Analysis of the Little Gordon Campaign for Caterer.com
By Kevin Palmer
One of my favorite things about social media is to see how marketers use it and to examine the strategies that are behind a campaign. Last fall Totaljobs Group Ltd ran a campaign for one of their properties Caterer.com. The concept of the campaign was a video series about Little Gordon (videos contain strong language), a play on the reality television show cooking host and star chef Gordon Ramsey. The campaign hit the right marks with these videos. They look really good, they are concise, they have a tinge of controversy but most of all they are funny.
The campaign was deployed on its own domain (littlegordon.com) and on video sharing sites where it did relatively well garnering close to two million views on YouTube alone for three episodes and a collection of outtakes. The traffic to the site was considerably lower according to Compete.com and it is hard to say if Caterer.com received a lot of referring traffic except for maybe the latest rise in traffic.
Was it a success?
Without knowing the goals of the campaign set forth by the company I can’t say. It looks like the campaign’s goal was to build awareness of Caterer.com through the videos and the site. Also it looks like it was an attempt to get people to sign up to their mailing list. Maybe the goals were modest and they reached them. In looking at this from my prospective, as an outsider, I see a lot of missed opportunities.
1) Poor job linking to Caterer.com—There could be an argument made that this should have been on Caterer.com itself. I would assume that this was done by a marketing firm or internal marketing department and was probably a stand-alone campaign where they didn’t want to bother their web team. Even if that holds true they did a really poor job of pushing people towards Caterer.com.
On the LittleGordon.com site there is a logo in the upper corner and then some information under the video. Personally I would like to see the navigation from Caterer.com put below the header because that might actually draw people into exploring the site. Also on the YouTube video descriptions it only linked back to the LittleGordon.com page and not to Caterer.com that was a missed opportunity.
2) Poor job in allowing people to share—On LittleGordon.com there are two buttons directly below the video. One was for people to join the fan page on Facebook and the other was for people to e-mail friends. No MySpace, which, no matter what your personal feelings are about the site, is too large to ignore. Also social news and bookmarking sites are relegated to the bottom of the page, which ties into my next point. You had to work too hard to share the video.
3) Great content but no social news/bookmarking strategy behind it—There is nothing worse than someone having great content and having no strategy behind how it is deployed. These videos are solid and would do well on most social news/bookmarking sites. When you check how the domain did on Digg.com the highest voted video got 36 Diggs. On Reddit and other sites the numbers are worse. I guess the thought was that the content was so good someone would really get behind it. That is just failed thinking.
There was an obvious lack of a social media push behind this. The only site that it has done well on by the looks of it is StumbleUpon and some of the videos on YouTube did well on Fark.com. They easily left hundreds of thousands of page views on the table because of this.
4) No building for the long tail—While the company did create a Facebook Fan Page, why didn’t they strategically create other pages around the character on other social networking sites? Why couldn’t you friend Little Gordon on MySpace or Bebo? Why couldn’t you follow Little Gordon on Twitter? Why not use this to create a base of people you can market to down the line? Why not mention that people should subscribe to your YouTube video within the video description? There is just missed potential all over the place.
I understand that this is a timed and targeted campaign but was a lot of potential to create a base of fans and followers that could be used over a period of time. I think their vision was shortsighted.
In the end I look at this campaign with a little bit of sadness. The content was so good but the execution, in my eyes, just seemed so poor.
What do you think about the campaign?