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12-Volt Campaign Reaches Its Target

Results from the car stereo viral video promotion launched Nov. 20 are positive, with views of the “Car Dance Mob” video on track to meet the planned goal of 59,000 views, said Steve Witt, chairman of the 12-Volt Initiative’s governing board, who confirmed the industry is starting work on a second video.

As of Nov. 29, the “Car Dance Mob” video received 11,000 views. The video is produced and publicized by The 7th Chamber whose clients include Nike, MTV, Xbox and BMW. “They are the pre-eminent full service viral marketing, seeding and social-media agency. They focus on generating authentic buzz through on line placement,” said Witt.

“The 7th Chamber has said this is tracking to their guarantee to us, which is 59,000 views. What’s really interesting, is that we had 28 percent of the viewers click through to the store locator [on an adjunct site,], which is amazing. The 7th Chamber feels that’s very high. The [12-Volt Initiative] board is very pleased with that result … We have over 300 actual click-throughs to an actual store. That’s very high,” Witt added.

The board of the 12-Volt Initiative, a consortium of industry members, met on Nov. 30 and approved work on a second viral video to be released in the January/February time frame.

To date, the 12-Volt Initiative has spent approximately $100,000 for the video, Web site and promotion.

While the video, enacting a quasi-impromptu scene of dancing to music in cars, was panned by a few industry members on industry Web sites and YouTube, Witt dismissed the critics as people who were expecting a typical advertisement. “They frankly didn’t understand the strategy. They don’t understand the new media; they don’t understand social-connection marketing.”

One retailer told TWICE he was withdrawing his campaign support, while Witt said new retailers have since joined the campaign.

In January, the board will review the results of the video after it has “aired” for 30 days. But simply getting “click-throughs” to the stores is not enough. “If we don’t trigger action, which is real purchase consideration that pushes people to shop, then this effort is not ultimately successful,” Witt claimed.

Retailers may join the campaign by paying $99.