Pepto Launches Big Facebook Push Leading to July 4th Festivities

  |  July 2, 2010   |  Comments

The upset stomach remedy brand picked up 38,700 fans yesterday for its new Facebook page. Pepto is looking to create a social media audience in conjunction with its sponsorship of the ESPN-televised Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest on Sunday.

Facebook, hot dogs, apple pie, and Pepto Bismol...

Well it's not exactly Americana to the tune of baseball and Chevrolet, but Pepto Bismol is attempting to introduce its new Facebook page with a bang heading into Fourth of July weekend. Sparking off a four-day campaign that concludes with a hot dog eating contest, the Procter & Gamble brand yesterday ran a series of five Facebook ads that were served to all U.S. users on their newsfeed homepage.

Each user could have seen the Pepto ads (see two examples below) a collective total of five times, said Elizabeth Ming, a P&G spokesperson. When asked if more ads would be purchased this weekend, Ming declined to comment, but didn't rule out the possibility.

Perhaps here's why. After launching the page on June 25, Pepto picked up 600 fans/"People Like This" before the aggressive Facebook buy yesterday. By 11:30 p.m. Thursday, its audience on the social site had risen to 39,300.

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Ming said the marketing team at P&G was developing plans to keep the new audience engaged. "Once we have our fan base, we hope to continue to provide value to the people who 'like' Pepto," she said.

Pepto's already providing a peek into what could be in store for its Facebook fans. The stomach remedy brand posted a two-question quiz on June 25 that featured the questions, "What's your summer slogan?" and "What would you do for a free t-shirt?" For each question, viewers could select from three light-hearted answers.

Overall, the campaign includes Pepto's official sponsorship of the "Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest" on the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, NY. The event will be televised live by ESPN at 12 p.m. EDT on Sunday, and will be promoted by the sports media giant until then.

Ming said Pepto would have a booth at the event, where staffers will instruct attendees on how to share photos from the contest on Facebook and how to "Like" Pepto on the social site. And its Facebook ads yesterday conceptually plugged into the event, with one reading: "How many hot dogs will the winner of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest eat? Give us your guess and you could win a free Pepto t-shirt." Beneath the copy appeared the social site's Like button, which, if tapped by a user, adds the person to the brand's "People Like This" list.

Meanwhile, Pepto wouldn't discuss the price tag for the one-day Facebook ad buy. But sources who regularly purchase Facebook ads said that a newsfeed homepage run like Pepto's would be CPM-based and cost at a minimum $100,000.

Kate Kaye contributed reporting.

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.


Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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