Headphones to Go in Sweden

Skater Apparel Brand Uses Music Contest to Seed New Product

Published on .

Brand: WeSC
Brand Owner: WeSC
Category: Electronic goods
Region: Sweden
Date: April 2007 to May 2007
Media Agency: Starcom
Other Agencies: Hyper Island, Crew 11
Media Channels: Web, events

WeSC is an in-your-face clothes brand whose roots lie in the skate and underground culture. It's one of the best-known brands in Sweden.

In 2007, however, it was about to venture outside its heartland and launch a pair of headphones, with a tough sales target of 10,000 a year.
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Endorsements from "category power consumers" -- tech nerds, music buffs and musicians -- were the best way to establish credibility, and WeSC's campaign focused on the latter.

The media solution was to leverage social networks to get people involved in underground music interested in and talking about the new WeSC headphones. Starcom created a site challenging musicians to create songs about the brand. On offer was a chance to play at the official launch party and a deal with Universal Records. Everyone who participated got the headphones for free.

The competition was hosted by Physical Bob, a chicken-headed DJ who spread the word through MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot and Flickr. Viral clips appeared on YouTube.

The voting mechanic for the competition encouraged the musicians to spread the word to their friends, and Bob highlighted the best material via his content.

The competition attracted more than 500 entries, and the site became a top-30 destination in Sweden, with more than 100,000 unique visitors. The buzz encouraged radio stations to pick up the best songs. With no paid-for media, the value was estimated at 1 million euros. Sales are five times ahead of the target, and the publicity has resulted in orders for the headphones from around the globe.

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