FREEING LOVEBIRD for Woolworths

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FREEING LOVEBIRD

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Industry Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media
Advertiser: WOOLWORTHS
Product/Service: LOVE BIRDS PROMOTION
Executive Creative Director: Ross Chowles (The Jupiter Drawing Room South Africa)
Creative Director: Livio Tronchin (The Jupiter Drawing Room South Africa)
Account Director: Michelle Koblischke (The Jupiter Drawing Room South Africa)
Copywriter: Ivan Ayliffe (The Jupiter Drawing Room South Africa)
Media placement: in-store posters and point of purchase - Woolworths - 20 January 2010
Media placement: Email - Woolworths - 20 January 2010
Media placement: Social Media Platforms - Woolworths - 20 January 2010
Media placement: Online blogs - Woolworths - 20 January 2010
Media placement: Microsite - Woolworths - 20 January 2010

Summary of the Campaign
When Woolworths launched their first social media campaign titled 'Woolies Love Birds' they didn’t expect a key web address to be taken hostage by Yuppiechef.com, one of their competitor brands. The ransom was simple: Woolworths would have to match the public’s donations to Soil for Life, a charity championed by Yuppiechef.com. The move grabbed the attention of the online community and quickly spread to traditional media. Our challenge was to negotiate with the hostage takers, reclaim the web address and release the ‘Woolies Love Birds'. Considering the nature of the ransom and Woolworths’ spotless reputation, their reaction would need to be both eloquent and gracious. Having convinced Woolworths to meet the ransom, we leveraged major social media channels to place emphasis on the reaction, sparking off intense online and offline discussion. We then used that momentum to shift the spotlight onto Woolworths’ massive socially responsible activities, further elevating their positive brand perception. The campaign established a clear online personality for the brand, gaining them a significantly increased following. For Woolworths’ first step into social media, it was a giant leap in the right direction.

The Goal
We aimed to create a campaign responding to the hostage situation that would strengthen Woolworths reputation both online and offline. We needed to engineer a response that would fuel positive debate and discussion on major social media channels and spin the potentially disastrous situation to our Woolworths’ advantage. Further than that, we needed to support and protect Woolworths’ debut move into social media and introduce many of their customers to social media itself.

Results
Apart from turning a negative publicity campaign on its head, we substantially increased the Woolworths social media presence and established a clear brand character and voice. On key social media channels, we achieved our goals of tripling audience volume (Twitter: 484 to 1,462 followers; Facebook: 702 to 2,206 fans) and completed the campaign with over 2,000 active players at the original campaign’s website.

Execution
At all points, both online and offline, we emphasised Woolworths’ playful and honourable response to the hostage-taking competitor, Yuppiechef.com. Compelling evidence of Woolworths’ widespread involvement in other corporate and social responsible activities, particularly with regards to their support of charities across the board, was delivered to the channels that counted most, the people behind them and the audience involved.

The Situation
When competitor brand Yuppiechef.com attempted to sabotage Woolworths’ social media debut, 'Woolies Love Birds', we had to counter the move with a purely social media response campaign. After a successful negotiation, we drove attention to the response, entered discussions and debates and successfully convinced the audience to concentrate on something they hadn’t considered: Woolworths’ highly active charity programs. It was a successful and organic recovery and a move that not only introduced many Woolworths customers to social media itself, but established a clear online personality for the brand.

The Strategy
The communication strategy concentrated on an active presence and quick response rate to activity on all major social media channels, blogs and influential offline publication websites. Since the hostage situation was being played out in the realm of social media, it made sense to channel all communication to where the conversations were happening. Through careful monitoring of the debates and discussions, where they were happening and who was doing the talking, we delivered appropriate responses in line with the tone and character of the brand. The strategy proved its point and the positive result was conclusive.