Hard Hinting for the Holidays

Champs Sports

During the holidays, Champs Sports wanted to give sports enthusiasts a fun way to ask family and friends for specific gifts from their stores. We worked with BBDO and The Famous Group to make it happen. We were determined to make the experience both simple to use and tantalizing to share.

The Idea

One of the greatest virtues of the Champs brand is its cheeky, adventurous voice. We played to this strength by offering two unexpected ways to share a holiday wishlist. The "Viral Video Hacks" option allowed users to send their loved ones one of 4 viral videos -a newscaster fail, cute kittens, an amazing trick shot, and a cheerleading disaster. At the pivotal moment in each video, the user's Facebook photo, personalized text, and selected Champs Sports products would seamlessly animate into the video, revealing the 'viral video' to be a ruse. Users could share each video via email or their social networks. When a recipient followed a link, the video was displayed within a mock viral video website. When the ruse was revealed in the video, the entire page transformed into a Champs branded page with the user's wishlist available for download and options to make your own video.

The second option, a "Banner Ad Takeover," gave users a way to constantly remind their recipients about their preferred gifts, as long as the user had access to the recipient's computer. The Takeover allowed users to select one of three Flash banner designs that could be customized with the user's Facebook photo, personalized text and selected Champs products. After the user installed the browser extension on the recipients' computer, the customized banner would overtake existing ads on any site the recipient visited on the internet. We developed the extension to work with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.

The Execution

We handled all user experience design, visual design, and development of the website and banner takeovers. Creative powerhouse The Famous Group shot, directed, and edited the video content for the site. Former Super Bowl Championship coach and sports commentator, Jon Gruden acted as the campaign's celebrity host, introducing the site concept to visitors.

A carefully designed workflow made it easy for users to build wishlists of products in specific sizes and colors, then customize a video or banner takeover from a desktop computer or even a mobile device.

To create the user's personalized video, we employed our own proprietary cloud based video rendering system -Chromatorch, which allowed us to generate and deliver highly personalized videos within fifteen seconds on average. The benefit of allowing users to generate personalize branded content was readily apparent. Even though the campaign was designed for one-to-one sharing, videos received an average of 3.5 views, indicating that videos were actually being shared and viewed with a much wider audience.

Measuring Success

Champs Sports was elated with the cheeky take on a holiday wishlist, and their customers' positive reactions. The viral videos proved to be especially popular. The average time spent on the video landing page was close to 6 minutes, even though the videos were less than a minute in length. Most recipients were re-watching the video several times-- the digital equivalent of doing a double take!