Laughter is contagious — and for Kohl’s, so is the brand awareness that comes with helping an overjoyed Chewbacca fan celebrate her birthday.
On Thursday, a giggling Candace Payne used Facebook Live to tell her “friends on the Internet Webs” about the mask in a “Star Wars” box that she’s just bought at Kohl’s and that she was super-excited to wear in order to continue celebrating her birthday. The next day, Kohl’s joined in her fun.
On Friday, says Kohl’s spokeswoman Maggie Lund in an email to Target Marketing, “Kohl's surprised her family with more masks (so they don't have to share), gave her a $2,500 gift card and [10,000] Yes2You points. We've shared this video on our social channels and have seen incredible traction and some of the top engagement we've ever seen.”
Yes2You points are the rewards in Kohl’s loyalty program, which stipulates to members that “when you get 100 points, you’ll snag $5 in Kohl’s Cash (valid for 12 months!)! And you’ll snag eight savings offers every year, plus a special birthday gift, opportunities to earn bonus points and more.”
As of Monday morning, the New York Daily News reports that the mask Payne is wearing — the “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask” by Hasbro — sold out online. The mask she bought at Kohl’s, which the newspaper reports was on clearance, boosted sales for more than one brand. “Now it’s out of stock online at Kohl’s, Toys ‘R’ Us, Target and Walmart,” reads Monday’s article.
— Nicole Lyn Pesce (@PesceNic) May 23, 2016
Meanwhile, the counter under Payne’s four-minute, four-second Facebook Live video with her smiling and laughing while wearing the Chewie mask had 136 million views.
Payne writes on her timeline that she had 1 million views on Thursday night, before Kohl’s joined in the fun.
— Kohl's (@Kohls) May 21, 2016
By the time Lund emailed Target Marketing on Saturday morning, Lund said adding Payne’s video to the brands social channels garnered:
- Facebook: 1.3 million views, with nearly 45,000 shares in one hour
- Twitter: 392 likes and 252 shares in one hour
Lund may have understated Kohl’s achievement by saying that boosting Payne’s visibility is an example of a brand helping a video go viral.
According to Payne’s Facebook account, the mother who wasn’t going to share her Chewie mask with her son — but who assumed he would confiscate it from her eventually — appeared on “Good Morning America,” Reddit and Just Jared, the celebrity gossip site.
“Oh, look at all of the love we’re gettin’,” she exclaims on Monday morning as she watches fan reactions to the Facebook Live video she streams on her timeline while backstage at GMA.
Perhaps Kohl’s is saying the same thing.
Lund sent a statement from Kohl’s on Monday afternoon:
“Candace’s genuine spirit and authenticity has encouraged a level of social engagement that is truly incredible and represents the two-way conversation we aim to achieve with our customers every day. This video resonates so well within our brand — celebrating the good stuff in everyday life. As a thank you, Kohl's surprised Candace at home with Chewbacca masks for her entire family, a bundle of additional ‘Star Wars’ products, a $2,500 Kohl's gift card and 10,000 Yes2You points. We posted a video of the surprise on Kohl's social channels and have received more than 30 million views. The quick traction this content is getting is incredible, and is some of the top engagement Kohl's has ever seen.”
She added this suggestion for Kohl’s fans: “Let's keep the celebration going! Join in on the fun and tag @Kohls with your best Chewbacca laugh.”
What do you think, marketers? Was this a smart move by Kohl’s?
Please respond in the comments section below.
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