“Dreaming of What Could Be”

Finding unique and creative solutions for a client’s marketing challenges.

Here’s a quote I love, “Help others achieve their goals and, in turn, you will achieve yours.” That quote is from one of my heroes, Bill Walker, or as I called him, DAD! Today, I want to share a time when creative thinking, along with great follow-through and execution, led to incredible success for a client.

Marketing Challenge

Curt Thompson, was the Western States Regional Marketing Director for Vitamin Water. A very smart marketing guy with a great team, and some extra MDF, (Market Development Funds), to spend.  Vitamin Water had just signed Kelly Clarkson as a spokesperson, and had created a personalized flavor for her.

He asked how do we capitalize on her upcoming huge North American Tour and introduce her new Vitamin Water to boost sales? He needed a concept to promote the brand that could be duplicated in multiple markets.

Creative Solution 

My team reviewed the situation and determined that Ms. Clarkson had a very loyal and dedicated fan base who were willing and eager to buy any merchandise with her name on it, we just needed to give them the opportunity. After a couple of brainstorming sessions, more than a few beers and pizza, and in-depth market research into the target demographic and psychographics, we came up with a concept.

We would create a multiple venue on-site contest called Kellyoke. We would hold singing contests leading up to Ms. Clarkson’s appearance at a local venue. These “Kellyoke” events would give her fans the opportunity to sing and win tickets as well as backstage passes for her concert. After tying in a local radio station, KISS FM, we set up 4 Kellyoke events at local venues including a waterpark, an outlet mall and a popular local food chain. Her fans did not disappoint, people signed up on line and showed up in droves to sing for a chance to meet Ms. Clarkson.

At each event Vitamin Water had the opportunity to meet customers, hand out sample bottles of the Kelly Clarkson Flavor, and capture fans in a database for follow up. A winner was crowned at each of the four events and they all won tickets to the show. We then created a finals event outside the venue where one winner sang for the backstage passes and a chance to meet their “Idol”. The on-site singing event was a huge success for the client, as they were able to connect with the huge crowd gathered outside the arena before the event and promote the new flavor and the entire brand of Vitamin Water.

The added bonus for us was that Ms. Clarkson agreed to an interview on KISS FM prior to the event and promoted the Kellyoke contest on air. This pre-promotion by the artist, along with media placed by my team, and the momentum from the onsite events delivered a large audience excited to see who would be the winner.

Final Analysis: SUCCESS

Curt Thompson, along with other key executives from Vitamin Water, called Kellyoke the most successful on-site promotion the company had ever done. After the first Kellyoke Event held in Seattle, sales for the Kelly Clarkson branded flavor were over 30% higher in Seattle than other markets around the country.

I gotta take a risk
Take a chance
Make a change
And breakaway,
breakaway, breakaway…

Vitamin Water gained thousands of fan contact information for their brand email and social media follow-up. By taking a risk and breaking away from the competition, Vitamin Water repeated Kellyoke in 20 key cities for the remainder of Kelly Clarkson’s tour.


Pat Walker, 
Published 1:13 pm, Sunday, June 1, 2014

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