Life inside RadioShack’s Super Bowl social war room

By Rye Clifton, Product Strategy Director

One of the biggest elements of RadioShack’s The Phone Call was keeping everything a secret. We wanted the Super Bowl spot and contest to be a big surprise, which meant we had to launch a new campaign, a contest, a series of messages across social accounts, paid media, social skins, landing pages, and PR… all in a 30 second window.

At times the rehearsals felt ridiculous, but they were necessary. We learned several things along the way that helped us optimize and shave time: using tabs, arranging lists in reverse order, and color coding action items on a white board. Our best practice run had us going live in less than 25 seconds.

As the spot aired, we went heads-down. By the twenty-first second, the contest was up, the first tweet was live, and responses started pouring in. Within the first couple of minutes we had four trending topics: #RadioShack, Mary Lou Retton, California Raisins, and Kid ‘N Play. showed initial sentiment levels over 90% positive.

During the contest we logged over 100,000 organic tweets, equating to over 270 million potential related impressions (this accounts for all the conversations surrounding the celebrities, the prizes, and the campaign in general). This was helped by paid targeting, a range of mentions by people like Judd Apatow, Perez Hilton, and Andy Roddick… and a wide variety of news sources from WSJ and Forbes to People and E! Online. The contest alone had over 40,000 entries, and Ad Age said we won the night with a 22-times increase in social mentions. By Monday morning there were over 1,100 articles listed on Google News.

After five months of preparation, we broke through.

Now on to phase two.

(Photos from the war room)

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