Last year I presented a session at a workshop for Amnesty International on a creative consumer campaign launched in Europe by Greenpeace, bringing together two powerful ideas – brand-jamming and gamification – into an excellent mobilization campagn.
The video gives the background to the campaign and why it stood out as one of the most impressive mobilization campaigns of 2011.
What do I like about this campaign?
Brandjamming is a great campaign strategy that leverages the investment that a target company puts into their own marketing, and twists it back on them. In launching their own Star-Wars-themed ad campaign, Volkswagen opened the door to Greenpeace turning around and applying the ‘Evil Empire’ label. Greenpeace is a master of this style of campaigning — they’ve have set some impressive benchmarks in recent years with Barbie Breakup, Green my Apple and Unfriend Facebook.
As I say in the video, this campaign is built around a game/reward model that drives user engagement and viral sharing. Users who sign up are given their own Jedi training page where they can earn rewards by inviting others to visit the site and sign up themselves. Great work here to tap into the Star Wars universe for the reward system (As a former teenage geek in the 70s, I totally bought in — I’m still trying to get my Wookie).
Overall, the high quality of the content and the genius of the concept made this one of the best campaigns of 2011 — at least at the time of launch…
Unfortunately, VW Darkside appears to have suffered the fate common to many campaigns that launch with great energy and excitement — running out of steam and long-term organizational commitment. The campaign hit the bricks with a big splash and for a few weeks it was all over my twitter and facebook feeds. But then it went quiet. The last email update I received was in fall 2011, and apart from a user-generated film contest that ran in late 2011, there has been little happening on the website and facebook page (last update there in Feb 2012).