Trident’s Juicy Oscar Buy

We saw several interesting Oscar-related digital campaigns take form this year as marketers worked the biggest opportunity since the Super Bowl to connect with millions of consumers. As with the Super Bowl, social media played a prominent role. Academy Award sponsor JCPenney married its Oscar TV spots with Twitter by running a live Twitter contest during the broadcast. In its “Road to the Awards” contest, auto brand Chrysler skinned Yahoo’s movie section, offered users exclusive videos related to the event, and encouraged users to submit their votes for potential Oscar winners to Facebook.

When Academy Awards viewers made their way to PerezHilton.com on the night of the big event, they found that the blog had rolled out the red carpet for Kraft Foods’ Trident Gum brand. The brand took center stage with a social media widget and site sponsorship that merged juicy gum with juicy gossip.

Beyond its everyday popularity, Trident – through its digital creative agency noise new york – had good reason to partner with the celebrity gossip site. According to PerezHilton.com, traffic typically spikes 30 to 50 percent directly before and after an award show like the Academy Awards. This year, the site created a standalone site section not just for the Oscars, but for each of the major award events. The site estimated that it would receive between 18 and 20 million impressions between Sunday and Monday of this week.

Taking advantage of the opportunity at hand, Trident used a strategic combination of social media promotion, site sponsorships, and interactive ad creative to introduce its newest product to the online world. Blogger Perez Hilton himself kicked off the campaign with a sponsored tweet delivered to his 2.9 million Twitter followers that read: “It’s Oscar night! New Trident Vitality has teamed up w/ me to bring you all the red carpet happenings! Check it out.”

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Once at PerezHilton.com, visitors were treated to a Trident-sponsored Twitter widget that presented Oscar-related tweets from Perez Hilton himself and other celebrities. In addition to the widget, Trident’s media buy included a sponsorship of the site’s Oscar content and, to further leverage the award show site traffic, a home page sponsorship complete with an interactive page skin and associated banners.

trident-oscars-twitter

Home page visitors were invited to select from three different backgrounds based on each of the three product flavors, an offering that came courtesy of a custom-designed “Toggling Skin” created by the publisher (one rep from the site said such skins “tend to perform really well”). The banners, too, were interactive; when a user scrolled over a unit, the cursor altered the image, expanding background designs and spreading snowflakes or sparkles across the unit. The effect was different on each of the banners and related to each flavor of gum. It may not have been the most action-oriented example of rich media interactivity, but it certainly succeeded in drawing attention to the ads – and thereby the newly launched product.

trident-toggling-skin

Those who were enticed to click were introduced to the product’s Facebook page where they could find videos and further information on the new flavors of gum. Trident followed the cardinal rule of promoting a new product and made sure to keep media creative consistent both on the media partner’s site and the Facebook page.

Whereas some brands view an event like the Academy Awards simply as an opportunity to snag some extra eyeballs or Facebook fans, Trident took a more savvy approach this year. Its campaign was like a pyramid of Web exposure: an Oscar sponsorship topped with a home page sponsorship that worked in tandem to deliver major product launch impact and reach the maximum number of site visitors.

Trident’s two-day Oscar blitz is part of a larger, lengthier media buy on PerezHilton.com, but what an important part it is. What better way to launch a product like this one than in conjunction with the star-studded, galvanized, glamorized Oscars – arguably the epitome of the term “vitality”? This Oscar campaign demonstrates the value of good cultural timing, a good media match, and a Web publisher that’s willing to get creative…in order to get the gold.

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