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How Ann Summers created buzz whilst extending brand online

How Ann Summers created buzz whilst extending brand online

Challenge.

Ann Summers was looking to drive awareness of its brand online and to enhance its ‘edginess’, using new and innovative channels.

Its retained search marketing agency iCrossing proposed a radical solution that would play on the brand’s edginess whilst attracting huge volumes of eyeballs at a relatively low cost

Strategy

Using paid search as a brand marketing tool – by bidding on high volume, topical keywords with cheeky and humorous campaigns, Ann Summers could generate significant eyeballs online and reputational benefits offline.

The strategy was not to deliver clicks – it was to leverage the paid search mechanic to cheekily insert the Ann Summers brand into unusual places.

Topical campaigns included:

British Airways strikes – bid on strike-related keywords with ad copy saying ‘The planes may be grounded, but you can still join the mile high club!’

Budget 2010 – bid on budget 2010 related keywords with ad copy saying ‘There’s no recession in pleasure’

Snow 2010 – bid on snow-related ketwords with ad copy saying ‘Stay in and stay warm with our steamy sex toys’

Election 2010 – bid on election related keywords with ad creative saying ‘Visit Ann Summers & find out why we believe in a well hung parliament’ and ‘We specialist in long, hard elections!’

Results

The campaigns generated significant volumes of impressions, not just from the ads themselves, but also from ancillary PR.

The ads generated over 1.5 million impressions for a spend of less than £4,500 – a CPM of 0.003p.

The campaigns were covered in the national media, with the Independent writing about the budget campaign and the Guardian commenting on the BA strike activity, as well as across social media outlets.

Fiona Taylor, Online Marketing Manager, Ann Summers: "iCrossing’s quick thinking and knowledge of our brand and products resulted in a brilliant, effective paid-search campaign which generated top search rankings." 

Paul Doleman, CEO iCrossing UK, says “This spontaneous and fun campaign proves that having your finger on the pulse and a strategy that can be quickly implemented around a topical news story can have great results.

"We effectively used the news agenda to build awareness and generate great press for our brand in a quick and fun way.”

To see film of this campaign, please play the video below.

To view a PDF of the campaign, please view the attachment below.

AJR
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