The BlackBand viral marketing campaign

Case study: Blackband project

Owner: Camacho Cigars, Authors: Dylan Austin, Gianni D’Alerta

Background/Introduction:

Before we started this project we planned and built the following two sites for Camacho cigars – www.camachocigars.com and www.socialcigar.com (at first we did not reveal that Camacho was behind this site). Through the two sites we built a subscriber list of 4,500 people in less than one year. Since then we have also built www.room101cigars.com, and we are currently working on a new revolutionary social networking platform and corporate site for Camacho Cigars/Davidorff.

Kickoff of the BlackBand project:

To start off, here is an excerpt from the press release, post project:

“The campaign objectives for Camacho included the creation of an engaging, opt-in viral marketing campaign, a successful permissionmarketing opportunity as an outlet to sample yet to be released products. A four-part web-series was created without mention of Camacho until the final “reveal” episode. The viewers followed the satirical Independent Cigar Review Bureau, a fictional agency, whose sole purpose was to educate the world about cigar selection, as they used humorous, guerilla-style tactics to enlighten three characters that represented the most common cigar misconceptions”

Process:

  1. We launched the site with this page: http://www.blackbandproject.com/home-temp/
  2. We blasted Camacho’s mailing list of 1000 and the social network we created while I was at Propeller of 3500 people, not as Camacho but as the fictional company. The amazing thing was that the idea was so interesting that we had a very low spam report.  We also ran rich media banner ads that actually played a trailer of the project on the websites the banners resided.
  3. Once the person signed up they would get one episode a week that would build upon the myths and misconceptions of cigar smoking. The Buzz just keep mounting… people passing the links to their friends… it was huge… in the online cigar world.
  4. After they registered they immediately received their first “mission” http://www.blackbandproject.com/d57s-1/
  5. A week after that http://www.blackbandproject.com/6ku6-2/
  6. A week later http://www.blackbandproject.com/hr4s-3/
  7. And then the conclusion http://www.blackbandproject.com/b7x3-conclusion/

Results:

  1. We gained 15,500 new subscribers! With that permission to market to them anything in the future. They are already expecting more from Camacho, and we won’t disappoint them.
  2. Every cigar website was buzzing about the project, we even got more hits on our Black Band Project site in one month that Cigar Aficionado.
  3. After the last video was sent… a month later people got 3 cigars in the mail. So for a whole month, every week… the conversations where about the black band project. Then when the cigars shipped, another huge buzz.

Another Excerpt:

From day one, the campaign captivated the cigar industry and generated sweeping buzz across the country, with thousands of cigar enthusiasts discussing who was behind “The Black Band Project” on social media outlets, including Twitter, Facebook, and cigar-industry message boards and blogs.

End results:

  1. 15,000 leads
  2. 4,000 people got the cigars (people who watched all the videos)
  3. 15% overall sales increase after the launch of the new product.

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