Category Archives: viral marketing

Pokemon GO

When Old Meets New: Tapping into the Pokemon Craze

By | mobile marketing, viral marketing | No Comments

You have probably seen the direct effects of Pokemon Go without even realizing it. Maybe you often see people walking around, not looking up from their phones, swiping furiously, pointing in different directions – they’re looking for a nearby Pokemon they’ve located on their map. Or perhaps you see a bunch of people crowded around a random fountain, sitting down on their phones – it’s probably a Pokestop. Maybe you’re driving with a friend and they suddenly yell at you to slow down in the middle of an intersection so they can catch a Charizard (or maybe that’s just my friends).

You’ve probably seen the articles about how the app has taken the world by storm. And, just like the rest of us, you’re probably wondering how all of this happened quite literally overnight. The immense success of Pokemon Go provides us with an opportunity to look at the unique factors at play in the game’s marketing, and how it can even serve as a new marketing medium for other businesses.

Utilizing a cross-generational audience

One important overarching factor which may have contributed to Pokemon Go’s success is the fact that the franchise was able to appeal to multiple generations. While current fans of Pokemon were the typical target audience, the app also had another fan base backing them up: the previous generation of Pokemon fans who grew up with the franchise and felt nostalgic about it upon the app’s release. Because of this, the app was able to attract downloads from people who fell outside of the usual gamer audience and thus generated more momentum. By playing on nostalgia and fan loyalty, Pokemon Go took advantage of two unique factors that are not always available in this particular market.

Pokemon Go

Image via


Easy accessibility

A second component of this overnight phenomenon is the fact that Pokemon Go is available as a mobile app, and because smartphones have become the norm, this made the game readily accessible to a large majority of the world’s population. People who normally wouldn’t partake in gaming now have the option to simply download the app and take it with them wherever they go–it does not require any extra equipment or lengthy instructions to follow and learn. Our mobile-friendly society quickly accepted Pokemon Go into their collection of apps and mobile games.

The influence of social media

Social media has played a huge role in further promoting Pokemon Go after its release. The app has since garnered a significant amount of press, both good and bad, and created a name for itself as an overall family friendly game that encourages people to get outside–albeit still with their faces glued to a phone screen–and explore their surroundings. The app can attribute a significant portion of its success to simply word of mouth and peer influence: when people who normally would not download the game see their friends playing it, they feel more inclined to do the same, at least to see what the hype is all about.

Pokemon Go Tweet

Image via WorldStar.


So how has Pokemon Go managed to also transform local and even global marketing? Because the game relies on real life locations, small businesses, retail stores, and public spaces can take advantage of the increased number of customers they may receive each day simply because there might be a Pokemon in the store, or by taking matters into their own hands and placing “lures” in their store. Yelp has developed their own filter to show where the closest Pokestops are, and T-Mobile has offered free data to customers who use the app.

Pokestop Yelp Filter

Image via iMore


Pokemon Go has truly surpassed our expectations and became the newest sensation sweeping across every single nation. What do you think the next nostalgic revival will be? Here at Digital Operative, we’re always looking into the latest trends. Make sure to contact us today for a quote!

2013 Digital Marketing Recap – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

By | digital marketing, Digital Operative, ecommerce, viral marketing | One Comment

2013 was the year of mobile marketing, social media game-changers, interactive content and Google domination. With 2014 just around the corner, here is a quick review of what happened in digital marketing in 2013:

Mobile Marketing

There has been a significant rise in mobile and tablet spending during 2013. According to Google, about 73% of mobile searches led to an additional action and/or conversion, which propelled mobile ad spending to double (going from $4.4 billion in 2012 to $9.6 billion in 2013). This is due, in large part, to the fact that 1 in 5 people own a smartphone and 1 in 17 people own tablets. Forget waiting in lines and shopping at the mall, you can do it all from the comfort of your couch.

Visual Marketing

Infographics, .gifs and memes. Do I really need to say anything else? .gifs, memes and infographics have flooded the Internet this year making marketing that much more fun. I mean, who doesn’t love a good Sad Keanu pic? Infographics help us digest a large amount of information in a visual form and it’s been shown that brands that use infographics can increase traffic by at least 12%.

Social Media

2013 started big with the introduction of Vine and Facebook Graphs. Vine was the first of its kind with 6 second looped videos. And Facebook made searching for specific questions, pictures certain people have liked–and all the scary stuff in between–a whole lot easier. Instagram, not to be left out, added their own 15 second videos to compete with Vine. This was all done to try to gain traction with the younger demographic. Social media has seen a vast change in the last year and now brands are using these tools to their creative advantage.

