Tiger Woods Walks on Water
I’m not a huge golf fan. In fact, I mostly watch it on Sunday afternoons to lull me into a nap. However, I am a fan of great athletes, especially Tiger Woods. Today, I was equally impressed with EA SPORTS, the creators of the popular video game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08. In Aug. 2007, a fan known as Levinator25 posted a YouTube video of a “glitch” in the game that allowed the Tiger Woods character to walk on water. This quickly spread around the internet and was dubbed “the Jesus Shot.”
A year later, EA sports responded with this promotional video for the 09 version of the game. The 1:33 spot shows the “real world” Tiger Woods golfing on water and has the message, “It’s not a glitch. He’s just that good.”
In just 1 week, the video has gotten1,265,351 views, 42 video responses, and 2,060 text comments. Additionally, EA has turned the video into an television advertisement. Talk about good word-of-mouth-marketing !
Here are some reasons this is a great social media campaign:
1. Listen and respond to the community. EA became better marketers by monitoring customers conversations online instead of performing expensive focus groups or usability studies on the game. This not only saved them money on research, but also gave them valuable product feedback. Additionally, EA didn’t keep this information in a silo. They could have easily shown this video to the folks in R&D, improved the “glitch” and moved on. However, they got some great content for their marketing initiative and responded.
2. Be Transparent. EA didn’t respond with some lame YouTube video under a fake gamer name like IloveTiger08. They posted their response on their corporate YouTube page. This added validity to the video as well as gave some love to Levinator25 by having this description, “As a response to a fan video from Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 08, Tiger Woods and EA SPORTS demonstrate that the ‘glitch’ Levinator25 thought he found in the game, is not a glitch at all.”
3. Be Relevant. Most viral video campaign fail. While they might stimulate conversation (remember the dancing elves over Christmas?), they do a bad job of tying back to the brand or the business benefit. EA directly related the video to their product.
4. Be Viral. EA created both an entertaining and informative message that is easily passed along via YouTube. They made it extremely easy for people to start conversations about their company’s product and send it to their friends.
**I first learned about this story on the popular word-of-mouth-marketing blog Micropersuasion.