wendyEarlier this month, we wondered aloud how much longer will it take before major brands partner with major influencers in a marketing campaign?

Well, it’s happened.

Wendy’s Sip Me Up Campaign: Live-Stream Video Marketing
On Thursday, June 18, Wendy’s launched its Sip Me Up campaign for FruiTea Chillers, featuring self-described “Internetainers,” Rhett & Link. The campaign is significant for combining several ambitious marketing trends and strategies into one effort, including:

  • Webcam Tech. The concept is simple. Users give Rhett & Link answers to a few basic questions, such as a favorite color, food, or music. Then, the web duo performs a 30- to 60-second skit or song based on the user’s answers. The skit is performed in real-time with the user on the other end of the video chat. The video is then published to YouTube.
  • Personal Connection. Sip Me Up is all about the personal touch. Each video is custom-tailored to the user. This was a fun opportunity for the duo’s fan base to connect in a personal and public way.
  • Wendy’s took the campaign further by adding Periscope into the mix. Behind-the-scenes content streamed on Periscope allowed fans to see what’s involved in the production of a YouTube video.
  • Social Components. The final videos were published to YouTube (though they are not publicly listed). Users must have a direct link in order to watch the video. Essentially, this setup allows video recipients to either keep the video for themselves, or to share it with others by pushing it out to social. (You can find many of these videos by searching #SipMeUp on Twitter.)

Why We’ll See More Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Influencer marketing is currently offering a return of $6.50 on every $1.00 spent. The strategy is highly scalable, and offers value at all price points. As the tools and technology of social/live-stream video enters more hands and gains more traction, this type of campaign will start to become more common.

You Can Do This, Too. Really. You.
Wendy’s #SipMeUp campaign presented both problems and successes because of its scale. Its biggest problem, ironically, was its popularity. The company’s servers were unable to process the number of users who wanted to jump into the queue to receive a video, resulting in some backlash on Twitter.

On the other hand, #SipMeUp was a success in that it took a very simple concept – sit two goofy guys in front of the camera – and delivered a product that’s highly share-able and enjoyable (whether or not you care about Wendy’s fruit teas).

You can do this, too. I think we’ll see more brands latch onto live video in the coming months. It will just take a few creative leaders like Rhett & Link with Wendy’s to show the way. What do you think?