How Tipp-Ex BEARs its teeth!

17 May

If it wasn’t for my colleague Irisng13 and her article about viral marketing, I might still be wandering in the greenish, cloudy nature of the Blogosphere. It is not that the muddle of futuristic IT inventions would have been too overwhelming (I surely will try to untangle them!) but today, I take the long way and have a digression into something less scientific but more fun – the tippexperience!

That is probably the moment you are simply not interested in facing once again an absurd campaign revealing nothing but thin air. Indeed, I am only presenting another viral campaign on YouTube, launched by Tipp- Ex last year. Still and strictly speaking, this campaign is anything else but thin air – you can actually touch and interact. Even better, you as the customer have the power to white out and change the future. This seems to be a near – miracle!

Shoot the bear or decide better

In this clip the hunter is asked to shoot a bear. He refuses and reaches out for the Tipp- Ex Pocket Mouse next to the YouTube player, literally crossing borders of visualization. Next he whitens out the word shoot (here we have the typical feature of a Tipp- Ex; a pretty smart link). The viewer is then asked to participate by substituting the word shoot by anything that sounds fancy. Soon we witness bear and hunter hugging, dancing, loving, and doing lots of less attractive things (room for imagination). If you haven’t seen it yet, you should go and “Shoot the Bear”.

What looks like a whole lot of entertainment is more a concept of viral marketing and increasing brand reputation at which the main benefit revolves around the idea of direct interactions. If you want to know more about its advantages, you are more than invited to read further at Irisng13‘s blog entry. I, however, want to discuss the credibility of this magic marketing strategy and the power of social media.

More Viewer does not equal Profit

If we break down Tipp- Ex’s success in terms of numbers, we end up with more than 16 million viewers in the past couple of months. That sounds very charming, but be careful – I soon realized that you cannot find any website links (we do not take an i like on Facebook into consideration), no retailer directory, and no information about the product. This is a Triple- “No” and definitely a burden for any potential buyer.

In contrast, we face the commercial of Old Spice which “helped sales increase 55% in three months, with a whopping 107% boost during the month of July 2010 alone” as Billspink states in 16 Million YouTube views? Good enough. The company worked less interactive, but offered a wide range on linkages accompanying the video.

Going back to Tipp- Ex, 16 million hits sounds nice but a generated profit of 16 million sounds even better!

With the bear towards profit

Honestly, Tipp- Ex will not really convince viewers to buy its products by this one-advertising wonder considering that the company tries to sell a dead medium – the print. Still, it can highly boost sales by focusing on brand recognition in-stores and enhancing brand affinity.

I completely agree to Lori Taylor’s idea of extending the hunters – theme onto any local stores promotion. She recommends labels saying “Did you shoot the bear?” or “Over 10 million viewers have shot the bear. What would you do?” Amazing! I would immediately reminisce about the (quite) time consuming moment I spent on YouTube, changing word combinations – back and forth. I would somehow feel connected to an anonymous mass; those ones that already know about the great game. After all, this would probably convince me into buying a product of  Tipp- Ex.

In my opinion, viral marketing can certainly be benefiting, even for a company such as Tipp- Ex and its antiquated product. The only step the company should pursue is to extend, once succeeded on viral marketing, its media presence onto to TV/ other advertising campaigns  – this, I am sure, will certainly leverage the buzz!

3 Responses to “How Tipp-Ex BEARs its teeth!”

  1. Iris Ng May 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Hey Nadja,

    that’s a really interesting post! I was so fascinated by the TippEx ad on YouTube! and how we could just type in any word into the blank and watch what interesting moves the hunter and the bear have. totally unexpected. I just shared the video on Facebook as well, which just goes to show that I just fell into the “trap” of those viral marketeers 😛

    i cartainly agree that they should provide links to perhaps their official website or at least an e-shop where interested people can purchase their items. that’s how they can really reap profits from this marketing campaign and generate sales for themselves.

    good job, i really enjoyed your article!

  2. Dian Stefanov May 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Nadja,

    I think you did a really great job with this article. I also really like the way you structured your article, with different heading for the different parts, which in a way helps for the better understanding.

    I really enjoyed watching the videos that you included in your post and I also had a great fun trying the different possibilities with this “Hunter shoots a bear video”. If we take this video for example, I can tell that viral marketing campaigns can contribute sufficiently for the attraction of new customers, because they really capture people’s attention.

    Great Job!


  1. Grab It By The Testicle! « FUTURIMA - May 17, 2011

    […] Furthermore, he became a web celeb and was noted for a project with his brother  John called Brotherhood 2.0. The two decided to only communicate through videos they posted on the web for an entire year and these videos are just REALLY good. The Greens so to speak pioneered the idea of collaborative Youtube Channels where people can subscribe and interact (similar to what Nadja describes in her current post). […]

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