OK, I admit it. I love the Twilight books.
OK, I also admit that Robert Pattinson is a beautiful human being.
While many companies have attempted to piggy back off the Twilight frenzy that has now spread far beyond just thirteen year old girls, I believe the recent “What Drives Edward” campaign has managed to demonstrate how social media can expand an organic partnership between two brands.
Product placement has been around for quite a while now, whether or not movie-goers were aware of it or not. In the original Twilight movie, Edward rescued Bella from a gang of over-testosteroned high schoolers while driving in a Volvo XC 60. Recognizing the unexpected hoopla the first movie generated, Volvo was smart to not only renew its brand placement in the upcoming New Moon sequel, which will reach a wide-spread captive audience, but it also incorporated a social media microsite called What Drives Edward, which provides an interactive brand experience for the consumer and a chance to win a new Volvo and tickets to the New Moon premier.
This is a great example of what my colleague Sam Ford calls “Sticky vs. Spreadable” media. “Sticky” refers to marketers’ desire to reach a widespread audience and hold their attention. Whether or not a Twilight fan wants to or not, they will see several shots of the new Volvo XC 60 when they go to the movies later this month to see New Moon. However, “Spreadable” refers to a personal brand experience that is unique to each consumer that encourages them to share the information digitally (like my blogging about the topic ) or by simple word of mouth. In that case, the message reaches a targeted audience that shares the information with other like-minded media consumers, which ultimately results in a more meaningful understanding and interest in the brand.
While What Drives Edward is not the most advanced microsite, nor does it make me more likely to purchase a Volvo in the next 12 months, I can attest that the brand is more top of mind. As a Twilight fan that would otherwise not likely think about Volvo on a regular basis, I’d say the Volvo marketers would consider me a success case.