“The snow was drifting over the hood like it was trying to devour the truck for dinner…”
Snowplow drivers are a little like fishermen. They’re always ready to share a memorable tale from their adventures. The difference is, plow drivers rarely have to exaggerate their stories. The truth is as riveting as it gets.
We embarked on an effort to gather those stories through a fall digital campaign for WESTERN Plows, called the “Frozen Frontline”. Our long relationship with WESTERN has taught us that snowplow drivers are true vigilante heroes. They work hard in the toughest conditions, sometimes in the middle of the night, to clear the way for appreciative citizens. We knew there were some good stories out there on the frontline, and that all we would have to do to capture them is ask.
Our first task: build a gorgeous online gallery to display the user-submitted stories. Our web design and development team hit it out of the park with a stunning grid design, highlighting the year the story takes place and a compelling quote from within it.
We created a submission link on the homepage, so when people saw others’ stories, they could get involved and submit their own. When they hit submit, the story was sent to our social media team, who vetted and edited each story before it went live.
As an added incentive, each person who submitted a story that we deemed worthy to publish received a vintage-style WESTERN knit hat. As a nod to the history of WESTERN and all the stories that make up that history, a vintage hat fit the bill perfectly. Plus, it helps gear people up for winter, serves as a walking billboard and brings attention to WESTERN apparel.
We also sweetened the deal by offering a $500 VISA gift card to one randomly selected grand-prize winner.
To drive traffic to the site, we created eye-catching digital ads through Facebook and the Google Display Network. Since our target demographic for this campaign was relatively narrow, we targeted the people who we knew had great stories to tell.
With everything in place, we launched the campaign and ran it for 6 weeks, ending on November 30th. We received many good stories (more than we predicted), but we had no idea that they would be this good.
Fans told about plowing impassable roads, rushing into maternity wards, saving trapped livestock and rescuing stranded drivers. We built a far deeper connection with WESTERN customers than ever before, and in the process, harnessed excellent content and identified dozens of true brand ambassadors.
In addition, we drove more traffic to the website in the months of October and November because of the digital ads and our organic social media efforts.
Through the six-week duration of the campaign, these Google and Facebook ads reached over 2 million people and drove nearly 7,000 clicks to the Frozen Frontline website and the WESTERN homepage. That led to 51 submitted stories, and thousands of people reading and engaging with them.
The stats confirm a marketing victory, but the true success is that which WESTERN customers experience with their plows and spreaders. When it matters most, they’re relying on these plows, and these stories put us in the passenger seat for these moments. We’ll be able to use their stories as case studies and marketing materials, but in the end, each is a good reminder that our customers are real people with real-life obstacles to overcome. Our job, as always, is to help them (and our clients) overcome them.
Check out all the stories at FrozenFrontline.com.