Mercury Viral Effort Connects

The latest iteration of Mercury’s “New Doors Opened” campaign apparently connected with Web users. A site the auto brand set up to promote a new SUV garnered 290,000 unique visitors, and 64,000 of them clicked through to its brand Web site.

Mercury agency Wunderman Detroit built the viral site, dubbed “Meet the Lucky Ones,” in the spirit of BMW Films and AmEx’s “Seinfeld and Superman” adventures. The branding touch is very light, consisting of only a few tiny hyperlinks to Mercury’s Web page and to the microsite for its Mariner SUV. Over 64,000 visitors have gone directly to the Mariner section of the Web site from “Meet the Lucky Ones.”

The impressive traffic numbers don’t achieve the highs reached by American Express’ online video spots featuring silly banter between Seinfeld and Superman, or of Burger King’s “Subservient Chicken,” both of which brought in millions of hits in a single week.

However, it’s enjoying healthy traffic and brand exposure metrics at a time when many creative and marketing types are striving to concoct effective viral campaigns. For obvious reasons, the ad community doesn’t hear much about the big viral marketing flops; it only has the successes to go on.

Approximately 23,000 visitors opted in to receive more information via email about “Meet the Lucky Ones.” The site is two weeks into a five-week run, during which time it will offer up new vignettes featuring a cast of characters living out a dreamy, disconnected series of plot twists.

“These early results support our strategic decision to dedicate nearly 25 percent of the “New Doors Opened” total marketing communications budget to digital marketing and customer relationship events,” said John Fitzpatrick, Lincoln Mercury’s general marketing manager.

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