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2019 Reflection: Planet Fitness Awareness Campaign

Back in 2017, ruckus Digital successfully launched the Planet Fitness Canada social channels. While new locations are regularly opening across the nation, as a newer gym in Canada, there is still a level of education and brand awareness required for the Canadian audience.

December and January is a busy time for the fitness industry as Canadians look to join gyms and fulfill fitness New Year’s resolutions. To put Planet Fitness at the forefront of Canadian minds, we needed to create an awareness campaign that would tell social media users who Planet Fitness is and why they should join.

Since Planet Fitness’ brand voice is fun and sassy, we wanted to develop a campaign that not only boasted Planet Fitness membership perks and prices (which are extremely competitive), but that also stayed true to their unique tone. As an added challenge, we wanted to attribute as much of our budget as possible to paid social advertising to maximize reach, which meant we wanted to create assets without the use of production studio.

The result was a “Reactions” campaign – a series of overly and comically expressive stock models in Planet Fitness branded imagery with captions that spoke to Planet Fitness features in relatable, meme-like ways.

There was a moment during the ideation where I found myself feeling genuinely concerned we were going to have a hard time finding a winning idea – but when the idea came, it felt so natural and obvious, and one of those few times where you toot your own horn and think “genius!”

Once the base of the idea was created, the captions came easily, and it’s a campaign I’m very proud of.

The campaign ran from the end of December 2018 until early 2019 and resulted in over 1.75 million impressions and an average engagement rate of 12%, compared to an average engagement rate of 5% on always-on content.

A big takeaway I got from this project is realizing how a simple can idea can have a maximum effect. Despite brainstorming bigger ideas that would be more complex and harder to execute, the winning idea ended up being the one that was simplest to execute – meaning we could put those dollars directly back into media spend, which our team and the client team was very happy about.

Amanda Carreiro is the Senior Digital Content Manager at ruckus Digital.

Check out more 2019 highlights here!

2019: Tasking YouTubers with an Interac $100 Challenge

Problem

Interac is a world-class debit payment system and one of Canada’s leading brands. On average, it is used 16 million times daily and is a market leader in payment technologies. With a concern that new technology platforms and often-enticing credit card reward-programs could encroach as the preferred method of payment for Millennials, the brand wanted to remind their key targets why Interac Flash is the safe, secure and convenient way to pay. 

Roughly 60 per cent of consumers were being influenced by social media, according to Collective Bias, the brand saw this as an opportunity to speak to their targets outside of traditional media. Based on eMarketer research, YouTube was the most used platform, with Canadian Millennials spending 8 hours a week on the platform, above watching live TV (4.1 hours), scrolling Facebook (7.3 hours) or binging Netflix (7.4). Millennials grew up with technology and were very aware of advertisements. They wanted control over their ads, with 69 per preferring “skippable” functions. To reach this audience and show savvy young shoppers that using Interac Debit is the best way to own their financial future, we knew we had to do it on the platforms they loved with the people they watched and trusted.

Solution

Developed in collaboration with KIN Community and APEX PR, we created a six-month content strategy, leveraging YouTube creators to increase consideration for Interac Flash as THE choice payment method among Millennials. We knew that Canadian Millennials were highly engaged with “challenge” content in the lifestyle space, so we created a challenge that would link all YouTuber content so viewers could continue engaging with the brand through multiple videos. To do this, each creator was challenged to complete a task with a $100 budget. Why $100 dollars? Because it aligns perfectly with Interac Flash, reminding people that for under $100 you can touch and go. Every week, this “travelling concept” leveraged the audiences of established creators across their different YouTube channels, and across their social. The creators rose to the challenge!  And they inspired their audiences to #owntheirworld…

Trends were studied each month and we worked with each creator to tailor their content to these trends to remain top of mind and relevant with our target audience. For example, November and December’s research showed that gift guides were in high demand. This was capitalized on and amplified a core value for Interac in the process, supporting local businesses. In a unique twist, the YouTubers and local media experts created local, curated gift guides across the country that showed their viewers their favourite stores and gift ideas. Fans loved it and begged for more local guides! Proving that the Interac content was providing real value and solving a consumer need. 

In addition to organic distribution, we implemented a paid media strategy to target Canadian Millennials with Interac messaging. We ran full-length videos, up to 18 minutes in length, as TrueView to ensure our audience was being exposed to the messaging in a format native to the audience. Knowing that Millennials often choose to skip ads served to them on YouTube, we optimized videos to reduce the odds that viewers would choose to skip through introductions and editing styles that we knew would catch the attention of Canadian Millennials.

