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Music: The Marketing Arm, AT&T

Originally published in Adweek

The World's Loudest Pep Rally

Most college pep rallies aim to whip crowds into a lather and cheer the team on to victory. But with "AT&T World's Loudest Pep Rally," the communications giant had a different goal in mind: to generate buzz about its wireless services among college students. AT&T enlisted The Marketing Arm, which helped formulate a game plan for reaching this wireless-obsessed target via two of its passions, music and football.

Launched in September 2007, the promotion's season-long, nationwide contest entailed awarding the winning university a coveted prize: a free Dave Mathews Band concert at the school. During the six-week period, fans invited the band to their school either by sending a short code or visiting the AT&T blue room (www.attblueroom.com). They could submit up to 50 invitations daily in the form of text messages, videos, e-mails and photos. The school with the most invites scored the winning touchdown.

The winner? The U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

AT&T also scored big: 72 percent of participants thought the contest should continue, nearly three out of five respondents were more likely to remain an AT&T customer due to the promotion, and almost half demonstrated increased purchase and recommendation intent. The campaign generated 3 million-plus page views, 3.3 million invitations (350,000 were wireless) and led to 250,000 pieces of user-generated content being uploaded. Additionally, Webcasts of the pep rally in the blue room received roughly 150,000 connections, and more than 20 percent of fans attending the concert downloaded the band's ringtone.

"Our strategy was to offer college students something so compelling-a free Dave Matthews Band concert at their school-that they would become powerful word-of-mouth evangelists for the promotion, which we saw with students creating Facebook pages, building their own school-specific promo sites, on-campus campaigning and more," says Adrienne Barber, account supervisor for The Marketing Arm.

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Copyright © 2008 Davie Brown Entertainment

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