ASK BEAR ANYTHING by Weber Shandwick New York for Degree

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Industry Deodorants
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Weber Shandwick New York
Released February 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Digital PR
Advertiser: UNILEVER
Product/Service: DEGREE FOR MEN
Brand Building Manager/Degree: Aaron Calloway (Unilever)
Associate Brand Building Manager/Degree: Lauren Passaro (Unilever)
Brand Development/Unilever: Neil Brading (Unilever)
Media placement: Digital PR - Mashable - 14 September 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Buzz Feed - 14 September 2011
Media placement: Digital PR - Newsweek - 14 September 2011
Media placement: Consumer PR - Jimmy Kimmel - 15 September 2011

Summary of the Campaign
Soon after Degree For Men launched its content platform and engine, The Adrenalist, the team utilised its spokesperson, Bear Grylls, for an 'Ask Me Anything' live chat Q&A session on Reddit.

Coordinating influencers and social media outreach helped to amplify the coverage and impact of the AMA beyond only Reddit users, generating, and continuing to generate, press.

After the AMA, Bear conducted interviews and appearances with key media helping to spread the word further about The Adrenalist.

The Situation
Degree launched its own content platform and engine,, in August of 2011. Its mission is to associate adventure, extreme sports and racing with the Degree’s Adrenaline product series.
The Adrenalist was charged with integrating Bear Grylls, the Degree for Men spokesman, into the content-progression, and chose to do so in the form of awareness of the Bear 'Drink my Own Piss' meme.

Due to the size of Reddit’s audience and the popularity of Bear’s meme on it, Bear participated in another Reddit tradition: the ‘Ask Me Anything’ live chat Q&A session.

The Goal
The strategy was simply to drive the huge audience of Reddit to The Adrenalist, exposing readers to the branded-content platform. Unique visits to the Adrenalist, where readers are driven to engage with the brand's voice to increase brand-voice exposure, were a priority. Secondarily, time spent onsite was an indicator of the content’s effectiveness. The production integrated Bear answering the questions in text, and in rapid response - the video was hosted on Degree’s branded YouTube channel. These videos were embedded into a unique post on the Adrenalist, which was linked to as the “answer” to the questions on Reddit.

The Strategy
Initial research into market presence revealed the target's behavior and online consumption of content.

• The adventurer is constantly expanding his horizons;
• He has a restless spirit of self improvement;
• Sees life through a lens of problem solving;
• Is motivated by his peers;
• And his work ethic is driven by personal fulfillment.

The Reddit audience is a community marked by a fierce independence from orthodoxy, as well as for its creativity and playfulness.

We did not brand the AMA with Degree for Men, and only linked to The Adrenalist to subtly show the partnership while achhieving the goals of getting traffic and readers to the site.

Much planning was done to structure the nature of the questions and the format of the video answers in real-time, the team then internally used production-resources to cut and upload the video-responses as quickly as possible.

• Scheduled an afternoon with Bear in a studio, to stage and film the video-responses with the community management team onsite, to coordinate the AMA in real time with the video responses.
• Seeded the Ask Me Anything thread to the Reddit community asking them to up-vote top questions, in order to source the most popular ones for Bear to answer for 1 hour only.
• Selected questions for Bear to answer via video and upload them in real-time, linked to The Adrenalist.
o The Adrenalist crashed due to extremely high traffic within the first few minutes
o Instead changed the link to the YouTube video URLs
• Coordinated social outreach of Degree and Bear’s social channels, to optimize the effectiveness and reach of the AMA, in order to drive awareness and participation.
• Drove visits, page-views and video-views by sharing the links in the thread as responses to users’ questions.

Documented Results
Not only did the AMA spawn several spin-off threads on Reddit – where users came to discuss the very nature of the type of marketing being executed – the event garnered significant press-reception as well.

Industry site, Mashable, wrote an in-depth feature, 'How Bear Grylls & Men’s Deodorant Unlocked the Secret of Reddit Marketing', extolling the virtues of relevant content and pursuing specific communities.

To date, there have been nearly 2m video-views on YouTube.