Huggies Integrates Online Marketing with Traditional Event Marketing For Fantastic RESULTS!

Written by on October 18th, 2008

6 things to keep in mind when building an integrated marketing strategy

Huggies and Alison Sweeney of Biggest Loser Huggies, a Kimberly Clark Company knocked the ball out of the park with a   well thought out and orchestrated B2C online and offline marketing campaign to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their Huggies brand.

Targeted at the first generation of moms that probably wore Huggies as babies, the campaign was designed much like the TV program Seinfeld and to capture a video statement about moms everyday experiences as a mom.

Back in the old days, The Queen for The Day TV program (1956-1964) featuring 4 down on their luck moms who’s story would be “rated” by the audience “applause meter”. The winner, or better said, mom with the biggest loser story would be rewarded with a washing machine and new fangled appliance that would make their lives easier. It was a great marketing channel for brands to reach their target audience. The program ran for a total of 20 years on both radio and TV.

Today brand advertisers like Kimberly Clark are learning how they can reach a similar audience using traditional event marketing and online social media.  

Local strategy

For the local component to reach the GenY and Millennial moms, Huggies designed a month long campaign that included visits to 5 cities including Chicago, Dallas, Orlando and Philadelphia where they spent 3 days on busy downtown streets interacting with moms. huggies computer sign up

Campaign strategist designed the local events to prime the pump and get the word out to others. It appears the organization had to get permission with local authorities to set up tables with banks of laptops where moms could register and participate and park an approximately 20 foot trailer complete with a video studio.

Their celebrity mom, Alison Sweeney of “The Biggest Loser” and “Days of Our Lives” was their draw to get young moms to come downtown, register and make their video. The videos were uploaded by staff to the promotion website. www.generationhuggies.com and available for viewing.

Their team expertly built in a viral marketing strategy into the campaign by:

  • Creating a contest that rewards individuals with the most views
  • Using technology that displays how many people viewed each video and gives the viewer to share the video on theirFacebook or MySpace page, recommend it to Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us and other news sites include Google news.

The three day stops in each city were designed to:

  1. Increase the content on the website
  2. Improve brand loyalty
  3. Build buzz
  4. Increase visits by participants sharing it with others and of course build brand loyalty
  5. Increase sales.

So what’s in it for moms?

In the Queen for the Day radio and TV programs, the lucky mom won appliances. To celebrate their 30th year, Huggies campaign is designed to give 30 people $300 and give one grand prize winner with the most votes $30,000.

Internet strategy

The technology created for the site utilizes simple social media tools that have been available and familiar to most consumers now. Individuals can search for specific videos, watch them and as mentioned share them with social book marking sites.

The website they designed for the campaign, Generation Huggies provides moms the ability to upload their Huggies votingown videos and encourage their family members to vote for them. The contest is an excellent example on how you can use other networks in a very subtle way to recommend it to others.

Their social media marketing strategy included using local bloggers to build excitement, participation and keep the buzz going after the circus left town. I am assuming the campaign paid local bloggers to participate, although I have not verified that yet. An example of one of the bloggers who blogged about the even was Gaberielle Blair of Designmom.com. Gabrielle’s advance blog comments included:

Can’t get to Union Square? Because maybe you live in Montana? Then check in with me today over at The Motherhood. I’ve created a group/circle called Generation Huggies NYC. Click here to see what I’m seeing at the Park today. I’ll be posting and taking pictures and uploading video and texting and calling in voice messages and doing everything there is to do at the new, the improved, The (just relaunched!) theMotherhood.com

Huggies has their own online mom network called Huggies Baby Network, which offers:

  • My Fun Folder providing them product and general information
  • Little Moments Mosaic that compile moments in babies life
  • Keepsake Storybooks
  • Activity Playhouse with fun activities
  • Virtual Room Creator to design fun rooms

Instead of using this site which appears to be more of a Web 1.0 site, they elected to partner with to partner with TheMotherhood.com website owned and operated by two moms. TheMotherhood.com technology enabled the local bloggers to participate in a “Circle” (see above quote – click here) where they could post photos and videos of the moms they were meeting and stories about them. It was all designed to increase moms sharing the their interviews and experience with friends and family members in order to build the buzz and increase the exposure of the event.

So how can you use Huggies experience?

Its always nice to not have to reinvent the wheel and the Huggies campaign is an excellent example you could build your own social media and event marketing experience around. Here are some things to keep in mind when you do.

1) Determine your purpose

The first question you have to answer is what’s your purpose? In Huggies case, they design a marketing strategy to celebrate their 30th product anniversary and continue to build the brand and probably attempt to steam roll any serious “Think Green” campaign that would dish Huggies for environmental reasons. Is the event you are sponsoring internal or external. Instead of or in addition to celebrating their 30th anniversary, they might have decided to tie their campaign into a program to bring awareness to a childhood disease, or hunger or poverty. Think about why people would get involved in your campaign and what popular issues (non political, religious) you can piggyback on.

2) Offer a contest

The contest idea is a natural. Numerous companies have adopted contest successfully. In my book Engage Customers Online, we share Heinz Ketchup’s video contests that generated thousands of video commercials that we’re incredibly well done. In fact I wondered if companies really needed advertising agencies after I saw the winning commercials. Build your contest around a theme and include viral components like Huggies used to encourage participants to share their videos and experiences with others.

3) Gather data

Use the opportunity to gather email addresses, opinions and demographic information you can use to personalize news and information to subscribers in the future.

4) Create an integrated strategy

Your event strategy should include both local and Internet strategies. Huggies had Huggies Ambassadors dressed in blue on the event day, included banks of laptops that moms could register, offered a portable video studio in a trailer parted on the corner of busy downtown streets and offered handouts and giveaways to keep them coming. They also used bloggers to increase buzz both before and after the event.

5) Buy or partner issue.

You will need to decide if it makes sense to buy your technology or partner with others. Partnering with existing platforms, tools and or communities helps you get to market quicker, with less cost and probably includes an installed base your program could reach. In Huggies case, they decided to partner with TheMotherhood.com

Remember that anything you do on the Internet can be commented on. So if you pick the wrong purpose, you might get slammed by an obscure blogger whose message gets amplified and lifted to the first page of Digg or even the New York Times. In Huggies case, blog posts promoting the Huggies event also included comments by readers bringing to light the environmental issues brought on by Huggies diapers. In this case bloggers and other readers kept the conversation non controversial and took the position, ” Each of us have to decide what is best for our family.”

Does that help you get the picture? When we look back in time we see that the Queen for the Day TV program provided marketers for 20 years with a channel to reach their target audience. The Huggies example is really just the beginning for them to be able to reach consumers via this new marketing channel.
In order to be relevant to your customers, you’ll need to participate.

Kudos to Mr. Youth Agency in New York City and Huggies for a well designed campaign

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