Special event campaigns: Capitalizing on Hollywood’s biggest night

The 2012 Oscars have come and gone. There were many winners, and there were some losers. For SCENE, the movie rewards program from Scotiabank and Cineplex, it wasn’t necessary to be at the event in order to capitalize on Hollywood’s Biggest Night.

Recognizing the great opportunity of associating its brand within the environment of The Oscars, SCENE enlisted Mediative’s expertise in innovative online opportunities to drive enrolment of SCENE black card members (a free membership program to earn points for free movies and more).

SCENE teamed up with Lainey Gossip, a publisher in Mediative’s Entertainment Channel, and provided the grand prize for their Annual Red Carpet Contest. Lainey Gossip is Canada’s hottest and most read pop culture and lifestyle property, and is therefore a great platform for advertisers wanting to be in & around her affluent female 18-34 audience. The Annual Red Carpet Contest, which runs in the weeks leading up to the Oscars, allowed visitors to LaineyGossip.com to enter the contest by submitting their picks for all the major Oscar categories, and signing up for a SCENE black card.The goal of the campaign was to hit a target number of new members on either SCENE.ca (online) or m.SCENE.ca (mobile site).

Coupled with the custom contest, a major contributor to the success of the Lainey Gossip Program for SCENE was the Red Carpet Headquarters & advertorial series. The Red Carpet Headquarters was launched 3 weeks before the big night, and was housed on a dedicated microsite, full of gossip & coverage on nominated movies, celebrities, and last year fashion trends leading up to the Oscars.

In the 3 weeks leading up to the Oscars, there were approximately 5,800,000 impressions promoting the contest throughout LaineyGossip.com plus advertorials & tweets driving visitors to the Red Carpet Headquarters microsite.

SCENE met their objective in terms of numbers of enrolments.

There are seven key points that made this campaign the success that it was:

  1. The client had a clear goal: increase enrolment of SCENE black card members. This, therefore, was the KPI for the campaign.
  2. The client had a clear target audience: Adults, aged 18-34 who are socially active in out of home entertainment (movies, theatre, sports & dining) & are online & mobile savvy
  3. This was a contextual campaign – The target of SCENE’s campaign audience was movie goers. Lainey Gossip’s brand is about everything related to celebrities, movies, etc. So this was an ideal match-up / tie-in campaign.
  4. The client and publisher relationship involved a great deal of trust. SCENE allowed Lainey Gossip to take the campaign and run with it. Clients sometimes box publishers in ways that prevent them from obtaining the best results from campaign, but SCENE relied on Lainey Gossip’s knowledge of the celebrities content to provide the best scenarios possible to achieve great results. The relationship was also very active in the sense that the client was able to capture results/news while they were breaking.
  5. Social media support – Lainey Gossip was incredibly supportive of the campaign and developed social media support – something in general they don’t do much of, but it worked for the benefit of the client to increase the number of enrolments.
  6. Co-branded media between Lainey Gossip and SCENE generated great results. Display banners – standard IAB units – had no ad copy other than a call-to-action to enrol in contest.
  7. SCENE had a captive audience for 3 weeks, and while SCENE’s campaign’s objective was to increase enrolment of black card members, they also leveraged the campaign for brand awareness with new readers and returning readers.

For more hints and tips see Mediative’s cheat sheet “Best Practices for Special Event Campaigns” which includes SEO and PPC tactics that can make campaigns even more successful.