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Brands Show Off Their Social Side at IAB's MIXX

  |  September 21, 2009   |  Comments

Bank of America, General Mills' Betty Crocker, and Frito-Lay's Cheetos play up their social marketing efforts.

The Bank of America has turned to Twitter as a channel for customer care.

Betty Crocker's marketing team worked with CafeMom.com, a social network for moms and moms-to-be, to help moms plan birthday parties for children ages 3 to 12.

And Cheetos and its creative agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners collaborated with Federated Media to develop a sponsorship program called Cheetos Boredom Busters.

Initiatives of Bank of America, General Mills' Betty Crocker, and Frito-Lay's Cheetos were highlighted during the first day of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX conference on Monday during Advertising Week.

Stephanie Charlesbois, senior communications strategist at Goodby, Silverstein, said publishers in Federated Media's network were tasked to come up with video and other content for their audiences. "We made it clear to brand teams (at Frito-Lay) it was essential that we have to give up creative control. This is a scary thing for the clients," she said.

A 10-month Betty Crocker campaign on CafeMom had several goals including provide moms with cake ideas and inspirations for party themes while establishing Betty Crocker as a source of "holistic birthday solutions," said Laura Fortner, SVP, marketing and insights at CafeMom. Three groups of 50 moms were asked to use Betty Crocker party themes and share their photos and insights on CafeMom.

And Jennifer McDonald, BofA digital marketing executive, discussed the evolution of the bank's social media strategy. Its first initiative back in 2006 amounted to a product promotion on Facebook. Next, the bank sought to build upon its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team, encouraging people to create a cheer and promote it on social network.

"We continued to challenge ourselves to become more relevant in our core day-to-day business," said McDonald.

Its first initiative back in 2006 amounted to a product promotion on Facebook. Next, the bank sought to build upon its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team, encouraging people to create a cheer and posting it on a social network.

But Bank of America re-evaluated its social media play again this year. "We continued to challenge ourselves to become more relevant in our core day-to-day business," McDonald said.

So, the Bank of America examined what customers were saying about the brand on social networks. It subsequently set up a Twitter account, @BofA_help, to help customers resolve issues they were having with their checking accounts and other services. The account, manned by David Knapp, now serves 50 to 100 customers a week.

So how did the bank get buy in for the Twitter account from its legal department and other teams? "It's an extension of our customer service team...This is a service channel for us," McDonald said.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Maria Virzi

Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.

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