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Grasshopper is everywhere

Original Article

Dead Grasshoppers Give Life to Social Media Marketing Campaign

What would you do if you received a FedEx package with a bag of chocolate covered grasshoppers and a link to a video. Most likely, you’d think why the heck did I just get chocolate covered grasshoppers in the mail? and likely visit the video link or try to search online to find more about the company behind the gimmick.

Think this sounds like a strange PR strategy? So do we, but Grasshopper, an 800 phone number provider for small businesses, decided to get the word out about their new name (they did a complete rebrand) by putting together a list of 5,000 of the most influential people in the US and sending them each a package of real chocolate covered grasshoppers with a simple message and video URL.

The Campaign: Dead Grasshoppers

Grasshopper’s incredibly innovative social media marketing strategy was a combination of oddities. From the quirkiness of sending their name sake covered in chocolate to their snail mail contact method with a link to a non-promotional video (watch it below) they created — Entrepreneurs Can Change the World — that reinforced their brand and purpose, they pretty much threw the typical formula for generating online buzz out the window.

The campaign itself took over two months to come to fruition, with Grasshopper’s CEO spending that time period compiling a list of 5,000 influential bloggers, journalists, celebrities, TV anchors, and CEOs (Pete Cashmore, Adam Ostrow, and Tamar Weinberg made the list). Packages were then shipped to recipients via FedEx on May 4th, and that’s when the real magic began.

As these notable individuals unwrapped their rather unusual gift, several of them were moved enough to share videos online of the package contents and even consuming the grasshoppers. The video above is just one example and it shows CNET’s Josh Lohensohn chowing down on the not-so-little chocolate dipped critter. Several of the TV personalities even did full on air segments centered around the unusual gift.

The Results: Social Media Success Story

The Grasshopper campaign proved to be very fruitful and buzz circulated on-air and across the web. To date, the company has seen a huge uptake in social media mentions, web traffic, and hopefully new customers. Here are a few notable stats from the campaign:

  • 4,911% traffic increase from April to May
  • 144,843 video views with 162 comments
  • 1,500 tweets
  • 120 blog posts in one month
  • Tweets from Guy Kawasaki, Kevin Rose, and Jason Calacanis
  • 7 national TV mentions

Basically, Grasshopper was able to saturate the blogosphere and twitterosphere, while securing a plethora of mainstream media coverage, simply with a bag of dead grasshoppers and some ingenuity. That’s clever marketing and we applaud them for their creativity, though no Mashable (Mashable) staffers were brave enough to consume any grasshoppers.

Were you one of the 5,000 most influential people on Grasshopper’s list? Would you have eaten the chocolate covered grasshoppers had you received them? Let us know what you think about this quirky campaign in the comments.