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I’m shoxed!

August 13, 2009

Nike_Shox_TurboShoe: Awesome NikeID Shox. Personalized with “Megan McQ” On back of the heels. (Real picture coming shortly) Did I mention they are Awesome?

So I just got back from my fist time playing volleyball in about a month due to a few injuries.

While I was playing this evening, I became aware that I am not as quick as I used to be, even in comparison to just a few years ago. I can’t do the cool things I once could (i.e., pancake/roll–see below), but this could be because I don’t play every day for 2 hours a day year-round. I also have to play with contacts now. Ouch.

vb_pancakeIn fact, I’m only approved to play once a week less any additional injury. (It’s a good thing I think the number “3” is the number “1”—let’s keep that between you and me).

For me, this realization that ‘every day we’re getting older’ was a ‘carpe diem’ moment. I didn’t touch a ball for about four years but I’m glad I’m back on the court for as much as I am able to be. (This was a shameless plug for insisting that you follow your dreams, no matter how far-fetched you may imagine them to be, bla bla, etc. I’ve found I’m typically my own worst road block.)

On another note, the best part of this evening was getting to break in my new pair of NikeID Shox. They are actually supposed to be running shoes but I need to break them in slowly, and I think my actual court shoes may not be supportive enough for my broken foot.

Despite a few moral issues I may have with Nike, I have to tell you I like Shox. I also think that Nike made an amazingly brilliant decision to allow for personalization of various shoes. With their NikeID Web site, I can customize virtually every element of a variety of different shoes. From the ‘shox’ color to the color of my shoe laces–I even had the left heel personalized with my first name and the right heel with my last name. Pretty neat, huh?

In social media marketing, there’s a high debate that’s questioning the best way to determine if your campaign is successful. While this is one of the many issues that our industry seems to disagree on, I personally think that a campaign is successful by the amount of conversation that is generated about your company, product or message. (There are various ways to monitor for conversation and I’m sure this blog post may very well end up on a monitoring report about the company later this week.)

But I was thinking about it, and what a better way to generate a WOM conversation than by being able to create off-line user generated content (UGC)?  I can share my own individual story about Nike by purchasing these custom shoes. My shoes embody Nike’s corporate story. And since birds of a feather flock together, the people with which I converse with will ask me about my *totally awesome* shoes, and I’ll tell them to check out the site.

Win-Win. I get great shoes, Nike gets great publicity.

The same UGC concept holds true for other successful campaigns. President Obama’s campaign (Note: this blog is not politically affiliated) was very successful in garnering interest in his party for the election by having individuals create and display their own personalized version of his logo, among other social media tactics.

According to a white paper by Edelman entitled the Social Pulpit:

The MyBO Web site contained videos, speeches, photos and how-to guides that gave people the raw materials they needed to create their own compelling content in support of Obama. In return, supporters created more than 400,000 pro-Obama videos and posted them to YouTube. They also wrote more than 400,000 blog posts on the MyBO Web site.

In Obama’s case, this was all digital UGC. But the fact of the matter is that this digital UGC transferred from online to BO_logooff-line action on election day. Pretty neat, right?

In essence, UGC may be one of the more important elements of determining if a campaign is successful. And that’s what I thought about while playing volleyball.

PS: Yes. I’m making social media connections while playing volleyball. Deal.

PPS: This was not a sponsored post.

Images via Gauntlet and  Planspark’s Photostream

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