Results

To drive video views and audience retention, this campaign leveraged YouTube and their TrueView In Stream Ads to highly target the home buying audience and ensure the right audience was receiving the right message affordably and quickly. in the past, media channels like TV made it a challenge to reach a specific demographic quickly and cost-effectively. Overall, the Interac $100 Challenge delivered 20 million impressions, 7.3 million video views and 124K engagements across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Our colleagues at APEX PR delivered 11.3 million traditional media impressions across 46 stories from highly trusted outlets such as Breakfast Television Montreal, The Global Morning Show and CTV Morning Live Ottawa.

Katie Boland is an Account Director at ruckus digital.

Read more of our favorite work from 2019. Need help with your social media approach? Drop us a line.

What’s the story with Upstairs Amy?


RUCKUS DIGITAL AND APEX PR ARE COLLABORATING WITH WALMART CANADA AND INTERAC® FOR AN ORIGINAL DIGITAL SERIES, UPSTAIRS AMY, PRODUCED BY SHAFTESBURY

From the producers of global phenomenon Carmilla, Upstairs Amy is a scripted comedy that will also feature real-life digital influencers curated by APEX Public Relations.

The grass is always greener on the other side – or, in Amy Zhang’s case, on another floor.

 

Upstairs Amy follows the lives of three millennial moms on a journey through friendship, motherhood and self-discovery. When Amy’s apartment floods, she, her husband Dean, and their toddler are forced to move upstairs while the damages are repaired. There, Amy meets her captivating new neighbour Kaavya, the “it-girl” from the 26th floor. When a white lie turns into a new life, Amy and her best friend Veronica find themselves surrounded by Kaavya’s world of beauty, glamour, mystery and men – and so begins Amy’s transformation from average accountant into social media superstar “Upstairs Amy.”

 

ruckus Digital knows brands need storytelling and relatable characters that resonate with their target audiences. Before, commercials were the standard way of serving content to consumers. Now, consumers are in control – they decide when and how to interact with brands. This is why we are so excited to be working with Kin Community and their talented group of influencers, whose participation in-show will extend to their own channels and beyond. The influencers will be posting weekly content on their own channels relating to each week’s episode. ruckus Digital will lead the development on media buying and social content for the series.


The series is scheduled to launch
in November 2017 on a dedicated Upstairs Amy YouTube channel.

Drive engagement through Millennials ‘early onset nostalgia’

With fierce competition from other leading online and bricks and mortar retailers, the holiday shopping season is the most difficult time of the year to capture a customer’s attention. Walmart Canada needed a creative approach to break through the noise and entice Canadian shoppers to choose Walmart for their Black Friday (in-store and online), Cyber Monday (online) and Boxing Week (in-store and online) shopping.

According to Digiday, experts say that factors such as the coming of age during economic turmoil has meant millennials end up romanticizing simpler times – even times they weren’t around for – which the industry has diagnosed as millennials’ ‘early onset nostalgia.’ (As seen in Throwback Thursdays or Wayback Wednesdays online conversations.)

Building on this ‘early onset nostalgia,’ an IABC Silver Leaf award-winning illustration and animation series was developed with a nostalgic twist to get millennials ‘ready for their big shopping day’ through retro-styled workout stretches.

Industry best practices indicate short videos improve audience engagement. A more recent move has been to look at platform-specific variations to improve impressions. According to Mobile Marketer, consumers spend 98 per cent of their time using their phone in portrait mode. Square videos also perform better on certain platforms.

A 10-second square video animation series was created for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, while vertical videos were pushed through Snapchat. YouTube videos were also added to the mix. The videos included exercises in retro gear with workouts such as squats (i.e. to lift your big-ticket in-store purchase) and finger stretches (i.e. to tap for your online purchases).

Since Black Friday and Boxing Day offered in-store shopping experiences, five in-family day-parted Snapchat geofilters were designed for each day for individuals to share their Walmart-inspired shopping experiences through a selfie.

The video campaign targeted millennial Twitter followers, Snapchat users, Instagram fans, Facebook fans and YouTube users.

The campaign allowed Walmart Canada to maintain its leadership position during these peak shopping days during the holiday season. The geofilters also ranked within the top worldwide on the platform – the only Canadian brand to do that in Q4 (even beating out the 2 US presidential candidates’ geofilters per capita).

Need help targeting Millennials through your social content? Drop us a line.

 

 

How to add a fresh twist to your social media content

Have any of your married friends or those in committed relationships ever asked to play with someone else’s dating apps (just because they were curious)?

According to a Google Consumer Survey ruckus Digital commissioned in spring 2017, about a quarter of Canadian millennials know someone who has. This insight gave us the perfect opportunity to get fresh (groceries, that is) with our Walmart millennial audience.

Dinnder was a 10 to 15-second social media video ad series (throughout spring/summer 2017 long weekends, including Victoria Day, Canada Day and the Civic Holiday), created to improve Walmart’s quality perception and spread awareness about its new 100% Canadian AAA Angus Beef.  Delicious cuts of beef were paired with attractive sides made with Walmart’s fresh produce.