Google, Google, Google…..

Earlier this year Google has “checkmated” SEOs with keyword data. All search information is becoming private and they are limiting the amount of insight you can expose to improve your rankings organically. But not to worry, we have our analytics team working on gathering reports in other ways. On the paid search side of their business, Google introduced their enhanced campaigns. Enhanced campaigns gave most of us a headache for while, but in the end, they simplified campaign structures and improved the impression share of search keywords.

With 2013 wrapping up, it will be interesting to see how these changes will affect marketing in the coming years, as digital marketing keeps moving it’s way toward the mainstream.

Oreo’s Superbowl Blackout Victory

By | viral marketing | No Comments

This last Sunday, Oreo became more than just a cookie company – they became pioneers in digital marketing.  During the Super Bowl, when the power went out in the Superdome, Oreo jumped on the chance to be a part of the nation’s conversation, and created the first important real time Super Bowl ad.  Realizing the potential of this national event, Oreo quickly gathered their marketing team, created an ad, posted it on twitter and watched as the ad was shared like grilled cheese sandwich at a Phish show. You don’t need to hop in a phone booth with Bill and Ted to see this is the future of marketing. When people begin to discuss transitional moments  from traditional to new media in marketing, this will be an example that is used.  There are three reasons why Oreo’s new media ad changed the face of marketing:

  1. Oreo’s ad was timely – Traditional media ads suffer from the fact that the ads must be produced, airtime has to be purchased ahead of time, and the ads can’t be responsive to real life events. Traditional media ads can be close to known events, for example many of the ads during the Super Bowl were about the Super Bowl (including the great Samsung ad). However, when an unplanned event happens there is no way a TV ad could be whipped up in time.  However, new media outlets allowed Oreo’s own Navy Seal team of marketers to respond to this real time event.  New media bypasses the most restrictive aspect of traditional media – buying airtime ahead of time. In new media a company can post whenever they like rather than having their ad occur at set times.
  2. Oreo was part of the conversation – Ads traditionally try to create their own conversation rather than participate in organic conversations. I have never had an organic conversation where I sat around wondering how Men’s Warehouse founder George Zimmerman, thought I would look in a suit. New media allowed Oreo to join the organic conversation about the power outage. Viewers of the Super Bowl were already discussing the power outage and that meant that there was a built in audience who were already interested in what Oreo was saying.
  3. Oreo produced an ad that went viral – Oreo received 15,000 retweets on this ad alone. Each retweet is an endorsement for the ad, as well as the product. The scale of this type of viral word-of-mouth advertising is almost impossible to achieve, without new media advertising. Ads posted to new media are easy to share by design. These networks are made to be social and Oreo was able to take advantage of that.

Adam Lundquist is more of a pizza guy than a cookie guy.

Connect with Adam on Google+.

3 ways Pinterest can help market your business!

By | digital marketing, ecommerce, Uncategorized, viral marketing | No Comments

Pinterest is the social network darling of the moment, and your business should be making money from it. You may not have heard of Pinterest, but your consumers have. Pinterest is large (3.3 million users) and it captures users attention (average site time 72 minutes). I will briefly describe what Pinterest is, what makes it unique, and how you can use it to drive traffic to your website.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is basically a virtual bulletin board. It is a way to share interesting images online. A user will have many different boards, each themed around a different subject. When a user finds a picture that they like from a webpage they “pin” that picture onto their bulletin board. Like the other social networks users can follow other users and receive updates that the original user posts to their board.

What makes Pinterest unique?

  • Most importantly Pinterest is a visual social network. Though conversations do occur, the whole premise is to receive messages visually rather than textually.
  • When a user clicks on someone else’s pinned photo, Pinterest will take the user back to the original webpage where they found that photo. Visitors that are intrigued by a photo simply click it to find more information on the original webpage.
  • Pinterest allows the user to see who the person re-pinned the photo from. If Sally re-pinned a photo from Joe and a user likes the photo, then maybe the user also wants to follow Joe.

How can I translate this into revenue?
To translate a Pinterest account into revenue ,the key is driving traffic.

