By Caroline Mansfield, Account Executive
When Harry Styles was going to release a new single “Adore You,” his marketing team decided to implement an out-of-the-box marketing campaign called “Visit Eroda.” Eroda is “adore” backward and the fictitious place where the music video takes place. For this campaign, the team created a fake Visit Eroda tourism agency with accounts across multiple social media platforms. The accounts were promoting multiple fake ads, tourism videos, a website and other promotional content for Eroda created by the team. The ads were on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook targeted at Styles’ fans, such as the picture below.
Fans started noticing the influx of ads and explored the “Visit Eroda” website. Once they started digging, the campaign promoted and released even more content. Their social audience started to suspect that it was linked to a rumored new music video from Styles as the posts said they were targeted because they are following Harry Styles.
As more content came out, fans engaged greatly and generated lots of social media attention which promoted big pop news outlets to cover the campaign. Soon, the social audience pieced it together after a teaser video went live and it dominated the press. When the music video came out, the social audience monopolized social media and made the campaign a great success. The website and twitter are still active and used in upcoming campaigns and music releases.
The biggest strength of this campaign is they used fan engagement and dedication to their advantage rather than working against them to keep the music video secret. The campaign depends highly on fans and audience for it to work and generate publicity. Styles’ marketing team integrated their social media audience into their strategy. Often campaigns think of the audience as passive viewers receiving media rather than active participants that can engage and move a campaign forwards.
In various social campaigns, a social audience’s curiosity and dedication might be an untapped resource for your campaigns. One of the biggest factors that made this successful is that the audience had to search and investigate to find the connection between Visit Eroda and Harry Styles. It used the younger audience’s savvy knowledge of social media as a way to generate interest in the campaign and heavy engagement.
Obviously, this strategy is not applicable to all clients, but those who have large followings can use this strategy in their next campaign. The social audience wants to be engaged in your content and if you provide them with an interesting way to engage they will.
Check out the “Visit Eroda” campaign here.