Facebook case study: Smart car lets fans tag their own adventure

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Would you face the aliens or enter the wormhole? smart USA's 'Tag Your Own Adventure'—a new spin on the classic 'Choose Your Own Adventure' format—was a smart and original Facebook storytelling experiment letting fans' tags decide the destiny of a smart car hero.

Smart: Tag your own Adventure from Shotopop on Vimeo.

Case study summary

• Car brand lets Facebook fans tag an interactive story
• Used Sponsored Stories format to generate interest between weekly episodes
• In just four weeks, the campaign generated over 36.2 million impressions and fan acquisition spiked nearly 1,000%.

The challenge

Car brand smart wanted an original way to get consumers involved with the brand on Facebook. It worked with agency Razorfish to create an interactive storytelling campaign to boost its online presence.

The solution

Razorfish designed a series of short animated films that followed smart across time and space, while highlighting the features of the car. Then they spliced each film into hundreds of images and uploaded them into smart USA's Facebook photo albums. From July 7-August 1, 2012, fans brought each chapter to life, frame-by-frame, by clicking through the album in a flip-book style.

Each chapter ended in a cliff-hanger: for example, "Should the smart face the alien invaders or escape through a wormhole?" Fans were prompted to choose a path by tagging themselves on the corresponding side of the image. After tallying the tags, we'd release the next fan-voted chapter each week.

Between the weekly releases, Facebook Sponsored Stories extended and increased engagement, voting, and new fan acquisition. And after the final fan-selected chapter was revealed on August 13, we released all the chapters so fans could explore all the potential story lines and answer the 'what if's.

Campaign Performance

Tag Your Own Adventure featured the safety, customization, and fun-to-drive aspects of smart in engaging, non-traditional ways.

By putting an innovative spin on Facebook’s default features, we created disruptive, entertaining content that enticed people to get involved. Plus, by giving our audience the freedom to design the story, we took the modern approach of putting more control in the hands of our consumers.

Results

Tag Your Own Adventure helped the brand spread the word about smart’s features in truly unique ways. And fans journeyed into parts unknown, the brand did too. With every tag, fans vaulted us beyond the sidelines of Facebook, and into the prime real estate—while inviting their friends to come along.

However, the "Tag Your Own Adventure" also suffered from technical hiccups beyond the brand's control. For example, load screens between photos broke the flow of the flipbook, which led Smart to include an awkward piece of advice: "For the smoothest ride, run through the album twice."

Overall, performance for all KPIs exceeded benchmarks by 75–143%. In just four weeks, the campaign generated over 36.2 million impressions. Our photo views increased 441%. And the rate of fan acquisition spiked nearly 1,000%. Best of all, they opened a channel of exposure to a world of people on Facebook who wouldn’t have seen the brand before.

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