Straight Genius: Why the ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’ Campaign Went Viral

Straight Genius: Why the ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’ Campaign Went Viral

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‘Beats’ celebrity ambassadors like Serena Williams got in on the action.

The N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton opens in theaters nationwide today.

Whether you’re a lifelong N.W.A or hip hop fan whose been anticipating this day for months or you’re one of the people who couldn’t care less, chances are that you’ve heard more about this movie in the last few days than any other release in recent weeks.

That is no coincidence.

Universal Pictures, Universal Music’s Interscope label, Apple and Beats by Dre joined forces to create a marketing bonanza that would include Compton, a quasi-movie soundtrack and the first solo studio album from Dr. Dre in 16 years, the movie’s trailer being broadcast to 24 million people midway through the GOP Debate on August 6th, a targeted skywriting campaign in California that was shared by viewers on social media and of course the ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’ meme generator that has gone viral since the site’s August 5th debut.

This coordinated effort, culminating with the wildly shared ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’ meme generator is a marketing hit. But, why?

No matter how great a marketing or public relations idea is and no matter how much money is spent, any expert will tell you that there is no direct guarantee that a campaign will be successful. The most you can do, is bring the right mix of elements together and hope for the best.

‘Straight Outta Somewhere’
By the Numbers:

Memes Created: 5,000,000 and counting
Direct Hashtag Use: 400,000 and counting

So, How Do You Get People to Talk About Your Brand?

Most brands want to go with a direct approach (ex: “Hi, we’re X and we are here to sell/tell you about Z), but an indirect method as we’ve seen with #StraightOutta (ex: “Hi, we’re L and we want to hear more about your S) can be a better and sometimes more strategic option.

Indirect marketing methods can also be a tougher sale because marketers have a hard time understanding that you don’t always have to inundate people with a brand’s name or logo to get them to talk about or feature your brand while they talk about something else, like: themselves.

This is an approach I’ve used with Lottabody, one of my firm’s beauty clients, for a campaign we did last year called #MyStyleMatters. At the time, the brand was still in the beginning stages of a relaunch and for years prior had not been part of beauty conversations happening online or -off, so our challenge was: how do we get people to talk about the brand/discover the new product line?

Because it was a digital campaign we knew we wanted to engage with about 30 of the top beauty bloggers and influencers, many of whom are mostly known for only working with top brands. Getting them to all try and use the products and talk about them at the same time would have been nearly impossible (then).

So we opted for the indirect approach of having them create videos to talk about why their particular style matters, while mentioning the brand name (“Dear Lottabody…”) and having the entire product line visible and on display. In turn, they encouraged their respective audiences to share their #MyStyleMatters stories for a chance to win products. It worked.

The campaign resulted in increased visibility (we reached more than hundreds of thousands of women) for the brand and encouraged trial use of the new products. And now the brand is rapidly approaching 40,000 followers on Instagram (from a little over 3,000 when the campaign started in November).

That strategy, of giving people the tools (ex: meme generator) to share something about themselves while also indirectly promoting your product, service or in this case a movie is exactly what makes the ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’ campaign so successful.

Create your own ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’ meme: