“Ted,” the big box office hit from “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, has captivated audiences in the theater and beyond. The movie’s title refers to its star, Ted: a foul mouthed, womanizing, pot smoking anti-teddy bear whose punch lines could give you a black eye. Watching an iconic childhood toy do things your craziest friend from college wouldn’t do is like that eTrade baby talking about personal finance: magical and brilliant in its unfathomable nature. Yet there is something deeper with Ted that makes him so effective. Perhaps it’s that he represents the challenge of letting go of things from your past; of learning to take responsibility and be an adult. Or I could be totally off: I haven’t seen the movie.
So how do I know so much about Ted or care about what life lessons he embodies? Because of a comprehensive promotional campaign that puts this wonderful, furry little jackass all over the place. The marketers behind “Ted” covered all their bases, making smart social media moves and brand partnerships that all commit the voice and character of Ted to memory.
Ted is on Facebook with 2,027,292 Likes as I write this, and I’m sure there will be more in the next few hours. Ted’s Facebook page provides fans with pictures, status updates, and more Ted-related content from other websites that is of interest to anyone who enjoys his humor, regardless of whether or not you have seen the movie. One look at the Facebook page and you know Ted, as every post is loyal to his voice.
@WhatTedSaid currently has 283,524 followers on Twitter, and capitalizes on the one-liners creator Seth MacFarlane is known for. The tweets are just like the Facebook posts in that they’re accessible even if you haven’t seen the movie, and unabashedly Ted.
The partnership between AXE and “Ted” is brilliant for many reasons. First, the content is hilarious. Ted is a perfect spokesbear for AXE, whose brand voice shares a similar sense of humor. On YouTube, “Ted” trailers immediately follow AXE commercials, which were also written and directed by MacFarlane. The viewer is easily transitioned from one product to the other, a testament to the compatibility of the brand voices.
WHAT TO LEARN
A consistent brand voice is vital to the success of a social media campaign. The voice of Ted the character is much more entertaining and understandable than the voice of “Ted” the movie would be if it didn't have a character to personify it. While the Facebook page is clearly promoting the movie (users can buy tickets to see “Ted” via the page), users respond to the page’s content and the voice of the character in a far more interactive way because it does not feel forced. Because “Ted” has the ability to market itself through its title character, it seems like more of a “friend” on Facebook than a promotional page. The same applies to the Twitter account: because Ted the character is “responsible” for the tweets, there is no unwanted brand pushing or interaction between the movie and fans; it’s more personal and thus, more effective. When given the opportunity, a character or avatar is a great way to connect with consumers in a social media campaign.
The success of “Ted” is obviously not solely dependent on its social media campaign or viral web presence, but rather it proves that social media marketing done right can encourage lasting relationships between consumers and a brand. People who have yet to see “Ted” or those who have just left the theater can have a connection with this movie, and more importantly, its bear, beyond the screen.
Do you currently like or follow any movies or characters on Facebook or Twitter? Have you seen “Ted?” Tell us in the comments below!