Thursday, 3 July 2008

Converse Spelling Bee - using Search for branding and driving word of mouth

Converse are running a Search Engine Spelling Bee in the US. The Converse campaign is based around a series of video minisites that are promoted using intriguing Search advertising.

The journey is started by typing 'is everything going to be OK' into Google and the top natural search result is for an unlabelled Converse site -

Clicking the link for takes the user through to a front screen that says 'Yes It Is.'

After a short pause some navigational arrows appear that allow users to view a series of different (random) Converse videos - each published under their own URL. For example:

and the scary

However, I think the most interesting video is the one that launches the Converse Spelling Bee

This video introduces an online Converse spelling Bee. The video tells users to spell the word 'ludicrous' and enter it into a Search Engine. US users are then told to look for the Converse ad on Google and follow instructions.

Clicking on the Google ad takes users to a new Converse spelling test which repeats the cycle. After five successful answers users are taken to which congratulates users and gives them the chance to download a Converse Spelling Bee certificate.

All of this activity links through to the a Converse site that promotes latest Converse designs. Whilst Eyecube feels that this may move Converse too far away from their traditional target, I think this is a bold adaptation of traditional viral advertising and could help widen the Converse audience.

From a technical point of view giving each video a bespoke URL is an interesting variation on the accepted idea of aggregating content within a single microsite and this activity also demonstrates that Search can be used creatively - and for a lot more than just driving acquisition!


A video case study has been pulled together for this Converse activity here:

Converse Domaination from Ross Martin on Vimeo.

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Anonymous said...


Great detective work here and thanks for the link. Let me say that I think this whole campaign is pretty cool. While Converse is my sneaker of choice (Nike is), I do own a pair of Chuck Taylor's and think Converse has a pretty strong brand. My concern is not this campaign, but how this campaign fits in with their overall marketing plan.

Nick Burcher said...

I think work like this is generally stronger if there is a consistent theme across media and creative in all media channels. However I am in the UK not the US, so the only parts of this campaign that I can see are the online videos, the surrounding online buzz and (using Google Ad Preview) I can participate in the Search Engine Spelling Bee (even though the ads are US targeted.)

The online activity therefore has to also be able to stand on its own and also work across borders. (I am not in the US but I am still influenced by this campaign.)

Think it would be great if any TV / press / point of sale etc was integrated with the online work, but for the reasons above I don't think it's essential.

Any other views?