Mediamark’s Gumtree campaign stops traffic with “in-the-box’ thinking

When Gumtree wanted to embark on a campaign to drive new ad listings and downloads of its mobile app, multichannel media sales house Mediamark proposed that it look inside the box – rather than outside for a way to grab the market’s attention.

Mediamark, working with its creative division Lab42 and regional radio station Jacaranda FM, proposed ‘Secret Stash’ – a mystery box concept that had people buzzing for weeks in face-to-face communication, on the airwaves, and on social media.

Secret Stash saw South Africans trying to guess what was locked in a mysterious freight container suspended from a crane parked at busy locations around Jacaranda FM’s catchment area. Once consumers were intrigued by the secrets of the box, Jacaranda FM and Gumtree owned up to the stunt. They invited Jacaranda listeners to phone in and guess what was inside the box – but to enter the competition, they had to place a listing on Gumtree.

Richard Taylor, head of Lab42 says: “We’re often told to think outside the box when brainstorming a campaign to come up with creative concepts that deliver results that outperform the benchmark. But we think it can be much more effective to look inside the box, evaluate your assets, and combine them in smart and original ways.”

Mediamark started by looking at which of its assets could help Gumtree meet its goals. These included Lab42, advertising inventory for Jacaranda FM.

Taylor says: “With these multiple platforms, we had a number of angles from which we could approach the challenge of keeping consumers captivated throughout the weeks of the campaign. These included social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter; display advertising on Jacaranda FM’s website; content on Lekker TV, a Jacaranda music show on DSTV’s Kyknet Musiek; and prominent outdoor billboards.” Die Heuwels Fantasties endorsed the competition by giving away a guitar on Gumtree.

The hype peaked with an event sub-sponsorship of BP Jacaranda Day, where the regional radio station hosted South African musical talent at Supersport Park in Centurion. With more than 15 000 people in the crowd, one lucky listener was named as the winner of everything inside the container, including a new car from fellow sub-sponsor Volkswagen.

“It is a strong showcase for the power of multichannel campaigns in amplifying a message, increasing its impact, and extending its reach, all helping an advertiser to maximise return on investment and meet its business objectives,” says Warren Bedil, business development director at Mediamark

“The campaign delivered over 4000 listings and 2000 app downloads – four times as many as any regional or national radio campaign we’ve run in the past,” says Claire Cobbledick, marketing manager at Gumtree.