It’s All Net: Integrating Interactive Channels

Integrated marketing campaigns may be a dime a dozen, but making several communication channels work in harmony can be a taxing experience. One company recently used three trendy media to achieve a common goal. Its success is sure to have you considering the same.

When business strategy and marketing management firm Blast Radius and Jordan, a Nike division, wanted to promote the latter’s newest product, they knew they had to come up with something fresh. The target audience for the Air Jordan XX (AJXX) is young, hip, and mobile. The campaign had to address these characteristics in a memorable way.

The solution was a “primetime” Internet marketing campaign designed to generate buzz prior to the product’s February 19 release. It employed not only online marketing but also mobile and desktop marketing.

“We wanted to focus on an integrated campaign,” says Roman Vega, Jordan’s brand manager. “Our age range is 16-20, with the sweet spot being 18, and consumers that age aren’t always watching TV. We need to go where they are.”

The campaign, which ran from January 16 to February 4, encouraged consumers to register online to participate in an upcoming interactive game hosted by Spike Lee. Each night at 8 p.m. EST, players could visit the Jordan brand site to view a rich media clue. The clue was associated with one of 20 different symbols featured in a “tapestry of icons” on the AJXX shoe’s straps.

Each symbol represents a milestone in the life of Michael Jordan, the brand’s namesake, and creates something of a visual autobiography. Sixty-nine, for example, signifies Jordan’s career high in scoring. Fifty-five marks the number of points he scored on the New York Knicks after returning from his first retirement.

“Michael is no longer playing, so he’s not able to validate the performance aspect of the shoe,” said Vega. “Strategically speaking, we wanted to rekindle people’s passion and connection to MJ’s legacy.”

In addition to accessing clues online, players could have them sent to their mobile phones as text messages or voicemail. They could also download a desktop application, the Jumpman 23 Launch Clock, to receive bonus clues via streaming video. There were media buys on MTV.com, ESPN.com, and Vibe Online, the online component of the urban music magazine. The campaign (particularly the desktop application) was also promoted in about a hundred key Nike stores and urban retailers.

After all the clues were disseminated, players could participate in the game itself. In the online trivia tournament, Lee challenged players to uncover the symbols’ meaning using the clues they had collected over the previous 20 days. Winners received Jordan shoes and apparel. One player was awarded a trip to Denver to participate in the product launch during the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend.

The decision to use three different media to distribute contest clues appears to have worked. As a result of the campaign, traffic to the Jordan brand site doubled over the same month last year (additional statistics are still being compiled). The tactic not only made the contest more accessible and convenient for players, it also helped define the brand.

The campaign’s online component continues to run and is updated daily.

“Teenagers love to discover new elements and to assess their own knowledge,” said Vega of the decision to include an interactive contest in the integrated campaign. “Guys are competitive, and they know that knowledge is power.”

Here’s hoping the knowledge Internet marketers gain as a result of this campaign will prove powerful as well.

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