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Twitter Advertiser: Brand Awareness Was an Afterthought

  |  March 30, 2011   |  Comments

Green Mountain Coffee explains unusual marketing strategy behind its Promoted Trend buy.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters yesterday purchased the Promoted Trend ad on Twitter and used the copy "LoveKeurig?" to attract people who already own its Keurig coffee/tea machine. Indeed, while movie marketers have been buying the Promoted Trend to generate brand awareness, Green Mountain's chief goal was decidedly narrower.

"This promotion was to reach out, first and foremost, to consumers that have an at-home brewer," said Ken Crites, marketing director for specialty beverages for Green Mountain. "The reason we went with the trend title copy 'LoveKeurig?' is…we did not really want the attention of the entire Twitter audience, but only folks who are among the 7 million people who own a Keurig brewer."

Keurig machines, which prepare single cup servings, are produced by Waterbury, VT-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

greenmountainPeople who clicked on the Promoted Trend ad were pointed to a landing page with the following Promoted Tweet: "Love Keurig? We want to thank you with a free Brew-Over-Ice tumbler and a chance to win a free Alaskan cruise: bit.ly/boicruise".

Crites said the "Brew Over Ice" campaign - which will run on other channels until August - should educate Keurig owners that their machines can be used to brew Green Mountain's line of chilled beverages during warm weather. Customers can buy drinks like apple cider in the company's "K-Cups," which they would insert into their machine to brew before pouring over ice. They retail at $18 for box of 24.

While a Promoted Trend reportedly costs between $70,000 and $120,000, Crites looked at the purchase as a worthy experiment and an alternative to mass advertising. "Most people don't have our brewer, so I don't want to use TV to tell people about our launch of apple cider," he said. "We had seen a lot of movies and tech groups experiment with it. We wanted to speak to people who already have a brewer, and we thought this might be a unique way of doing that."

Green Mountain Uses 'Follow-Gating' to Weed Out Serial Sweeps Players

Thirty-year-old Green Mountain Coffee Roasters partnered with CruiseDeals.com to offer the Alaska vacation sweepstakes. To enter the contest, participants had to follow seven brands on Twitter or "like" them on Facebook. In addition to Green Mountain Coffee and CruiseDeals.com, the other companies included Green Mountain-owned brands Keurig, Iced K Cups, Celestial Seasonings, Revv Coffee, and Green Mountain Naturals. Requiring viewers to follow the brands puts a Twitter twist on the like-gating tactic commonly seen on Facebook.

"The thought was, 'If you don't own a machine and you just want to win a cruise, hopefully having to follow all these brands will turn you off,'" he said. "We didn't want sweepstakes-minded folks. We wanted people who would like to hear from our brands. And if you do have a brewer, we want you to know that these Twitter and Facebook pages exist."

The Twitter account for K Cups (@IcedKCups) was highlighted in the ad. Before the campaign, the handle had around 100 followers. By the end of its Promoted Trend run, it had more than 4,000. And @Keurig tripled its followers and now has 6,700. Sweepstakes partner CruiseDeals.com also benefited from the ad, going from 5,000 followers to over 8,000.

"In the future, when we have news that we think is relevant to followers, we can share it with them," Crites said. "We think that people opting into emails to hear from brands is becoming a thing of the past. There's a growing part of the consumer audience that wants to communicate through social media."

Facebook Is Up Next; A Peak at Promoted Trend Sentiment

Green Mountain will also run Facebook ads to promote the "Brew Over Ice" initiative in the coming weeks, Crites said. "It's a small budget," he said. "We are not targeting people who simply say they 'like' coffee on Facebook. We are targeting people who have talked about the Keurig system…Again, we will be focusing on attracting people who already have the brewer. We want to convince them they can use their Keurig for all of these other great drinks."'

Meanwhile, depending on the sentiment analysis provided by Green Mountain's agency, Vayner Media, Crites said his company may soon purchase another Promoted Trend. "It's a definite possibility," he said. "We got to figure out how many comments were inappropriate and how many were right in the sweet spot."

Here's a sample of the tweets the ad inspired yesterday:

WooT! My coffee is trending. #LoveKeurig? Hell YES!!

Yes, I #LoveKeurig

Do you #LoveKeurig? Enough to grant them or their partners"...the ability to Tweet on your behalf"? I think not.

We #lovekeurig in our office and at home... Coffee without the grind!!!

is #lovekeurig really a trending topic bc if it is then i will take this opportunity to say i love mine more than LIFE.

#loveKeurig- more like love hate. Love fast, yummy coffee. Hate $150 machine breaking 1/2 way through my Sunday cup. Love Sams for exch it!

Update: On April 1, CruiseDeals.com and Green Mountain Coffee followed up the Promoted Trend effort by purchasing Promoted Tweet keywords for the hash-tag, "#aprilfools," which was a trending topic. Promoted Tweets appear to Twitter users based on the micro-blogging site's relevancy algorithm, as well as the monetary bid placed by the brand. Here is the landing page copy: CruiseDeals.com No #Aprilfools joke - We are giving away a free 7-night Alaska Cruise with Airfare! details -> http://brewoverice.com/cruise.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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