Five Brand Engagement Campaigns That Struck Gold


Brand engagement is a fickle thing, and throwing money around isn’t always a guarantee that it’s going to captivate the target market. It always takes a whole lot of planning and hard work, but it’s also about not missing when an opportunity presents itself at the right moment. Take a look at these extremely successful campaigns, some opportunistic and some that came up with a perfect plan.

Porsche and Xbox LIVE – Porsche was launching the Panamera, and they were looking for a way to connect with hardcore motorsport enthusiasts in the 25-34 male demographic. They decided the answer was gaming, and offered Xbox LIVE members exclusive free content.

The content was branded and users were urged to find out more about the Panamera and visit the Porsche website. Porsche also reeled in Electronic Arts and invited users to race custom cars in the Need for Speed game to win prizes and a chance to race against race-car driver Hurley Haywood.


The result – 75 percent of Xbox LIVE members responded to the call to action in the ads they saw. A full 39 percent visited the Porsche website and 19 percent (205,500 potential buyers) landed up at a nearby Porsche dealership. The NFS racing contest garnered 70,000 participants, and generated a higher than average CTR.

Crasher Squirrel in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada – There probably isn’t anyone on the Internet who’s not aware of Banff National Park’s Crasher Squirrel. The curious squirrel who popped up in front of a camera was made famous when the picture was published on National Geographic’s website and went intensely viral.

What many people don’t know is that the Banff Lake Louise Tourism organization had a big role to play in the process. Within hours of the picture being published, they were on the story, setting up a twitter account for the squirrel and pushing it on all their social media channels, through paid search and website content. They got permission from National Geographic to use the picture in their content.


The result – They spent less than CAD $50,000 and generated advertising value worth $3 million that reached 80 million people. That was just the initial flurry. Since then, the crasher squirrel has hit billboards and ads, and is still the region’s tourism mascot and “Spokes-squirrel” engaging visitors in the first-person on Twitter and Facebook.

Tower Heist – NBC Universal was looking to gin up some buzz and fan activation on social media for the Tower Heist movie release. Branding Farm, the agency selected to handle it, and they decided on a Facebook scavenger hunt.

A million Facebook credits were made available to players for completing a variety of different actions. The scavenger hunt itself was publicized through Facebook ads and mentions in theaters as part of the movie’s trailers.


The result – 52,000 participants, with 60 percent of the credits distributed virally because participants shared it friends and invited them to join. The campaign not only generated 157 million owned impressions, but also 4.2 million earned impressions.

Greensburg, Kansas – The City of Greensburg was hit by an EF5 tornado on May 4, 2007. It leveled 95 percent of the city and killed 11 residents. Instead of limping along on federal and state aid, the city took matters into its own hands and decided to make use of its name to good effect.

They passed a resolution to rebuild as a “green” town, with all government buildings constructed to LEED Platinum standards. A non-profit named Greensburg GreenTown was created to help residents and businesses implement green practices. A host of green industries and businesses have sprung up in and around Greensburg, making use of and adding to the “green” halo.


The result – Greensburg’s engagement of its own citizens to build a green brand for the city has created a model of sustainability. The U.S. Dept of Energy and various universities in and outside Kansas have formed partnerships with Greensburg to document and study the projects being undertaken. The media attention has been phenomenal, and Greentown even provides a “GreenTour” that has attracted thousands of people from all over the U.S. and many from foreign countries.

Cadbury and Google+ Hangouts – Cadbury wanted to connect with the UK’s young and tech-savvy audience in the 18-25 demographic, and they turned to Google+. Same as Porsche, Cadbury also offered exclusive content and unique experiences such as the chance for Hangouts with Olympic athletes.


The result – 10,000 new Google+ followers per day, adding up to a total of 1.2 million new followers. That’s a lot more stunning when you consider that they were aiming for 20,000 new followers.

Image Courtesy: National GeographicTower Heist,,

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