Monday, June 19, 2017

Is Trevor Noah funny?

My favorite digital media marketing campaign – and the campaign that, to me, best epitomizes how social media marketing can be used most effectively – is the campaign that Comedy Central ran right as Trevor Noah was taking the reigns as host of the Daily Show.

There was a lot of curiosity and doubt surrounding who Comedy Central thought could fill Stewart’s shoes, so Comedy Central capitalized on this curiosity, and, via Google, purchased search terms such as “Trevor Noah age,” “Trevor Noah girlfriend,” “Trevor Noah gay,” and “Trevor Noah sucks.” When searched, Comedy Central content (ads) would appear with exclusive videos made by Noah, each a short funny commentary on the given term. The videos could only be found via search, were un-embeddable and were free-standing (not linked to any other videos in the “series”).  And (arguably, most importantly), they were funny, giving viewers who were anxious about Stewart’s departure confidence in the show’s continued relevance and success.

To add further buzz and anticipation, Comedy Central did not release the total number of videos that existed (or do much real-time commenting on the videos) which only added to the efficacy of the campaign: by not doing so, Comedy Central kept viewers searching and clicking – good for the campaign’s bottom line and simultaneously good for the social chatter building in anticipation of the new host’s arrival at the TV show.

So – why do I like this campaign so much? It’s so simple, yet so innovative. Comedy Central realized that people would be searching to find out all they could about the show’s young new host, so they capitalized on it, and used the opportunity to reinforce the sensibility and sense of humor of the show. Additionally, the content feels fresh and the campaign feels cool; the mystery surrounding the “Easter egg (read: secret video) hunt” on the internet that the network created kept people searching! And, at a moment of transition for The Daily Show, at a time when viewers could be ready to leave, Comedy Central increased online engagement and got people talking more about the new host, only building chatter and excitement in advance of his television debut.

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