8 lessons in digital integration from Barclaycard Waterslide

So the Barclaycard Waterslide campaign has been out for a few months now, but as it keeps evolving I thought it was worth pointing out some of the digital integration tactics Barclaycard are using to promote their contactless payment technology.

Lesson 1: Develop a hub for all your activity

I’m a big fan of YouTube Brand Channels as they can provide a professional, integrated hub for video content driven campaigns.

The Barclaycard Create Channel makes great use of the waterslide background to continue the theme of the campaign, houses all the campaign related videos in one place, and features the ability to subscribe to the channel.

YouTube Brand Channel - Barclaycard Create

YouTube Brand Channel - Barclaycard Create

Although, I wonder if they would have expected more than 424 subscribers given the popularity of the ad?

Lesson 2: Give them more ‘exclusive’ content online

Buying television media space can be very expensive, so I can understand why most brands still stick to the typical 30 second spot.

On the other hand, what is great about digital channels such as You Tube is that you don’t have these media cost restrictions, so other than production costs a 30 second spot costs about the same to run as a 2 minute spot.

So it was great to see Barclaycard release an extended ‘online only’ version of their classic Waterslide spot. The real fans will seek out this additional content and it works to deepen engagement levels.

Lesson 3: Show them how it was made

Magicians shouldn’t reveal how they do their tricks. Advertisers should.

When you make an epic ad such as Waterslide that makes viewers ask ‘did they really do that?’ for the curious few you should always release a ‘making of’ piece. Again the goal of this is to deepen engagement levels.

When I first saw Waterslide, I thought that it was a really cool spot but used too much CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). After watching the ‘making of’, I am blown away that they actually installed parts of the slide in Rio!

Lesson 4: Increase engagement through user generated content

In January 2009, Barclaycard launched the Waterslide Challenge encouraging users to generate a version of the ad to win a tour of the world’s top 5 waterslides, or spend £10,000.

The first prize is good integration, but cash is usually king. I would really like to know what the winner chose. I’m betting on the cash.

Lesson 5: Seed your user generated content campaign

Social proof is the currency of viral campaigns, so it was great to see Barclaycard launch the Waterslide Challenge with a user generated campaign of their own.

This worked to show users what they were looking for in the challenge, and how much fun it would be.

Lesson 5: Let them play!

The most recent extension of the campaign is an iPhone Application Game called Waterslide Extreme. It is currently the #1 free app on iTunes in 19 countries, with over 1 million people downloading it in just 4 days.

As an aside, the developer must be laughing their head off that you lose points when you slide over/catch a crab.

Lesson 6: Launch a fan page on Facebook before your fans do

One thing that didn’t work so well in this digital campaign was the official Barclaycard Facebook Fan Page which has only garnered 50 fans.

They really should have linked to it from the YouTube Brand Channel.

Official Barclaycard Facebook Page

Official Barclaycard Facebook Page

To put 50 fans in perspective, a user generated “I want to ride the slide from the Barclaycard advert” group has over 80,000 members.

Unofficial Facebook Group - I want to ride the Barclaycard slide

Unofficial Facebook Group - I want to ride the Barclaycard slide

Lesson 7: Link to your Twitter account from your YouTube Brand Channel

The official BarclaycardNews Twitter account currently has a whopping 86 followers. They really need to do something to promote it. How about linking to it from their Brand Channel?

Barclaycard News Twitter Account

Barclaycard News Twitter Account

Lesson 8: Always link the campaign back to what you are selling

While this campaign is a great example of cross channel integration and it is clearly popular, the majority of the digital components have lost the link to the actual card benefit the campaign is trying to sell, contactless payment technology.

So it ends up being a viral campaign about cool waterslides.

The question is does that move credit cards?

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Categories: Advertising, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Multi Channel Marketing, Twitter


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5 Comments on “8 lessons in digital integration from Barclaycard Waterslide”

  1. February 15, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    I liked reading the fantastic training you have to offer here.


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