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Special Project

Special Project
From the 6th Annual Shorty Awards

Skype: Your City, Your Passion

Finalist in Telecom


While Skype is an inherently social communications tool, interactions over Skype are not publicly viewable. This presented us with a challenge around how to storytelling the experience of connecting over Skype on mobile and emphasize who rich and immediate interactions could be – without being part of the live conversation. Skype were looking to promote the use of Skype on your mobile device encouraging people to share their experiences on-the-go using Skype. Their target audience was social connectors – mobile savvy city-centric 20-somethings with strong daily use of social media. While most people are familiar using Skype for scheduling regular calls with friends and family. Skype needed to find ways of showcasing how’s Skype’s multiple features can be seamlessly combined to facilitate ‘always on’ communication – via IM, photosharing and mobile video calling. We decided to create powerful personal experiences with community leaders that could be easily shared to demonstrate to specific audiences how easy Skype is to use on mobile. To kick things off we partnered with 10 hyper-connected bloggers each from a different iconic city across the world including Toronto, Manila, Vancouver, Rio, Surabaya, Boston, Manchester UK, and New York. Each ran a blog about a specific passion or interest within the categories of music, film and style. Skype’s mantra is ‘bringing people together whenever apart’ and our ambition was to connect two people doing the same thing at the same time – just in different cities around the world. Although none of them had ever met before, we assigned each voice a counterpart in another city and, for one day, they shared their city and their passion with each other over Skype. Each was challenged to show their go-to spots and document a day in the life through IM, photo sharing, mobile video calls and more. Skype became the storytelling vehicle. More than 140,000 people visited to the campaign hub in a month. Over 5,000 more people shared their city and passion via the contest hub in a month. More than 10% hub visitors directly went on to download and activate Skype on mobile – 2.5X more effective the best performing Skype channel (email). Shay Fan, Social Marketing Manager, Skype, had this to say: "We briefed 1000heads to find ways of showcasing Skype’s features in social and engaging way. The campaign captured this core requirement perfectly and communicated the product benefits via our target users directly to their peers. What’s more we were able to measure levels of engagement but also far higher conversion rates using this approach. We have also established great relationships with the bloggers who took part. In a world where pay-per-post seems ever more present, 1000heads were able to help us build genuine relationships through a campaign that was part social experiment, part storytelling, and rewarded participation." In one of our five Skype stories, style blogger Cara from Vancouver and fashion blogger Dani from Manila connect over Skype and went shopping together. In another, Manchester based music blogger, Joe and Toronto based music blogger Tiani take each other on a tour of undiscovered music shops, famous studios and the hottest underground night spots in their cities – all using Skype. With time differences, each shared a different part of their day giving a richness to the narrative. The bloggers also made full use of their existing social channels by posting updates on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Orkut and other platforms through their experience. Combined they created 980 separate updates using the hashtag #skypepassionproject – and reaching over 500,000 highly targeted followers and readers. The 1000heads creative team were then given access to the Skype conversations pulling out each blogger’s IM, video and photo sharing content. We then curated a digital story of their shared day in a split screen timeline format. This digital curation brought multiple Skype features to life and socialized the content so that anyone could engage with it. We built a digital hub to house the stories ( Users could choose their chosen passion and then read the story by scrolling through the day in vertical timeline format. After reading each story, visitors to the website were presented with a CTA to download and activate Skype on their specific mobile device. The site amassed over 140,000 visitors in a little less than a month and out performed download rates for Skype on mobile by 250% compared to the second most successful conversion channel – email. On the website, visitors could also share what they were passionate about in their city (via photo, text or even a Skype video message) for a chance to win a Skype call with a guru in their chosen passion. These included style guru Yvan Rodin - aka Facehunter (270,000 Twitter followers) and Epic Mealtime creator Darren Morenstein (over 5.5 million YouTube subscribers). Facebook right-side marketplace ads and promoted posts were leveraged to increase awareness of the campaign and encourage contest entries for audiences outside of Skype. Ads were targeted by key demographics (within the United States, between 18-40 years of age) and interests; including food, music, and style. Facebook ads for the campaign generated 37 million impressions, with over 15k actions, and a click through rate of .042%, above the industry standard of .01%. Reddit promoted threads were also part of the campaign amplification, created to start conversations about the Skype Passion Project on a top messaging and story-sharing forum. Impressions from Reddit threads totaled over 9 million, and total promoted thread clicks were over 10k. This was a pan-global real-time engagement program that fully tested Skype’s services on mobile among a highly discerning social connector audience. It was also the first time this had ever been done. We met the challenge of being able to surface the wonderful social experiences Skype technology can enable – which in turn drove engagement and downloads. From a brand point of view, the activity effectively communicated Skype’s brand pillars of being ‘universal, useful and wonderful’. Using 10 real people’s real Skype experiences in a unique storytelling format, the campaign generated 80 million social impressions (valued at over $2m) and generated an equivalent media value of 13x the campaign budget. The people were chosen specifically to cover a wide range of handset manufacturers and network providers in order to reach a larger audience. More than 140,000 people visited to the campaign hub in a month and over 5,000 more people shared their city and passion via the contest hub in a single month. And more than 10% of the visitors to the hub went directly to download and activate Skype on mobile – 2.5X more effective the best performing Skype channel (email). This mobile activation demonstrated how to successfully engage a small group of influencers in order to impact behavior.


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