Sometimes elaborate tactics aren't required to stimulate a viral response;
all it takes is one great idea. Ad agency McKinney's idea was to take
holiday ecards to a new level by putting an employee inside a giant
inflatable snow globe for four days and broadcasting it on a microsite
24 hours a day. Visitors could receive "season's greetings" from
Snowglobe Boy and chat with him. In a week, a small seed of a
Facebook page, a YouTube video and about 1,000 emails to McKinney's
friends attracted about 50,000 unique visitors, network press coverage
and lots of search traffic.
Brand campaign was conducted for: Snowglobe Boy
Launch date of campaign: Dec. 11, 2007
Target audience/demographic: Clients, media, vendors and the world
Do something different, something innovative and something that would save
paper typically used by McKinney to send out a holiday card to their
friends in the business. The solution was an interactive online holiday
greeting - one like nothing experienced before.
Out of this goal the concept of Snowglobe Boy was born. Snowglobe Boy was
simply a guy living inside an inflatable snow globe sending holiday cheer
to everyone around the world. A microsite was developed. Users could watch
him 24 hours a day through three mounted webcams. The microsite also
featured a chat function, so that users could cheer him on and ask
Outside of the microsite, a blog was created so Snowglobe Boy could keep a
diary of his daily events and happenings. A Facebook page was created so
people could communicate with him within the social network.
Sometimes, viral success is simply about the power of an idea - or, in
this case, an interaction with a boy in a snow globe. Seeding was limited
to make it an entirely grassroots viral phenomenon. Seeds that led to the
most success included a story on the local Raleigh newspaper website; a
Facebook profile; a YouTube video; 1,000 emails sent out to McKinney's
The buzz was astounding. The campaign generated 105 million PR impressions across all mediums. Links to press coverage:
Specific (Goal-Related) Campaign Results:
The campaign was a great success for McKinney:
Results showed up as soon as the emails went out to the friends of
McKinney. From there, Snowglobe Boy mentions started appearing on blogs
and message boards. It then snowballed onto the national media scene.
After the boy exited the snow globe, visits steadily declined over a
matter of a week.
- 50,000 unique visitors in one week
- 28,500 views on YouTube
- 105 million PR impressions
- 11th-ranked item searched on Google, Dec 14, 2007
- 2nd most searched item on MSN.com, Dec 14, 2007
The biggest surprise was how fast Snowglobe Boy caught on. It took only
four days for the national media to show interest in Snowglobe Boy. And
after four days of phenomenal success, Snowglobe Boy was allowed to leave
the globe and enjoy the McKinney holiday party.