For Account Lead Amy Tran, it was its own kind of first. “This was the first time that I got to run a user-generated campaign,” Amy says. “I mostly work on social and PR campaigns, which are fundamentally one-way. When we wrote the plan for this Dorco campaign, we tried to brainstorm which activities are suitable for Gen Z, who are media-savvy and averse to anything obvious, cheesy, or sentimental. Young people today already create so much of their own content to entertain others, and many of them see themselves as micro-influencers. So giving them the kind of one-way content they could make themselves won’t cut it. They want authentic involvement – something that’s as much their creation as ours. It’s more impactful because it’s not about the razor, it’s about themselves, with the razor as a trusty companion along the road of life.”
The contest idea seemed simple and fun in theory, but its execution was more complicated.
To spread the word, twenty micro-influencers spread the story contest on Facebook and Instagram using a viral challenge in which they took a photo of themselves doing something for the first time – from exciting travel (the contest-winning trip to Ha Giang was one of these) to mundane activities like their first time eating cereal with orange juice. This required a balancing act between giving participants the freedom to keep them interested while maintaining enough editorial oversight to keep the stories on-topic.
“For this kind of campaign, you have to decide how much control you want to have,” Amy says. “Give up too much, and there could be controversy with your client’s name on it. But if you don’t give people enough, you’ll kill the sense that people are creating the campaign with you rather than being spoon-fed it. We wanted it to feel fun and young, but some stories were very deep and meaningful, so we had to decide which of those to include. As with any first experience, I had my worries – that nobody would participate, despite all our ads and influencer promotions, or that the stories would be unsuitable for the other activities we had planned. I was so happy to be wrong on both counts.”