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Zippo: Share The Pain

Entered in Consumer Brand


Zippo has been making its world famous lighters since 1933. Following a few years of rapid global expansion, Zippo faced ambitious sales targets and a need to continue building brand awareness globally with no new news to talk about. While a great deal of activity was focused on reaching their 18 to 24 year old audience on the ground at festivals, they were in need of reengaging that audience online. DeVries Global (DVG) was tasked with reinvigorating Zippo's social presence on a global scale while remaining true to the brand values and leveraging Zippo's heritage.

In April, DVG launched a globally integrated campaign that elevated awareness of the bond between a Zippo lighter and its owner. Zippo's #ShareThePain campaign was fronted by Zippo man Jax 'No Pain' McFlame. Jax commiserated with consumers who posted about their lost Zippo lighters on social media. The campaign was divided into three areas of execution; launch, maintaining momentum and real-time finale. This ensured we created an ongoing dialogue with fans, reached our audience at a variety of touch points and leveraged the assets collated from Zippo to drive mass awareness.

The #ShareThePain campaign took Zippo's social media presence to new levels and exceeded all KPIs originally set for the campaign. The campaign reached 3,401,898 consumers and generated 14,898,024 impressions worldwide. Traditional media resulted in nearly 1,000 pieces of coverage in publications including GQ, Fast Company, Rolling Stone and ABC news.

Strategy and Execution

DeVries Global (DVG) was tasked with reinvigorating Zippo's social presence on a global scale while remaining true to the brand values and leveraging Zippo's heritage. DVG undertook social listening across the social media channels that resonated with Zippo's target audience of 18 to 24 year old males and discovered that consumers were taking to social media to rant about losing their precious, much loved Zippo lighters. Leveraging this insight we built out a successful integrated, global campaign that allowed us to start a dialogue with Zippo fans and highlight the weird and wonderful lost Zippo lighter stories that had been archived by the brand over its 82 year history.

As the theme of lost Zippo lighters ignited such a passionate response, this enabled us to give back to our suffering fan base with a five week, #ShareThePain support network to encourage engagement from fans. This platform was relevant to our target audience and enabled us to elevate awareness of the strong emotional bond between a Zippo lighter and its proud owner.

Zippo's #ShareThePain campaign, launched in April 2014, was fronted by Zippo man, Jax 'No Pain' McFlame, the toughest guy in the world. Jax is so tough he feels no physical pain, but when it comes to losing a Zippo lighter, the pain breaks him. The campaign was introduced to consumers via a hilarious short film seeded out across key video sharing sites, traditional media relations activity, and social media.

The campaign launch was supported with a news release to online media developed from research generated from our survey around the theme of lost. The release detailed the most commonly lost items around the world and which country spent the most time looking for their lost item. This was further supported by an engaging infographic to accompany the story and drive buzz around the campaign.

Jax was on hand throughout the campaign across social media to commiserate with all consumers and influencers who posted about their lost Zippo lighters with personalized responses and words of wisdom.

To continue campaign momentum, Jax's activity on social was supported by engaging posts across Zippo's existing Facebook and Twitter accounts, alongside social media contests hosted by publications giving away a limited number of #ShareThePain Zippo lighters. Additionally, we partnered with leading online publications in each market such as GQ online and secured advertorials around the unique lost and found Zippo lighter stories. This content was also syndicated on the likes of Outbrain and across social media. Gaining online buzz for the campaign drove traffic to the website, the ongoing conversation on Twitter and the #ShareThePain launch video.

For the campaign's pinnacle moment, DVG took #ShareThePain to the next level to ignite further engagement and conversations amongst the target audience. Over a 3 day period, a team of creative, digital strategists, developers and producers filmed over 51 video responses around the clock, responding to fans in real time about the pain and sadness of losing their Zippo lighter.

The campaign culminated in a successful event in New York where media interacted with the campaign and learnt about the lost Zippo stories from around the world.

All of the campaign content was housed on the #ShareThePain microsite Consumers could visit the site to watch the launch video and Tell Jax about the latest item they had lost to receive an entertaining automated video response from the man himself, sharing the pain.

The #ShareThePain campaign was activated in nine markets including UK, USA, Germany, France, India, Hong Kong, China, Japan and Korea, where Jax responded to consumers in all of the these languages.

The #ShareThePain campaign took Zippo's social media presence to new levels and exceeded all KPIs originally set for the campaign. Across Facebook and Twitter alone, the campaign reached 8.4 million individual consumers and generated over 15 million impressions worldwide. The microsite received 27,247 organic views during the 5 week campaign, whilst the launch video was viewed by fans over 159,700 times worldwide.

Alongside community management, all markets further supported the campaign via online media to drive website traffic and social engagement, securing 1,124 pieces of global coverage with a reach of over 3 billion.

Testament to the success of the campaign was the number of tweets and Facebook posts received by Zippo from fans asking if the limited edition #ShareThePain lighters were available to buy.


Video for Zippo: Share The Pain

Entrant Company / Organization Name

DeVries Global


Entry Credits