How the Selfie Turned a T-shirt Into a Campaign

  • Mar 12, 2014

With virtually every cell phone, whether smartphone or simple flip phone, having a camera, the “selfie” has become a cultural phenomenon. People are not just taking photos of themselves in interesting places, but they are posting those photos on social networks. Smart marketers are learning how to make selfies a powerful marketing tool.

SugarCRM is a growing software firm looking to compete in the marketplace against such giants as Salesforce, in the field of Customer Relationship Management. Dreamforce is a large annual user meeting event sponsored by Salesforce. SugarCRM sought to attract the attention of attendees to show the benefits and flexibility that a smaller company could provide. So they engaged in a bit of guerilla marketing.

They launched the campaign with taxi-top ads and mobile phone ads targeted to the geographical area immediately around the convention site. They made a well-grounded assumption that nearly everyone attending this meeting would have a smartphone, so they could be very specific about who would see the banner ads. The ads announced “Escape from Dreamforce.”

SugarCRM encouraged prospects to take selfies while wearing this T-shirt as a way of entering a contest. 

At locations surrounding the event, they handed out SugarCRM T-shirts with the instruction that the person put it on and take a selfie, then tweet the image with hashtags #DF13 and #SugarSelfie. By doing this, they were entered into a drawing for the chance to win a vacation to Hawaii (or a cash prize.) In addition, participants had the chance for other prizes for being spotted wearing the T-shirts around the convention. 14 street team members were on hand to explain the program and hand out the 4000 T-shirts.

Jennifer Stagnaro, senior VP of Marketing for SugarCRM, said the campaign drew a huge amount of brand awareness for the company. She stated, “Escape from Dreamforce is a great opportunity for attendees to take a break from the convention's packed schedule and share a selfie with their friends. We're focused on the individual. This fun campaign provokes individuals to think about CRM from their perspective — ‘This is how I CRM.’”

This successful campaign expands on a very effective idea often used on trade show floors — wear this shirt, this hat; carry this bag - and be seen by our staff to win a prize. But now it has been expanded beyond the show floor, to great effect, by combining the old with the new.

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