2012 Bronze Effie Winner “Online dating, your way.”

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Zoosk, a privately held online dating company, was launched in 2007 in an .... Our media strategy was to flood the market with 30-second TV commercials, ...

2012 Bronze Effie Winner

“Online dating, your way.” Category: Internet/Telecom Brand/Client: Zoosk Lead Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Contributing Agencies: OgilvyOne Worldwide, Off the Leash Insights

Strategic Challenge What the heck’s a Zoosk? Zoosk, a privately held online dating company, was launched in 2007 in an already crowded playing field dominated by two giants: match.com and eHarmony. Despite three years in business and over $30 million in VC funding dedicated to marketing efforts1, the vast majority of singles in the U.S. had never even heard of Zoosk2 – a fact that was in conflict with the Co-CEO/entrepreneurs’ stated desire to become a category leader. 1. PR Newswire, December 2009 2. Brand Awareness tracking by Off The Leash Insights, Inc, March 2010 The chicken and the egg Zoosk needed to attract additional investor funding, but to accomplish this, they had to gain brand awareness. By April 2010, Zoosk had only achieved 15% total competitive brand awareness, not even good enough for a position on the top 10 list. Out of 15 online dating sites, Zoosk sat mired in 13 th place. eHarmony and match.com were the market leaders, each with over 90% awareness. To survive, Zoosk Effie® Awards 116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242 th

2012: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of the Effie Awards.

needed their numbers to go up. Way up. Seeking help Zoosk approached us with no messaging platform to speak of nor a positioning strategy to build upon. They knew they needed to get to the next level but didn’t know how to get there. In short, they were a company but not a brand.

Objectives Make Zoosk known Perceptual/Attitudinal Objective: Zoosk set a goal in August 2010 to increase brand awareness to at least 50% among single adults ages 18–55 by the start of 2011. Tool: Quarterly brand awareness tracking Benchmark: In March of 2010, Zoosk had just 15% brand awareness 1 (prior to this date, brand awareness had not been measured).

1. Brand Awareness tracking by Off The Leash Insights, Inc, March 2010 .

Business Objective: Increase subscription rates by 20%. Tool: Zoosk Analytics Dashboard Benchmark: There was no prior year benchmark for offline advertising. Client used baseline of subscribers for May 2010 to track subscriber growth post May campaign launch. After seeing the subscription rate level out toward the middle of September 2010, client defined new 20% increase goal.

Insight Dating preferences vary for an individual and can fluctuate by day and season – whether they want a fun date night out or are seeking to settle in to a long-term relationship.

Effie® Awards 116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242 th

2012: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of the Effie Awards.

Other online dating services were limiting users to matches based on very specific relationship preferences without giving the user the ability to define for themselves what they wanted. Competitors' strategies were narrowly focused on finding “the one.” eHarmony used a “scientific approach to matching highly compatible singles” and claimed they were responsible “for nearly 5% of marriages in the U.S.”1 Match.com actually commissioned a research study in 2009 to boast that their site had led to twice as many recently married couples than their nearest competitor. 2 But nobody was talking about what singles wanted most: Having a choice. We saw an opportunity for Zoosk to become a destination for those who weren’t necessarily looking for their soulmate. Who didn’t see dating as merely a means to an end (marriage) but something better: A fun, even serendipitous adventure that could lead anywhere. For some that meant a serious relationship, but for others that could mean flirting or just going out on a casual date once in awhile. Zoosk had to resonate with singles. Online dating had become “too serious.” And competitive advertising was missing the human truths about dating. More often than not, a person has experienced a dating blunder or a relationship turned sour that makes online dating seem like an attractive option. By connecting with this truth, we could appeal to single people who hadn’t used online dating sites before or to users of other online dating sites who were being told who – or how – to date. 1. eHarmony.com 2. Match.com and Chadwick Martin Bailey 2009–2010 Studies; Recent Trends: Online Dating

The Big Idea Not all single people are looking for “the one” – they should have a choice in how they find a date, who they date and in the way they date.

Bringing the Idea to Life Going big We launched Zoosk with work that was a complete 180 from what the competition was doing: Stereotypical, user-testimonial driven advertising about finding “the one.” We used human truths about dating stereotypes and disasters: A bedroom scene gone wrong; a date allergic to everything; a showboating “athlete” who was anything but an athlete. It was all fair game. And it was funny. And we brought it all home with a new tagline: “Online dating, your way.” Our media strategy was to flood the market with 30-second TV commercials, running 24/7 across 63 stations in a national cable buy. This meant maximum visibility, guaranteeing the advertising would intercept busy singles throughout many parts of their day (and night).

