The fiber broadband provider ume.net offers one of the world’s fastest Internet connections, but they were still pretty unknown on the Swedish market dominated by the big telecom corporations. To highlight ume.net’s product benefits, we performed an experiment that brought Internet’s biggest disturbance to life - i.e. lag, which is often associated with slow Internet connection. Four volunteers were equipped with a custom-built Oculus Rift lag machine that could adjust the resolution in the display and simulate real-time buffering and delay. The experiment demonstrated how simple everyday tasks such as cooking or bowling became extraordinary hard with real-time lag, and the message was that no one would accept lag offline, so why do it online.
The campaign was targeting tech and gaming enthusiasts that specifically value fast Internet connection, and we had them to communicate the message for us. We knew that they are active in Internet forums and social media, and they are often first to spread material they think is fun and can relate to. And lag is definitely a recurring topic among them in various forums.
The video of the experiment was posted in carefully selected forums were the target group is active and it didn’t take long for it to go viral. Within one week the video reached 5 million views, 333,000 social actions in social media and gained both national and international recognition in major news outlets such as Mashable, Gizmodo, Fast Company, CBS News, Fox 13 News and much more.
By increasing awareness and brand preferences, the ultimate goal was to expand market shares.
• Create a viral campaign that is liked and shared by the target group in social media – the goal was a minimum of 10 000 social actions.
• The campaign should be featured in at least 10 news outlets that are relevant for the target group.
• 5% higher brand awareness compared to tracking prior campaign launch.
• 5% higher brand preferences compared to tracking prior campaign launch.
• 15% sales increase compared to previous year within 6 months after releasing the campaign.
Within 24 hours the video hit 1 million views on YouTube and became the most popular video in both Sweden and the US. The social actions counts to more than 333,000 and the campaign has been featured in 350 news outlets and blogs for tech and gaming enthusiasts; including Swedish major media and internationally renowned media such as Gizmodo, Mashable, Fast Company, 9GAG, Engadget, CBS News, Business Insider, Fox 13 News, Daily Mail, Buzz 360 and more. With 78 million impressions, the earned media value is estimated to €3.3 million.
The campaign not only hit the goals for social actions and press clips; it also showed business results. The latest tracking shows that the awareness has increased with 7% and the preference with 10%. Further, ume.net has increased the sales with an average of 54% per month compared to previous year, exceeding the 15% sales increase goal with 260%.
To create the experiment, we custom-built the world’s first lag machine, using Oculus Rift VR-headset. That was a strategic choice since Oculus Rift was trending in media due to acquisition by Facebook. To set different levels of delay, resolution and buffering, a single-board computer was programmed in the lag machine.
During two days four volunteers took on different challenges such as playing bowling, aerobics and frying pancakes while wearing the lag machine. The experiment was filmed and edited to a three minutes video.
In order to create excitement about the experiment we invited local press to interview the participants while shooting the experiment, resulting in an editorial teaser.
The video was published on YouTube with the name “Living with Lag – an Oculus Rift experiment,” and posted on carefully selected forums where we knew that our target group is active and lag is a recurring discussion topic.
The fiber broadband provider ume.net offers one of the world’s fastest Internet connections. Despite their product advantages, they were relatively unknown on a market dominated by national telecom giants. In order to increase awareness and expand market shares, ume.net decided to re-launch the brand with a new communicative strategy. The biggest challenge was that ume.net did not have the same marketing budget as their competitors; instead we had to find another way to get attention and our task was to create a campaign that could spread organically via social media. The budget for the campaign, including agency fees, were €96,500.
One of the most common disturbances on the Internet is lag, i.e. delays, buffering and frozen screens, often associated with slow Internet connection. Ume.net offers one of the world’s fastest Internet with up to 1,000 Mbit/s, so we decided to do a campaign highlighting their product benefit.
To demonstrate ume.nets fast broadband we performed an experiment letting four volunteers experience lag in real life and asked the question - would you accept lag offline? If not, why accept lag online?
We directed the campaign towards the group that suffers the most from lag, namely gaming and tech-savvy early adopters. An authoritarian group that is active in online forums and social media, and they are always first to find and share things they think is fun or interesting. By creating something that they could relate to, the campaign would spread organically via them as kick-starters.