Jack Link's uses augmented reality to further campaign

Sasquatch is the brand icon for Jack Link's Beef Jerky. Jeff LeFever, director of marketing at Jack Link's, explains that the "Messin' with Sasquatch" ad campaign (created by Carmichael Lynch and debuted in 2006) has made the character "wildly popular" with consumers.

Client: Jack Link's Beef Jerky (Minong, WS)

PR agency: and Carmichael Lynch Spong (Minneapolis, MN)

Time frame: April 2009 – present

Campaign: Living Sasquatch

Budget: $50,000 (PR fee)

Sasquatch is the brand icon for Jack Link's Beef Jerky. Jeff LeFever, director of marketing at Jack Link's, explains that the “Messin' with Sasquatch” ad campaign (created by Carmichael Lynch and debuted in 2006) has made the character “wildly popular” with consumers. The company aims to continually extend the character's popularity and presence online and develop new ways for consumers to interact with the brand.

Using augmented reality technology, Jack Link's created an online application that allows users to project a 3-D image of Sasquatch into their physical environments and control its movement. The application, which launched on microsite LivingSasquatch.com on April 27, also allows consumers to record interactions with the character and share the videos online. Long-time agencies Carmichael Lynch and sister agency and PR firm Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) partnered with the company in developing the concept, creating the microsite, and driving consumer engagement.

Strategy
LeFever says the company was “an early adopter” of social media, so prior to the campaign consumers were already interacting with the brand online, including creating and posting their own versions of the “Messin' with Sasquatch” ads on YouTube.

“We love that consumers have a voice in the brand, and we wanted to facilitate that,” he says. “Augmented reality and the ongoing strategy dovetailed nicely.”

Julie Batliner, managing principal at CLS, says the team used traditional media relations, blogger relations, social media outreach, and events at Six Flags to drive awareness of the site and the opportunity to create and share videos.

Tactics
The team targeted consumer outlets (print and online) and tech-focused Web sites and bloggers. Batliner notes that educating general media about augmented reality was an important component. The team also targeted advertising and media writers, as well as filmmaker trades.

LeFever explains that Jack Link's “mobile marketing tour” (part of a separate initiative), which gives out product samples and giveaways, was used to distribute printed information about the application.

Jack Link's also sponsors the new “Sasquatch” attraction at Six Flags' The Great Escape theme park in Queensbury, NY. Events were held there July 17-19 for consumers to experience the online application as an interaction with a life-size, 3-D Sasquatch.

Results
LeFever says the campaign has met expectations, though it hasn't yet “exploded into a phenomenon.”

Site visits are currently close to 250,000. About 3,500 unique videos have been created. Blog audience reach is almost 3 million to date. Batliner says the effort resulted in more than 219 tweets from Twitter accounts, which had a collective following of nearly 150,000, in the first week alone. About 24,000 people were reached at Six Flags.

Media impressions total 7.5 million, and Batliner estimates about 10 million more pending (print and online). Outlets covering the story include The New York Times, Forbes.com, TechCrunch.com, and Ad Age.

Future
Jack Link's will continue partnering with the agency to expand work with the technology and drive consumer interaction.

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