and encouraged them to go to the promotion’s Facebook page, upload their picture, and register for the Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes in which the winner and three friends get to attend the Sundance Film Festival. Entering, of course, requires that applicants Like the Timberland Facebook page. It has over half a million Likes at the moment.

For attendees and non-attendees alike they produced a print publication featuring merchandise and promoting the events and the sweepstakes. Old media, you say? The print document has a Microsoft tag on the final page. When you scan the tag, it takes you to a mobile landing page. The landing page has a video, encourages the viewer to Like the Facebook page, and links through to the Women’s page on the Timberland site, nicely optimized for mobile. Try it yourself and see. The only drawback is that you have to download the Microsoft Tag Reader if you don’t already have it. They give the link in the promo, but it would really be nice to have standardization in the 2D barcodes so we don’t have to have separate apps.

The centerpiece of this promotion is the Girlfriend Getaway Sweepstakes. I count media channels that include website, mobile website, special Facebook page, a partnership with the local-oriented Lucky style magazine, PR of various kinds, the live events, email followup, outreach via print and the web to women who didn’t attend the live event, and I’ve probably missed some. I didn’t see any encouragement of live Tweeting the event or a related hashtag. Would that have extended visibility or would it have detracted from the fashion focus of the event? They also don’t seem to be using Foursquare aggressively, another option; but again, in this instance, would it have been worth the extra effort?

And that’s the final point. There were many working parts in this promotion and it required professional PR support. Integration was key. But marketers large and small can study this promotion, learn from it, choose the pieces they want to focus on, integrate them, and DIY their own SOLOMO (social local mobile) promotion. The pieces are all there; it’s a matter of creativity and effort, and Timberland excelled at both.

Article first published as Timberland Aces Social on Technorati.

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