Frontline Marketing

Imgur: How Brands Can Go Viral Creatively

Steve Peterson   |  

Social media are redefining marketing in interesting ways, and the recent events on Imgur the Internet’s largest image-sharing community are an excellent examples of this. Old Spice’s marketing stunt has been going viral on Imgur over the last few days, showing just how powerful native advertising can be when brands grasp the style, language and content that resonates with a community.

Here’s the rundown: Just three days ago, an Imgurian, heartbroken over a lost bottle of Old Spice Bearglove body wash, reached out to Old Spice through Imgur asking to replace the hygienic void in his life. The folks at Old Spice delivered .

TheWehrmachtDidNothingWrong: Dear @RealOldSpiceWeSwear I accidentally left my Bearglove body wash at a friends house I stayed at over the weekend. Can you send me one?

RealOldSpiceWeSwear: Absolutely not. But direct message us and we will send you a ridiculously large nearly full-sized jungle cat tax. For real. In real life.

So Old Spice sent me a giant tiger…

View the origins of the story here (see the comments section) and here’s the delivery and the unveiling of Old Spice’s amazing play on an Imgurian tradition the cat tax.

Steve Patrizi, VP of marketing & sales at Imgur, spoke with [a]listdaily about Imgur and its value to brand marketers.

How would you describe Imgur for marketers who are just hearing about the platform?

Imgur is home to the most ridiculously entertaining images on the Internet. Millions of people visit Imgur every day to enjoy and share hilarious, heartwarming, and helpful images from all around the world. The basic unit is a post, which includes a title, one or more images (animated or still), and descriptive text. Users vote up their favorite posts, which are then seen by millions of people every day.

Our marketing partners tell us there are 3 reasons they’re investing in Imgur:

  1. Reaching millennial males at scale. Imgur’s core demographic is young, tech-savvy and culture-influencing millennial males – particularly those into video games, movies, technology, apparel, and food. For a lot of marketers, these users are hard to find at scale, yet according to comScore, Imgur is home to the highest composition of millennial males found anywhere on the Internet.
  2. Crazy levels of engagement. It’s one thing to reach millennial males, it s another to reach them in places where they’re spending lots of time. 82 percent of Imgur users spend 3+ hours on Imgur per week, and 17 percent spend 10+ hours per week.
  3. A massive and engaging messaging canvas. The post is one of the most powerful messaging units available on the Internet. It can be used for short-form or long-form messaging, it can include still or hi-def animated images, and has proven to deliver impressive results: on average, users spend 25 seconds with a post (close to the gold-standard of tv spots!) and engagement rates are between two and four percent!

What’s the reach of Imgur, and what are the demographics that the platform hits?

Imgur reaches 150 million monthly active users globally, and according to comScore, has the highest concentration of millennial males on the Internet. 75 percent are under the age of 35 and nearly 60 percent are 24 and younger. Imgur’s audience is most interested in geek culture things like video games, movies, music, and, of course, food.

Is Old Spice unusual in how it’s using Imgur, or are other brands reaching out to customers in similar fashion? Can you give us some examples of other brands using Imgur?

Old Spice isn’t necessarily unusual in how they’re using Imgur, but they and our other partners are doing something really special that you just don’t see on the Internet as much as you should: they’re focused on delivering user value first and foremost and actually creating advertising that people enjoy. They know that if they get that part right, they’ll have an easier time hitting their own objectives.

For example, Old Spice invited Imgur users to help them pick the best scent of Imgur, but gave them some cool reaction GIFs to use as well. eBay has shared tons of great advice, like how to find a great father’s day gift to how manage your computer cables, and Starz shared some behind the scenes insights into their new show BluntTalk.

Here are some examples of awesome Promoted Posts be sure to check out the comments section to see the community feedback!

eBay

1. Father Day & Drones http://imgur.com/gallery/jDlpp

2. Tech Transformations http://imgur.com/gallery/gLNBX

3. Rare Toys http://imgur.com/gallery/AZDq7

4. Cable Management http://imgur.com/gallery/cV6HQ

5. eBay Charity

6. You’re Never Alone When you Have a Drone http://imgur.com/gallery/NWxQm

7. How to Build a Gaming Computer from Scratch http://imgur.com/gallery/HRY2I

8. Welcome our New 3D Printing Overlords http://imgur.com/gallery/iwUpQ

9. Community Love http://imgur.com/gallery/c6YbS

10. Camp High Tech http://imgur.com/account/favorites/wjZtr

Blunt Talk Starring Patrick Stewart

1. MRW http://imgur.com/gallery/GT4uJQa/

2. Who Doesn’t Need More Patrick Stewart in Their Lives http://imgur.com/gallery/Vm7p8

3. Patrick Stewart Wants to be Blunt with You http://imgur.com/gallery/QyCAM

4. Captain Picard & Mr. Data http://imgur.com/gallery/eCIa7

Old Spice

1. And So It Begins http://imgur.com/gallery/BcZMG/

2. Round 1: Battle of The Upvote Gifs http://imgur.com/gallery/osMV6

3. Round 2: Cat Taxapalooza: http://imgur.com/gallery/1jbnE

4. Round 3: Deal With It http://imgur.com/gallery/0noqU

Planetary Society with Bill Nye

1. Dear Citizens of Planet Earth http://imgur.com/gallery/oB8Lb

Just Cause 3

1. Play a Video Game, Win an Island http://imgur.com/gallery/49tkG

What’s the best way for brands to find and support conversations about themselves on Imgur?

The real opportunity on Imgur is to learn more about the authentic conversations that millennials are having about the things they really care about most. Then we can work together with brands to use those insights to develop programs and messaging that really connects with Imgur s millennial audience.

For example, eBay picked up on the fact that a lot of Imgur users were really interested in camping gear – so we worked with them to put together a post showcasing cool camping gadgets. Old Spice locked onto the idea that it s customary for Imgur users to include a cat tax in their posts, which led to the tiger delivery.