Holmes Report 13 Apr 2011 // 11:00PM GMT
What do 100 mommy bloggers each armed with 100 of America’s most popular, cute and fun-loving toy hamsters create? 10,000 smiles! Recognizing that nothing is more fulfilling than the sincerity of giving during the holiday season, Cepia LLC, the makers of 2010’s Toy of the Year, ZhuZhu Pets®, and Zeno Group partnered with 100 bloggers across the country to spread “Random Acts of Zhu” (RAZ), creating a multi-faceted program to further engage with the mommy blogging community, donate 10,000 ZhuZhu Pets to local charities and ask Americans to recognize the true power of giving.
Random Acts of Zhu, a program offering 100 bloggers the opportunity to donate 100 ZhuZhu Pets each to their local charity of choice, was created to allow bloggers to make the biggest impact possible on the local level with a toy that instantly brings smiles to childrens’ faces. Conducted by Zeno via invitations to targeted bloggers, responses included a resounding and overwhelming sense of gratitude and excitement on behalf of bloggers who felt privileged and humbled to partner with one of the most popular toy brands in America, and to be part of such a feel-good program. Memorable pictures accompanied by personal, detailed documentation of each donation resulted in over 100 unique – and occasionally tear-jerking – blog posts, local media coverage and dozens of heartfelt “thank-you’s” from both bloggers and charities alike.
Garnering more than 23 million media impressions, RAZ became a holiday inspiration to move others to make a difference in their communities.
Program Objectives 1
• Engage mommy bloggers across the country through one common goal: spread Random Acts of Zhu
• Encourage bloggers to seek out and build relationships with the most deserving and needy charities in their communities
• Position the ZhuZhu Pets brand as an innovator in social media through blogger interaction
• Inspire others to spread joy through the simple act of giving, aligning with the platform of RAZ
• Create a strong emotional connection between the ZhuZhu Pets brand, bloggers and general consumers
• Create a compelling, simple call-to-action for the bloggers
• Leverage the high-profile association of the toy with a personal tie to the cause to bring the message to a larger audience (the bloggers’ readers)
• Highlight the collectability, lovability and sensation of ZhuZhu Pets
How do we position this program without being overly promotional about the toys themselves? The team leveraged the core inspiration of the RAZ program, which was initiated in 2009, to lift the spirits of children throughout the year, especially those facing a variety of challenges. Last holiday season Cepia initiated its “Santa’s Helpers Program,” delivering ZhuZhu Pets to unexpected, eager children on Christmas morning in order to fulfill Santa’s promise to deliver the number one toy on every child’s wish list. Since then, during the summer of 2010, Cepia and Zeno have been responsible for bringing thousands of ZhuZhu Pets to over a dozen pediatric hospitals across America during Cepia’s “Christmas in July” toy drops.
As the program kicked off on November 1, 2010 and initial outreach to bloggers was underway, Zeno had to ensure that after collecting each bloggers’ contact information and chosen charity through a Survey Monkey questionnaire, that each delivery of 13 boxes of ZhuZhu Pets would make it to each bloggers’ home in time for their planned donation. As bloggers were requested to make their donations by Dec. 24, Cepia and Zeno worked diligently to ensure that each planned donation was a huge success.
Zeno referenced recent research supporting cause-aligned campaigns as significant drivers for a brand’s business in regards to growing trust among current and potential customers. According to the Edelman goodpurpose™ Consumer Study (2009), more than half of global consumers report that a company has earned business by supporting good causes, and more than six out of 10 Americans say they would recommend a brand that supports a good cause, especially a cause that makes sense for the company. This research undoubtedly supported the platform and goals of RAZ.
Creating a Zhu-rific Holiday
• To announce and raise awareness about the campaign, a press release was distributed resulting in traditional media placements, blog posts and extensive newswire pickup. Zeno consistently received inquiries from bloggers who had heard about the program and were interested in participating
• After securing confirmed participation from bloggers, Cepia and Zeno invited all of the bloggers to participate in a conference call to share creative ideas about their planned donations, network and answer questions before donation plans began and initial blog posts went up
• As donations were conducted and blog posts went live, Cepia aggregated all of the posts in a dedicated RAZ page on the Zhu-niverse website for bloggers to re-visit and read about their own and other bloggers’ donations
Evaluation of Success
Random Acts of Zhu delivered remarkable results in terms of blogger engagement, execution of donations and both social and traditional media coverage
• 23.5 million media impressions and 103 media placements resulting significantly from blog posts, included key blog placements on Momformation, Mom Blog Network and Moms Like Me and local media coverage in San Francisco, Boston and Scranton, PA
• Effectively engaged bloggers through a charitable donation partnership
• Successfully executed all donations by goal deadline of Dec. 24
• Moved consumers to associate the ZhuZhu Pets brand as an innovator in leveraging social media and the mommy blogging community to spread good cause