THE CHALLENGE: “Snow” has a terrible online image with negative reviews in all media outlets—traditional and digital. Overwhelmed by the negative publicity Snow came to Harquin desperate for a rebranding & image strategy.
In our discovery and audit session we dug deep to uncover the root of the problem. Every time it snows what does the media talk about? Shovelling, car accidents, school closings, icy roads, train delays, the cold, etc. There is not a positive report to be found. Negativity leads the news everyday causing everyone to hate Snow and get depressed. Not only is this bad for Snow’s image but also bad for people’s mental health and well being.
Snow was feeling understandably resentful and bitter. After all it’s winter and he’s just doing his job. When did everyone start hating snow so much? We knew we needed to drop everything to help Snow redeem his reputation.
THE RESEARCH PHASE: As we did our research and interviews we uncovered a common thread. Most people loved Snow when they were kids because they got to miss school and go outside and play. But as they became adults it was all about the hassle instead of the fun. And with the media harping on every snowfall and calling it names (like Snowmaggedeon), it seemed like the only solution is to wish for spring, or go south.
CONCLUSIONS: We know we can’t change how the media reports snowstorms but we can dilute the impact by blitzing social media with images of people having fun with Snow. That way when people go online, instead of seeing only negative reports they see people getting outside and enjoying the season of winter.
1st PHASE STRATEGY—Make Snow Fun!
1) We created an icon of a Snowman to be the face of the grassroots campaign “Play in the Snow” accompanying the hashtag #playinthesnow.
2) We recruited a core group of social media ambassadors and influencers to get out in the snow and saturate Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, with outdoor photos & videos using the hashtag #playinthesnow.
3) We sent out teams of people searching for adults and kids playing outside building snowmen, sledding, skating...and rewarded them with cash prizes on the spot and posted the winner’s photos online under the hashtag #playinthesnow.
RESULTS: Results are still being compiled but to date we have tracked a 1,000% increase in positive social media postings under the hashtag #playinthesnow. Snow is estatic with the improvement of his reputation and has plans to implement variations on the campaign that focuses on the scenic beauty of Snow as well as the environmental benefits of Snow.
NOTES: This was a tough assignment but we are extremely pleased to have helped Snow gain back his self-esteem. If you have a tough rebranding problem we’d be happy to help. Call us at 914-738-9620.