As COVID-19 brought the world to its knees and people were locked down in their homes, forced to the confines of their own four walls, Crocs wanted to provide their audience at home with light-hearted and relatable content to lift their mood. We created a series of GIFs and Instagram Stickers that tapped into trending 'work from home' search terms to capture an audience and increase shareabiility of the content.
The aim was to achieve 1 million views of the GIFs during the time of lockdown, over the 3 month lockdown.
We also set a benchmark of ‘popularity’ - the way the GIPHY algorithm works is that the more people that use the GIFs the more they appear at the top of the page for the key search terms we tagged them too. The aim was to have them appearing at the top of the page when searching for the keywords during lockdown.
During COVID-19 lockdown, our research found that people were increasingly turning to private messaging channels to share viral content with their friends and family. The use of Whatsapp alone jumped by 40%. We also found that GIFs were second only to memes as the most widely shared content type.
We began looking into trending search terms and quickly realised that, while in lockdown, people were all searching keywords focused around behavioural changes to their daily routines.
We wanted to use these trending search terms to provide light-hearted relief for an audience that has been constantly bombarded with treacherous news on social media about rising death tolls, having to quarantine, being isolated from friends and not being able to see vulnerable family members.
So, we created a series of comedic sketches that connected with the popular keywords we found and the sentiment of the brand. The concepts included:
“Business on the Top, Party on the Bottom” - which was inspired by the popularity of Zoom meetings, getting straight out of bed for your first meeting and throwing on a smart garment for your upper half and leaving your pyjamas on below.
“WFH” - a business woman gets confused between a phone for her call with a client, and a Croc that’s right next to her.
“Crocsercise” - at home workout including a barbell with a mountain of Crocs as the weights on either side - inspired by people improvising with objects in their own home - replacing tins and bottled water with Crocs as weights.
“Spaghetti Colander Crocs” - inspired by our love for cooking at home enhanced by the multifunctionality but also quirky use of a Croc as a colander - capitalising on the infamous holes on the clog.
“The Crocs Shake” - inspired by the viral videos of people across the world coming up with innovative ways to shake hands without touching each other and risking the transmission of COVID-19.
“A Crocs Filled Fridge” - inspired by the old age concept that when we work from home we spend half our time going to the fridge and back and eating everything inside it.
Crocs is a really fun and playful brand, so inserting tongue-in-cheek humour was easy and felt completely natural. It’s a brand that gives life, love and laughter to its audiences on social media, so this campaign had to reflect that too.
To distribute the assets and get people using the GIFs and stickers, we used no media spend. It was simply posted organically from the brand’s Instagram channel in stories, highlights and in-feed.
Using absolutely no media spend, the GIFs received 3.2 million views in the first 3 months of lockdown. Most extraordinary, today, the GIFs have over 78 million views…. The amazing results are a testament to the creativity and hyper-relevance of the assets.
This campaign has mass longevity. As the ‘new normal’ sets in and we continue to be at home more than we are in the office or out and about, these search trends for GIFs and stickers on Instagram stories, in Whatsapp Groups, on LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack and Snapchat will continue to be relevant. People will continue to use these GIFs.=
Proof of their longevity and continuously increasing popularity is twofold:
In the first month of being live, the GIFs received 500,000 views in total. In the second month the amount of views went up to 1.2 million views. In the third and final month the GIFs had received 3.2 million views (2.2 million over the KPI).
Today - the GIFs have reached 78 million views on the GIPHY platform. The increasing snowball effect of the view rates proves that these GIFs are increasing in popularity over time.
When we first released the GIFs on GIPHY, to embed them into your stories, posts and private messages you had to search for the full key word we inputted - ‘Crocs WFH’, or ‘Crocs home workout’ or ‘Crocs not shaking hands’. Now, three months later all you have to do is search ‘Crocs’ and they come right to the top of the page. The visibility this gives the GIFs is powerful and allows them to be chosen over other ‘Crocs’ GIFs, again increasing their popularity even more.
We have to admit, back in April 2020, we did not know that working from home, staying at home, exercising at home and the rest were going to become the ‘new normal’. But it has really worked in the brands favour as they continue to be at the heart of people’s private conversations and story content.