NineMSN are giving away prizes if you use their search instead of Google’s. The concept is simple: for a few weeks you can go to their secret search page, (which is different from their normal search page) enter some words into the search field, hit the search button and as your results are displayed, some little poker machine-style spinny things show you if you’ve won a prize. This happens every time you search. You get more chances at winning if you make it your homepage and more still if change your default browser search to theirs. It’s a great campaign and very nicely done, I like what they’re trying to achieve (ie. after using their search for a few weeks you’ll realise it’s pretty good, so you won’t bother going back to Google). It’s well-executed, clever and ticks lots of boxes. It won’t work for me because I realise my chances of winning a prize I actually want are dismal, I love the search results I get from Google and I hate the advertising on NineMSN, but that’s not the point.
The point is how I heard about this campaign.
It was here.
Not from NineMSN, not from a media release, not from a banner ad, not from a promo in Internet Explorer, not from a news article, not from a popup window. It was from a cool blog by an 18-year-old university marketing student. That’s the real power of social media. This is the core. This is the buzz. If your brand is interesting, people like Zac Martin will start talking about it, and people like me will start listening. Not because the message is forced upon me, not because anyone got paid to do anything, just because it was interesting.