  1. Get your brand on Pinterest – creating a board (like Digital Operative’s – allows consumers to learn about your brand visually. This is a different experience than many webpages and allows you to tap into the emotional calls to a consumer. Pinterest is like a free, highly visual PPC ad without the paying for clicks.
  2. Use re-pinning the same way you use re-tweeting – Pinterest is a visual social network that allows for easy sharing. Pinterest allows others to re-pin your content easily and a user that clicks on the re-pinned photo still goes back to the original source (your webpage). If you are part of an Internet company you probably already have excellent images, put them on the site and watch as people come to your site feeling inspired
  3. Reach people who are not actively searching – Pinterest allows the marketer to post pictures in places where users are browsing anyway. As users browse through the various pictures they are not necessarily doing so by brand, but rather are doing so by image. This allows smaller brands to put their more visually stunning images up and compete with the bigger brands.  Additionally, these users are just looking at pictures and are not shopping. If they come across a photo and like it so much that they go to your page, that is a highly qualified visitor who is likely to convert.

Looking for the Ugliest Christmas Sweater in America

By | social media, viral marketing, word of mouth | No Comments

Ugly shirts = pretty money? This holiday season we are hosting the first annual  “Ugly Christmas Sweater” Contest and we want everyone to enter. We all know you have that one sweater in the back of your closet that just hurts to look at, it only gets worn once a year to make your mom happy, but you really wish you could throw it in the fireplace. That’s the sweater we’re talking about! Take a picture of yourself wearing that beauty, register and submit your photo online at and you could be one of 3 winners! First prize is a $300 Visa gift card, second prize is a $150 Visa gift card, and third prize is a $50 Visa gift card. Keep in mind those prizes could really come in handy toward paying off your post-holiday debt.
We are accepting entries November 29th through December 9, 2011. After December 9th the voting process begins. Tell all your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, reindeers and grinches – really anyone with internet access, to vote for your ugly sweater so you can be a winner! Bonus if you get Santa and the elves to vote for you, there’s no way you can lose with their votes. Voting may occur once a day per person. The top three people with the most votes and worst sweaters win! Don’t forget to share your ugly Christmas sweater on Facebook, Twitter, through email, on your blogs, messenger pigeons, and any other way you know how.
The winner will be announced on December 22, 2011. Just in time for Christmas! Could there be a better gift, than getting money for that hideous thing? I mean totally awesome Christmas sweater! You won’t be shy to wear that prized possession anymore.

To host your own contest on ContestCore or to  demo the platform, head to

The Old Spice Guy

By | interactive marketing, social media, twitter, Uncategorized, video, viral marketing | One Comment

Incase you haven’t seen it yet Old Spice recently launched a campaign that responds to peoples questions from Twitter, YouTube, and Redditt. The key difference in this campaign is that they use video. Using video allows for Old Spice to leverage the personality of their newest spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa (aka “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like) as well as create the viral element, which has made this campaign so incredibly successful. Sure your company can Tweet answers back to customers, which in most cases is very useful, but to go an extra step and produce videos for each and every response bring the campaign to a new level of personality and customer appreciation. Of course having an amazing staff of writers and a one of a kind spokesman also plays a vital role in pulling off one of the best social media pushes that we’ve seen.

Some of the numbers the campaign has produced so far:

2 Days

180 Videos



More responses in a 24-hour time frame than President Obamas victory speech and the video of Susan Boyle. (Mashable)

Now it’s not known yet how many bottles of body wash or sticks of deodorant have been sold since the launch of the campaign but there are certainly a much larger group of people that are familiar with the Old Spice brand.

Here are a few of our favorites.

Case Study – Social Media Rockstar

By | agency life, Conversational Marketing, digital marketing, holidays, twitter, viral marketing | No Comments

Social Media Rockstar was an idea that was manifested into what we would say was the perfect storm.

Content + Design + Technology + Marketing = Digital Marketing

Our team created this in one day and released via Twitter. We wrapped the page link with so we could track click throughs in addition to phonecalls to Google Voice phone#, website visitors via Google Analytics and even phonecalls to our San Diego office for those unsuspecting folks that just didn’t get it.

So based on our open, transparent culture; we’re going to go ahead and share all that juicy data with you.

Creating the conversation is the central goal for any social media marketing these days, so let’s take a look at what was being said about Social Media Rockstar.

I hope you found this case study useful, insightful or just interesting. Look forward to our next holiday campaign coming to a theater near you!

“Mix It Up” Contest

By | interactive marketing, social media, social media breakfast, viral marketing | No Comments

For all you breakdancers out there with wicked cool moves, I hope you’re reading this. Social Media Breakfast San Diego is proud to announce that Altec Lansing, a company that makes a wide range of audio systems for the home and office, will be sponsoring the upcoming session. Here is the cool news: They are launching a “Mix It Up” dance contest, which is essentially an online video dance battle. To participate, just download music from the Mix Dance Contest site, edit and mix the tracks as you please, then submit a 60 second video to the Mix Dance Contest site for a chance for the public to vote.

