About two weeks ago, I came home to find a large box on my doorstep. It was right around the holidays but was still a bit of a mystery of whom it was from. When I opened it, this is what I found.
Okay, pretty amazing. I was actually expecting something to arrive from the TV show, GiRLS, on HBO, after an unexpected tweet from their handle a few weeks prior via direct message, but I wasn’t sure what would come.
First came the letter, which called me the voice of “A” generation. I liked the wording. I’m not at all the age bracket of the girls on the show, so this was very inclusive.
Then came the contents of the box, coined questionable goods, related to everything GIRLS.
I had already been impressed with the marketing campaign behind the show. They have managed to capture their audience via social media, promos, advertising and everything digital from day one. They’re very responsive to their fans and have a fundamental understanding of where they’re hanging out, over on Twitter (@GirlsHBO), Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook. They’ve also positioned their advertising in all the right places, where people like me happen to be. Even when I’m walking down the street, I see their promos. This is what I stumbled across last week in the streets of Montreal.
And prior to that, the week before, I bumped into this ad in the NYC subway.
But what the GIRLS HBO marketing team did with this package is like nothing I have ever seen before. They filled the box with everything Lena Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath loves and more, including her famous mesh tank, a notebook (she’s a writer), a box of Q-tips (who can forget that brutal scene where she stuck one in our ear and got it stuck?), packets of green tea, coffee made in Brooklyn, pad thai, chocolate bundt cake and a Questionable Goods tee-shirt (also the name of Charlie’s band on the show).
I just want to know if Dunham had approval or say over everything that went in the box.
What the markters have done differently is that they have combined relationship and guerrilla (in terms of it’s unconventionality) marketing and made direct contact with me, one of their biggest fans, and turned our relationship from connected via social media to connected IRL (in real life). When I opened the door, it was like getting a package from Hannah herself and I felt very immersed into the show I’ve watched diligently for the past two seasons. It was like being brought in on a whole new level that is more personal and intimate, like an insider’s look at the show.
Relationship marketing is designed to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests and by promoting open communication. This approach often results in increased word-of-mouth activity, repeat business and a willingness on the customer’s part to provide information to the organization.
Talk about news of my getting this package spreading like fire. My twitter handle was literally on fire that night. Everytime @GirlsHBO re-tweeted out one of my tweets, people were all over my gift, begging me to tell them how to get one. Many claimed it wasn’t fair, where was their gift from the show? After all, they’re the show’s biggest fan!
I’m not sure what the marketing team was hoping for in exchange for their big investment, and I’m not sure how they chose the lucky recipients of these amazing boxes, but whatever the case, I can’t help but be impressed by their initiative. The series returns to our screens on Monday night, and this particular effort combined with PR, constant re-runs and promos running on HBO, are sure to send big crowds over to the premiere of the 3rd season.
According to Rolling Stone, on Monday, the same evening that HBO will be holding the New York City premiere of Girls‘ third season, the network will also host “Girls Night Out” events in eight other cities. According to a press release, each event will include a live feed of the New York premiere’s red carpet, as well as “personalized messages” from actress-creator Lena Dunham. Attendees will also be able to watch an unspecified number of new episodes of the series prior to its January 12th premiere. That night, the network will broadcast two back to back episodes starting at 10 p.m. The cities that will be hosting “Girls Night Out” screenings are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco (whose feed will be delayed) and Washington, D.C. Information on how to register to attend the events will be posted to the show’s Tumblr account.
Now that’s marketing. Bravo, HBO (or 360 if they were in charge of this stunt)!
And with that, enjoy the trailer. See you on Twitter on January 12th at 9pm. Hashtag: #GIRLS