How: By drawing a connection between a dating app and the brand, we piqued consumer interest in a brand new way – cutting through the long weekend clutter in both English and French Canada – as people were stocking up for their long weekend get-togethers.

The vertical video series (to align with the vertical orientation for swiping on popular dating apps) ran on Facebook and Snapchat. The series was among the top pieces of social content for Walmart in summer 2017.

As marketers, we constantly have to rethink how we reach consumers/audiences and stand out in the crowd. Take a look at our Dinnder videos and let us know what you think!


Need help with your paid social media strategy and targeting? Drop us a line.

Walmart Canada brings you into the dorm with Facebook 360 photography

Excitement for virtual reality continues to explode and with Facebook 360 photos. Users can expand the canvas of their images to new dimensions. Facebook 360 provides the ability to create 3D, panoramic-like views of your environment, similar to how people experience 360 videos.

This feature was launched last year, and has continued to be very popular with brands – over 70 million 360 photos have been shared on Facebook. In addition, people gaze 5x longer at video than at static content on Facebook and Instagram, so it is safe to assume the use of 360 photos will also establish a longer gaze and demand more attention than a fixed image.

Challenge

Students spend hours daily on digital channels and view advertising differently than their parents. They want to be in control of advertising and appreciate short and quick messages. With this in mind, Walmart looked to provide an inspirational digital execution to help students visualize a decked out dorm room with Walmart’s full assortment of home, technology and apparel products.

Solution

Using Facebook 360 posts, Walmart’s 2017 Back to Campus campaign allowed viewers to immerse themselves in four different dorm rooms. Instead of being a flat image, the 360 photos are much more inviting – drawing viewers into the scene and allowing them to feel the experience of being in a dorm and making sure their favourite desk will fit!

The posts were published as Facebook Collections (also a first time for Walmart Canada), which allowed users to go directly to Walmart.ca to purchase. Our ruckus Digital team was responsible for the campaign from start to finish including strategy, production, media buying and reporting/measurement.

Results

These Back to Campus 360 posts were the top performing posts within organic streams across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during summer 2017, producing an 18 per cent increase to organic reach and exceeded benchmarks for online conversions.

Need help with your social content strategy? Drop us a line.

Use ambassador videos to tell your brand story

It’s estimated that in 2017, video accounts for 74 per cent of online traffic. Combined with the fact that 55 per cent of people watch online video every day, video should be part of your brand’s integrated story.

Husqvarna Canada has been working with ruckus Digital since 2015 to build and sustain an engaged social media presence.

From timely branded holiday content (i.e. mock Father’s Day tie below) to #FanFriday user-generated content, momentum continues to build with Husqvarna Canada’s audiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To take content to the next level, we created a Husqvarna PROfiles video series with industry professionals at Parkwood Estates (film location for movies such as Billy Madison) in Oshawa, Ontario.

The long form video content (approx. 2 minutes each), gave Husqvarna ambassadors the opportunity to tell their industry stories in an authentic and meaningful way – with the integration of on-site product use. This approach continues to perform well online with its intended audience.

Need help telling your brand’s story through video? Drop us a line.

Walmart Canada: One-stop shop for groceries, general merchandise and now beer and wine

Canadians are consuming hundreds of pieces of content daily, faster than ever before, which makes it important for brands to capture the attention of users quickly to impact and secure brand recall.

According to Fors-Marsh group tests, it takes only 0.25 of a second of exposure for people to recall mobile feed content at a statistically significant rate. In Facebook’s News Feed people spend, on average, 1.7 seconds with a piece of content. That’s a very short amount of time to capture audience attention.

Taking into account the current social media landscape and how important it is to communicate fast and effectively on social, ruckus digital helped Walmart Canada develop Facebook video carousels to drive awareness of Walmart locations now selling beer and wine.

Here is a summary of this campaign and how it helped Walmart to drive local awareness about it beer and wine offering on social media:

Challenge

The government of Ontario now permits grocery stores to sell beer and wine, giving consumers more convenience and choice. Walmart was looking for a local strategy to communicate to shoppers that select stores now sell beer and wine. Adding to the challenge was that their competitors were also launching their own communications about beer and wine availability.

Solution

Ruckus digital created beer and wine animated cinemagraph carousels that were geo-targeted to local shoppers of select Walmart stores now selling beer and wine. The video cinemagraph carousels helped Walmart stop social media scroll through by creating innovative visuals to help increase local awareness of their expanded in-store offering.

Result

The animated cinemagraph carousels resulted in an increase of 280 per cent engagement and helped Walmart reach an engaged local audience.