Carling Black Label: Be the Coach Case Study

The aim of the digital component of the Be the Coach campaign was to take the concept beyond the process of voting. Be the Coach was for the fans; we needed to give it to them and let them run with it.

Beyond The Field
The voting system was in place, but the question was: where to from here? What if I want to view how my team takes shape on the field? How do I know if my team selections are having an effect? What the campaign needed was ways for users to keep up with the campaign, share their selections, debate their selections, voice their support, engage with fellow ‘coaches’ and totally immerse themselves in the Carling Black Label Cup.

The Black Label bottle provided the call to action, with a unique code found under the Black Label cap. Users were directed to the voting system – a mobile USSD system which allows for you to choose your team – all it took was an SMS from any cellphone. This USSD system aided the mass appeal of the campaign as it wasn’t limited to those with web-enabled or smart phones. Voting was the crux of the campaign and the USSD provided the best possible mechanic for it.

Mobile Site
We created a ‘Be the Coach’ mobile site – a simple but effective tool from which to view your team, information about all the players, the current state of the voting, and to follow and debate selections in taverns across the country. Coaches could also share their teams via Facebook and Twitter directly from the site.No set-up was required by ‘coaches’ (no user names or passwords); all they had to do was login with their own phone number.The mobile site was easy to use and worked on all web-enabled cellphones (from the most basic WAP enabled phone to the most advanced smart phone), and given that it worked in real time and could be viewed in a pub while drinking a Carling Black Label and watching soccer, it was no surprise this was the platform where most of the user activity took place.

Facebook Display Ad
Facebook Ads drove users to the custom tab on the Carling Black Label Facebook Page, inviting users to get involved in this truly unique Soweto derby.

Facebook Tab
From the mobile site users were directed to the ‘Be the Coach’ custom tab on the Carling Black Label Facebook Page, where they could win a Unique Coaches experience, including four tickets to all their team’s games for the season, a signed jersey and more.The custom tab and wall were the next level in user engagement. Facebook became the epicentre for good-natured and rigorous debate surrounding the rivalry between the two Soweto giants and the team selections of each.

Display Ads
Display Ads drove users to the custom tab on the Carling Black Label Facebook Page, inviting users to get involved in this truly unique Soweto derby. Additionally the Ads explained the intrinsics of the campaign. Microsite was the campaign headquarters. While the mobile site and Facebook page provided real-time updates and community debate respectively, the micro-site mirrored those elements and expanded on them.Full player profiles and online videos were accessible, along with the rest of the campaign elements, for those who wanted the full scope of the coaching experience. Coaches were given personalised guidance and tips from Ruud Gullit when selecting and putting together their team and could share their selections on Facebook and Twitter.

Digital PR
Importantly, rather than only Carling Black Label itself pushing the campaign, consumers and the press drove much of the conversation surrounding the Carling Black Label Cup. Coverage from consumers and the media was extensive, and the vast majority spoke positively about the sponsorship of this unique edition of the Soweto derby. The ability of this campaign to target key influencers ultimately lead to an overall increase in the credibility of the conversation covering the ‘Be the Coach Campaign’. Controversy surrounding the selection even reached the team’s official coaches themselves, who vented their frustration in the media at having the power taken out of their hands.

A 2-week competition was flighted on mobile instant messenger and social network Mxit, to drive entries via their portal. Users could create a ‘Coach’ profile directly from Mxit using their cellphone numbers and were directed to the Mobile site.

Campaign Results Summary
The aim of the digital campaign was to create a stir around the campaign and get people talking. Not only did we create a stir, we created a fan frenzy in South African soccer and the statistics show that. Over the 7 week period, more than 10.5 Million votes were received through the USSD system. Tickets for the historic match set new records, with 85,000 fans attending and millions more watching at home. The mobisite had 31,088 visitors (18,405 unique) over the period of the campaign and users visited 6.97 pages on average, with an average time on site of 5:30 minutes. The microsite had 10,042 visitors (6,846 unique) and users visited 5.54 pages on average, with an average time on site of 5:05 minutes. The amount of returning visitors was 40.83% and 32.31%