Effie® Awards 116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242 th

2012: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of the Effie Awards.

We kept the momentum going with a print campaign in major men’s and women’s magazines, highlighting the fun of dating the way you want. In juxtaposition to the competitors’ ads depicting idyllic couples, we used simple, clever headlines on brightly colored backgrounds that stood out. We ran the ads in consecutive months of the magazines – yet refreshed the ads with a catchy new headline and bold color each time. Out-of-home bus shelters and bus signs were purchased in three large markets – Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco – to add effectiveness in key DMAs. An online portal reinforced the “dating your way” message by letting users make up their own dating stories, Mad Libs style, and email or post to their Facebook profile.

Communications Touch Points √TV

√Interactive

☐Retail Experience

√Spots

☐Display Ads

☐POP

☐Branded Content

☐Web site

☐In-Store Video

☐Sponsorship

☐Digital video

☐In-Store Merchandizing

☐Product placement

☐Video skins/bugs

☐Sales Promotion

☐Social Networking Sites

☐Radio

☐Retailtainment

☐Spots

☐Podcasts

☐Merchandising

☐Gaming

☐Street Teams

☐Program/content

☐Mobile

☐Tagging

√Other

☐Wraps

√Print

☐Guerrilla

☐Trade/Professional

☐Packaging

☐Buzz Marketing

☐Newspaper - print

☐Product Design

☐Ambient Media

☐Newspaper - digital

☐Cinema

√Magazine - print

√OOH

☐Sampling/Trial √Consumer Involvement

☐Magazine – digital

☐Airport

☐WOM

☐Custom Publication

√Transit

☐Consumer Generated

☐Billboard

☐Direct

√Viral

☐Place Based

☐Mail

☐Other

☐Other

☐Email ☐PR

☐Trade Shows

☐Events

☐Sponsorship

Media Expenditures Sept 2010 – Aug 2011

YEAR PRIOR: Sept 2009 – Aug 2010 √Not Applicable

☐Under $500 thousand

√$10 - 20 million

☐Under $500 thousand

☐$10 - 20 million

☐$500 - 999 thousand

☐$20 - 40 million

☐$500 - 999 thousand

☐$20 - 40 million

☐$1 - 2 million

☐$40 – 60 million

☐$1 - 2 million

☐$40 – 60 million

☐$2 - 5 million

☐$60 – 80 million

☐$2 - 5 million

☐$60 – 80 million

☐$5 - 10 million

☐$80 million and over

☐$5 - 10 million

☐$80 million and over

Effie® Awards 116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242 th

2012: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of the Effie Awards.

Owned Media Sponsorship Not Applicable

Additional Marketing Components: √None ☐Pricing Changes ☐Couponing ☐Leveraging Distribution ☐Other (Please Explain)

Reach: National

Results How do you know it worked? Objectives Achieved Perceptual/Attitudinal Objective: Brand Awareness exceeded the 50% mark in three months: Zoosk’s total U.S. brand awareness grew from 15% in March (pre-launch) to the 50% awareness goal by November 2010 1. With the launch of a new commercial for the campaign in January 2011, we exceeded the goal by an additional 10%, hitting 60% brand awareness by March 20112.

1. Off the Leash Insights, Inc. Tracking March, June, August, November, 2010. 2. Greenberg Brand Strategy, March 2011

Effie® Awards 116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242 th

2012: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of the Effie Awards.

Business Objective: Post-campaign launch, subscriptions increased 98% from the May baseline up until September. For the post-September objective, subscriptions increased an additional 34% – outperforming the goal by 14%1.

1. Zoosk Analytics Dashboard, September 2010 and August 2011 reports

Why are these results significant? Though our agency objective was to increase brand awareness, the launch into offline advertising (and attributed increase in subscriber growth) contributed to an impressive 250% increase in revenue: From $20 million in 2009 to $90 million in 20101 (the agency was activated January 2010; advertising launched May 2010). o Comparatively, Match.com revenue only increased 30%2 1. https://www.zoosk.com/release.php?key=14&from=press 2. http://onlinedatingpost.com/archives/2011/02/zoosk-to-overtake-match-says-okcupid-doesnt-innovate/

Anything else going on that might have helped drive results? No other factors.

Effie® Awards 116 E. 27 St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016 Tel: 212-687-3280 Fax: 212-557-9242 th

2012: The information available through effie.org is the property of the Effie Awards and is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. This brief may be displayed, reformatted and printed for your personal use only. By using this site, you agree not to reproduce, retransmit, distribute, sell, publicly display, publish or broadcast the information to anyone without the prior written consent of the Effie Awards.

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