“Ted” (the movie) is the first full-length motion picture from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane. If you're not familiar with the plot, imagine your worst behaved best friend is turned into a real-life teddy bear and is intent on ruining your relationship. Yep, this one has Oscar written all over it.
If “Ted” doesn't win an Oscar, it can celebrate its box-office success. During its opening weekend, the raunchy comedy raked in $54.1 million
. “Ted” became the third-best debut for an R-rated film ever. (And it even beat out the even buzzier male stripper movie “Magic Mike.”)
The movie also deserves kudos for its incredibly clever social media marketing approach. On first look, it may seem overly simplistic, but then again, the simple stuff is usually the most brilliant.
(Warning: This post contains some colorful language and images. )
Listen, plan, engage
All solid social media marketing campaigns are built on understanding how people behave. This is often referred to as the “listening” phase. Whoever is pulling the strings behind the social media activity of “Ted” clearly pays attention to how people behave on Facebook. Let me explain: How many times have you seen images like these pop up in your Facebook feed:
And how many times have you given that image a “like”? It's OK; you can admit it, because they epitomize the increasingly powerful image-powered Web.
The team behind “Ted” is using it to their advantage with these “ted-e-cards”:
Clever, eh? Taking popular Internet memes and re-shaping them for commercial purposes is nothing new, but this particular tactic displays a keen understanding of the types of content people respond to, especially on Facebook.
It's not just the “ted-e-cards” that are generating interaction and sharing from Facebook. Here’s another familiar (and ubiquitous) example of contemporary online content:
Can traditional brands adopt this approach?
While it may be difficult for traditional brands to adopt the tone and language on display here, there's no reason trends and memes can't be used in similar ways.
The idea of a generic font being plastered over a generic image, with a low brow caption would probably infuriate art directors all over the globe, but this content (when executed well) generates interaction.
A version of this story first appeared on AdamVincenzini.com.