When in doubt, rock out!

29th Jan 2009 | Posted by Chris Knight Chris Knight's picture

As the old saying goes, “Rock ‘n’ Roll will save you.” In a somewhat commoditized market such as flash memory, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and build programs that drive brand loyalty based on human emotions – to connect a company’s branded products to a positive consumer experience.

Conceived during a brainstorm meeting last October, the idea of pitting top bloggers against each other in a challenge to see which blogger band could “rock the hardest” at C.E.S. got immediate laughs and a big thumbs up from everyone in the room. From a strategic perspective, the SanDisk Battle of the Bloggers: Rock Band 2 Challenge was developed to breathe life into a new gaming card from SanDisk by showcasing the experience of people having a great time on stage playing the popular Rock Band 2 game.

Winning band "Conflict of Interest" rocks out during SanDisk Battle of the Bloggers

The primary objective for the program included getting positive ink to support the launch of SanDisk’s new licensing partnership with MTV Games and a new SanDisk Rock Band 2 SD card for the Nintendo Wii. Additionally, we sought to create advance online buzz and interest in stopping by the SanDisk booth at C.E.S., to draw in crowds from the show floor, to drive coverage from participating bloggers, and to align the fun and excitement of the event to the SanDisk brand.

The promotion also connected nicely to SanDisk’s entire Retail product line-up, with an opportunity for participants and the audience to shoot and upload fun images and video from mobile phones and digital still cameras and camcorders. It also tied back to music (and music enthusiasts) at the heart of SanDisk’s slotMusic and slotRadio initiatives.

We invited some of the most well-read tech and gadget bloggers to compete in the event. The final line-up included bloggers from USA Today/Game Pro, BusinessWeek, PC Magazine, CrunchGear, Joystiq, Network World and Nonsociety. Advance online buzz tools and tactics included a voting widget that allowed visitors to select which blog band would win the competition. Other social media channels used included Facebook, Flickr and Twitter, among others. These online channels were leveraged both prior to and after the event.

In the end, a band including members of PC Mag AppScout, Network World columnist Keith Shaw and a PR firm – called “Conflict of Interest” - ended up rocking the house to take home the first-place title. Along with the advance buzz, the twitters, and SanDisk-branded posts from participating bloggers, the sheer fun had by all was apparent.

During what some called “a yawn of a C.E.S.” this year, the SanDisk booth promotion was one of the more exciting highlights of this year’s show. In one of the more hilarious posts about it, CrunchGear writes: “CES was alive that day, my friends. The show-goers were itching for something new, something more, something raw. Enough gadgets, enough booths, enough walking. What we all needed was some good, old-fashioned rock and/or roll.” Other feature posts included coverage in Keith Shaw’s Cool Tools Happy Blog, Mike Snider’s USA Today Technology Live feed, and blog post from Joystiq’s Justin McElroy.


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