The top 100 submissions will all win a Mix boom box and the top 10 videos, as voted by the public, will go before a panel of celebrity judges for selection of the top 3 prizes, which will include up to $2500 in cash prizes.

Dancers can submit videos now through November 13, 2009. Voting ends on November 20, 2009 and the winners will be announced on December 4, 2009

You can connect with the Altec Lansing team and get more information about the contest here:

  1. YouTube
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. Flickr
  5. YouTube

For all those who can make it out to the breakfast we will be having our own dancers come out to do a little “Mix It Up”. We will also be raffling off a boom box, so you don’t want to miss this session on October 22nd, 2009! It’s going to be an interesting breakfast. Food, Coffee and dancers all mixed in with a little social media on the side! If you would like to attend, please RSVP. Hope to see you there!

Souplantation – Learn about their recipe for social media success

By | blogging, Conversational Marketing, customer experience, Digital Operative, facebook, google, social media, social media breakfast, twitter, user experience, viral marketing, word of mouth | No Comments

What’s the difference between a traditional marketing plan and a marketing plan that integrates social media? It means more exposure, but more importantly it means better exposure if used correctly. Most of us know how powerful a marketing campaign can be by integrating social media into it. A lot of content is out there on the web regarding this hot topic, so we are surrounded with information about what it is, how to use it, when to use it etc. etc. It’s incredibly validating to see company’s, big and small using social media and making it a point to set aside funds specifically for this new channel.

This up-coming session at Social Media Breakfast San Diego> we have the pleasure of having, Ginger Anderson and Erika DiProfio from Souplantation coming to speak about:
1. How they have utilized social media, but more specifically how it’s been successful
2. How they’ve incorporated social media into other aspects of their marketing like Public Relations
3. How to establish a two way communication with their customers
4. How they’ve built up customer loyalty

Social media is not just a tool to help get your message out there, it’s a means to create long lasting relationships. It’s a way to connect with others not only by listening to the feedback you get, but by responding to it. We’re excited to hear about how Souplantation makes these connections at the next breakfast and hope some of you can join us for it. You can follow Souplantation on Twitter @Souplantation. Our next session is September 16, 2009 at the Milano Coffee Company in Mission Valley, CA from 7:30am-9:00am. There will be lots of pastries and coffee.

How can you turn down social media with a side of pastries and coffee?
For more information contact Erin on Twitter

All Aboard! Big Retailers Launch iPhone Apps for Holidays

By | digital marketing, mobile apps, viral marketing | 3 Comments

Luckily we’re pretty tapped into the retail industry over at Digital Operative and we love watching to see what the giants are working on in the background with their big agencies. So today’s news comes from two well known brands: Target and Gap

Both brands are moving a bit of viral marketing and advertising in their apps to push products. So let’s take a look at each one and weigh in on what we think based off of the brief info and screenshots.


Everyone loves snowglobes and if you go on eBay it’s a popular item this holiday season. What if you could shake your iPhone, be presented with a product recommendation and then either buy it or forward it to a friend? Sounds good right? Maybe.

What’s cool?

  • Snow globed Products
  • The actual shaking action to switch products
  • The randomness or potential mystery behind what will it recommend next?

What could make the Target iPhone app totally chilled?

  • Integration into online wishlisting app
  • Rating the recommendations provided for better compatibility
  • Random deals, coupons, codes presented as you shake snow globe

More info on the Target iPhone app here.


Imagine all your favorite Christmas carols remixed by popular artists and being able to play dress-up on your mobile phone and then buy the items you’re mixing. Enter the Gap “Merry Mix It” iPhone app. It features six music videos which are reproduced carols like “Jingle Bells” performed by Flo Rida and Trey Songz and models that you can dress up and buy items, utilizing the GPS feature.

What’s cool?

  • Viral Marketing – Tapping pop culture and celebs to spread the word
  • Options – Cool content + Interactive
  • GPS Integration

What could make the Gap iPhone app totally chilled?

  • Again, wishlist app integration
  • Upload your own model
  • Content syndication – output Mix Ups to Facebook, Myspace, etc.

More info on the GAP iPhone app here.


Overall it’s great to see the big retailers leveraging the iPhone community to promote their products, but beware the line of advertising for advertising sake. I’d like to see these iPhone applications more integrated into an already existing culture of social networking, profiles and social media.

More integration = better engagement = customer satisfaction

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