Reebok is a large and technological footwear company founded more than 110 years ago. Reebok's history started in 1895 in the United Kingdom, and continued in the United States. It became an international company at the end of the 80s. Today, Reebok's products are sold in 170 countries. This global strategy helped the brand to match the performance of its main competitors: Adidas and Nike. Reebok became one of the 3 market leaders, by sponsoring a lot of athletes and anticipating new trends such as aerobics, sports for women, and casual fashion (using sport-shoes everyday). Moreover, the company created new products, (apparels, T-shirt, bags), so they could stay competitive and a step ahead of its two aggressive competitors. As athletic footwear represented 40% of the total footwear sold, these two brands were taking away most of the market share. Moreover, Adidas and Nike had a fashionable brand-image, which was not true of Reebok which was seen by the public and customers more as a technical brand than fashionable one. Since 1990, Reebok has been using strategic sponsoring of prestigious athletes, like a lot of other sportswear brands. In 2003, Reebok's new marketing campaign changed the image of the company in the customer's mind, and their brand perception of Reebok. This new way of advertising was introduced to the company by Micky Pant, who chose to communicate a new message, to a new target, which Reebok did not really reach before, in a new and innovating way: viral marketing. This strategy is what we will study, by first explaining the concept of viral marketing, and then studying Reebok's new advertizing concept. Finally we will analyze the results of this campaign.
Our society has evolved a lot in the last 20 years, particularly in terms of demography and new technologies. Mentalities have also changed a lot, and we observe new consumer segments, with new consumption needs. To keep abreast of these evolutions, brands have adapted their marketing strategy. This is the case with viral marketing.
Viral marketing is a new way of using the internet to communicate. It is a kind of relational marketing which is being used by more and more companies, as traditional media (billboards, TV, radio, cinema, magazines) are over used and are becoming less efficient. Viral marketing is different from traditional media as it puts internet users at the center of the communication process. Internet users, especially the ones who are bloggers, are targeted by the brand, which use viral marketing to seduce them. It is an interactive way of communication, because not only is the web user affected, but he also helps spread the message by sharing the links, videos, and ideas with others internet users. The consumer is not just the receiver; he can now become the transmitter. However, it is not that easy to make the consumer take an active role in spreading the brand message. There are some important points which must be implemented to ensure his involvement:
[...] The Terry Tate advertising concept The members of Generation X were between 24 and 35 years old in 2003. As we saw in part one, viral marketing is very efficient among the people who are in this age range. That is why Micky Pant chose this type of advertising. As we can see through this case study, he studied this community extensively to understand what would make them laugh, what their aspirations were, and how they reacted in different situations. [...]
[...] Viral marketing can be in the form of a post on a blog criticizing a brand, a video showing the faults of a product, or complains on a forum about a service or a product. That is what happens most of the time. Thus, it is perhaps the first rule to respect. The brand must create the message and manage it before it is spread on the web by internet users. b. Advantage of using viral marketing instead of traditional media Viral marketing can be a complement of traditional media, if the following points are kept in mind: - To a certain extent, it can be more efficient than a traditional media campaign. [...]
[...] According to a study by IPSOS, of the people who are less than 30 consider that there is too much advertising in the street, on TV, and in the newspaper”. Viral marketing is less expensive and can be a lot more efficient, but only if it works well. The brand is initially lost among a lot of others brands, but can rise very quickly on the web. As the IPSOS study shows, “buzz is one of the main ways of communication attracting consumer confidence: 45% of the people surveyed say that recommendations come from their peers and community, whereas only 15% would give their confidence to brand advertising on - It is a less expensive way of advertizing than traditional media Billboards, radio, newspaper and cinema). [...]
[...] communicate a new message, to a new target, which Reebok did not really reach before, in a new and innovating way: viral marketing. This strategy is what we will study, by first explaining the concept of viral marketing, and then studying Reebok's new advertizing concept. Finally we will analyze the results of this campaign. I. Using Viral Marketing, a new way to communicate: Our society has evolved a lot in the last 20 years, particularly in terms of demography and new technologies. [...]
[...] Conclusion To conclude, we can say that Micky Pant can be credited with introducing a new way of advertizing in Reebok Company. Terry Tate's commercial has definitely been a phenomenon all around the world, and has succeeded in reaching a huge and sought-after community, with a high buying power: Generation X. Other videos have also been released since the 2003 campaign. Unfortunately, using viral marketing had as many good results as bad ones. Reebok's brand image gained in reputation and recognition, and stuck to its cool image, an image that it wanted to spread, but, the phenomenon that is remembered is more that of Terry Tate than of the Reebok brand. [...]
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