“It’s not all about the idea, it’s about how you execute that idea,” says Joel Bergvall, chief creative officer at digital marketing company Shareability. Bergvall, along with Erick Brownstein, president and chief strategy officer at Shareability, during a session at the 2019 Promax Conference in Los Angeles, “Making Data Your Secret Weapon.”
Bergvall and Brownstein shared how they use data to create campaigns that fans will engage with, and they have the proof to show it. They breakdown their process from ideation to distribution, helping marketers learn how to create more shareable content.
Bergvall took a deep dive into this project. One of the projects Shareability did with Cricket Wireless was called “Unexpected John Cena.”
“This was our second campaign for Cricket Wireless. They came to us and they said hey ‘What would you do if you could have John Cena for four hours?’ That was their brief, that’s all they had. Being who we are, we immediately set about starting our process and looking for data.”
At this shop, data rules everything. Bergvall went on, “For us, this starts with creative intelligence. We look at the world through a very different lens than most marketers. We look at it through content and audience. All marketers look at demographics but when we look at demographics, we look at a specific demographic and we investigate what they actually consume online. This is our way or figuring out what the Internet wants.”
Bergvall then shared specifically which data points sparked the John Cena campaign.
“For John Cena, there were tons and tons of wrestling videos that had millions of views. But when we looked beyond the views and started looking at real human engagement, there was this one anomaly that stood out to us. And it all started with a prank phone call.”
“This blew up on Vine…. back then, it was alive and well and Viners would take the idea of this prank call and put a twist on it.”
But this type of thinking isn’t always an easy sell.
Bergvall explains: “We get a lot of pushback on the way that we do things because there’s a lot of institutional knowledge that tells entertainment people that this is wrong. We’re breaking the rules, yes we are. We do this because it works.”
This thinking led the John Cena prank video to becoming one of the most viewed in the world.
“The data told us that this is what the internet wanted from John Cena,” Bergvall said.
[Images courtesy of Memoryscape]