Ahoy Social Media! Cap’n on Deck!


Ahoy Social Media! Cap'n on Deck!First the good news: According to Quaker Oats, Cap’n Crunch should soon be sailing social via Twitter and other channels. All it took were two guys with brains, imagination and some strong ideas about what social marketing can accomplish.

Back in January I told you about a great social marketing initiative from a Chicago boutique agency called “the Giant Steps” regarding the iconic Quaker Oats brand Cap’n Crunch. It seems the folks at the Giant Steps had sat down to munch on some of the cereal and noticed the new retro packaging. The guys liked it and wanted to give props to the Cap’n for it. Unfortunately, their efforts to find the commander of the S.S. Guppy on social failed. When they asked Quaker Oats where he was, they were essentially told he was lost at sea and Quaker had called off the search.

So, the Giant Steps decided to develop a campaign around answering the question of “Where’s the Cap’n?” They created “missing” posters which people could download and paste around town and they also created an online petition which asked Quaker to bring the Cap’n to social.

They launched wheresthecapn.com on January 5th, including a short and entertaining video explaining their mission. They expertly combined multiple channels such as Twitter, Facebook and the web to promote the search. Within a week, I’d spotted them and posted my original article about their campaign.

This wasn’t a lark either. the Giant Steps had some ideas and a hypothesis they wanted to test. Among other things, they wanted to prove the point that being on social is not about just blaring away with marketing messages – it’s about listening and interacting with your customers. In this, they succeeded possibly even beyond their own expectations.

They kept the momentum building by creating a simple promotion where they gave away a couple of FlipHD cams to generate more follows. As well, people following them started asking Quaker directly via Twitter about where the Cap’n was and when he would be on social. The printable missing posters were a nice touch since photos of them “in the wild” could then be posted and tweeted about. Rumour had it that one might pop up at the Super Bowl even.

On February 23rd they noticed a Quaker Oats tweet which invited people to submit suggestions for digital to the company president. Keep in mind here that we are talking a matter of a few weeks between the time they launched this campaign and the time Quaker Oats sat straight up in their boardroom and took notice.

Just take a look at what two guys did with limited resources using social marketing in just over a month!

Where’s The Cap’n” campaign results within 32 days:

  • 1,068 unique followers (3/1; still growing)
  • 150% rise in followers post contest (416 to 1,068)
  • 250,000+ impressions
  • Increased @QuakerOats following by 5%
  • 5,000+ Visits to WheresTheCapn.com
  • 2 FlipHD cam winners

So, now word is that Cap’n Crunch is headed into port and will soon be transferring his flag to social media from the Guppy. Kudos to Quaker Oats for putting their collective ears to the ground, hearing the footsteps and listening to what two smart guys and a whole boatload full of Cap’n Crunch fans had to say!

Take a look at the resources this agency had and what they managed to accomplish. Now, what resources have you got and what do you think you might be able to do?

Ahoy social media! Cap’n on deck!

Download their free whitepaper/report on how they did it.