When it comes to the hip-hop, pop scene, the cities that immediately come to mind are New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and, of course, Kodiak, Alaska.
It’s understandable that the small town of 6,100, located in one of the most geographically isolated areas in the country, is relatively unknown. What’s more surprising is that a Wal-Mart and Sheets Energy Strips-sponsored campaign has resulted in Zodiak being a tour stop for one of the world’s most popular music entertainers.
According to an Associated Press report, Pitbull will be making his first trip to Alaska as a result of a promotion with the retail giant that would send the artist to the store location that received the most "likes" on its Facebook page.
The social media campaign Wal-Mart launched allowed the brand to connect to and interact with its consumers online and, as a result, brought positive publicity to the organization by partnering with an international star. Having Pitbull perform in the winning location will not only affect sales locally, but fans of the entertainer will see him performing at Wal-Mart, which in turn will make them identify with the brand even more.
So, of all the Wal-Marts in the United States, how did the least likely location end up coming up with over 70,000 likes to bring the “International Love” star to town? David Thorpe of The Boston Phoenix heard about the campaign and decided to counter Wal-Mart’s campaign with the Twitter hashtag #ExilePitbull with hopes of the winner being the Zodiak location.
In the AP report, Thorpe said he doesn’t really have anything against Pitbull, and instead saw this as a way “to disrupt a corporate social media campaign, since they really set themselves up for it.”
Thorpe’s Twitter campaign helped bring more attention to Wal-Mart’s partnership. Although it’s fair to assume that when the campaign started, Alaska being the winner wouldn’t have won the office pool, what happened showed the positives and negatives of the Internet. Yes, the campaign generated buzz on Facebook, but the power of social media also put a dent in an organization’s plans.
Having a brand name promote your organization is always good for PR. Coupling that with the social media experience makes it even better. And with Pitbull and Wal-Mart going along with having to travel to Alaska, this campaign was a hit.
Zodiak, make some noise!
Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson