When Viking wanted to enhance its SEO value, the office stationery retailer, with the help of PR and SEO specialist Search Laboratory, decided to hijack the upcoming release of Star Wars The Force Awakens with the creation of giant Post-it note murals of iconic Star Wars characters. Using more than 3,500 Post-it notes in just five hours, the campaign unleashed a flurry of shareable content, with Mashable picking up the story and making it one of the most shared online pieces in the first 24 hours.
Campaign: Star Wars Post-it Note Murals
PR Team: Search Laboratory
Timing: August – September 2015
Viking is a major supplier of office stationery and office products to UK business. The objective of this campaign was to inspire office creativity and ensure Viking’s stationery offer was front of mind for business decision makers. A key audience for Viking is young businesses in sectors such as marketing, design and technology.
The campaign also placed emphasis on gaining significant SEO value from the PR coverage, so as much of the coverage as possible would need to link to the Viking UK website. The more links, the more effective the campaign. Links from high authority sites (ones with a high Domain Authority score) were particularly desirable, as those links have a greater positive impact on search rankings.
The campaign team was aware that the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, is due to be released in December and there is currently a large volume of web users searching for Star Wars content. Additionally, Star Wars is a popular subject for tech and design blogs to cover, and these sites were popular with the target audience.
Inspired by an article by Ben Brucker, the team realised that it was feasible to produce giant Post-it note murals of iconic Star Wars characters. A designer pixilated the images and calculated the amount of Post-it notes and colours required, as well as how to arrange them on the office walls.
A team of four then set to work creating the murals which took around five hours to be completed.
Everything they did was filmed and photographed, including the use of Go Pro cameras to create a time lapse video.
In order to encourage news sites and blogs to hyperlink back to the Viking website, a “linkable asset” was required. Therefore a post on the Viking blog, which carried exclusive rich content such as a gallery of images, time-lapse video, GIFs, grid designs and the data behind the project, was provided to media.
Once all the content was ready and published to the Viking blog, posts were created for social sites Imgur and Reddit to seed the project socially before the ‘official’ launch of the outreach campaign. This seeding process resulted in four initial articles on design and sci-fi blogs.
Following the August Bank Holiday weekend, outreach began to pop culture, design and other sci-fi websites, including high authority tech blogs like Mashable and CNET. Once those sites picked up the coverage it created a high volume of social sharing of the articles which resulted in a huge influx of natural coverage and links on top of the coverage that the team were already earning directly from their own outreach.
The campaign has so far resulted in 147 online articles of which 86 have hyperlinked back to the Viking website.
Coverage appeared in some of the most authoritative and influential tech and design sites on the web, and was shared on those site’s Facebook and Twitter channels. This includes:
- Mashable (Domain Authority 96/100) – 3.2 million Facebook followers / 5.7 million Twitter followers
- CNET (DA 98) – 2 million Facebook followers / 1 million Twitter followers
- Metro (DA 87) – 1.1 million Facebook followers / 210,000 Twitter followers
- Bored Panda (DA 81) – 2.1 million Facebook followers / 80,000 Twitter followers
- Trend Hunter (DA 81) – 2.5 million Facebook followers / 250,000 Twitter followers
- Nerdist (DA 80) – 1.3 million Facebook followers / 220,000 Twitter followers
- Laughing Squid (DA 86) – 450,000 Facebook followers / 600,000 Twitter followers
- Design Taxi (DA 76) – 380,000 Facebook followers / 435,000 Twitter followers
- The Chive (DA 73) – 1.5 million Facebook followers / 530,000 Twitter followers
- ComincBook.com (DA 66) – 2.5 million Facebook followers / 50,000 Twitter followers
- Comic Book Resources (DA 77) – 1.1 million Facebook followers / 140,000 Twitter followers
In addition, the coverage was shared socially by heavyweight business influencers such as Guy Kawasaki (1.5 million Twitter followers) and even the Post-it brand itself. Articles have also been published across the world on blogs from Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia and even Peru.
Social analytics show that articles covering the campaign have been shared over 75,000 times, and that in the first 24 hours of the after the campaign went live, the Mashable article became one of the top 10 most shared articles on the web with over 40,000 shares.
Based on these analytics, we estimate that the campaign has reached over 100 million web users!
Got a cracking campaign – with impressive results – that you’d like to showcase? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.