Have you heard of the new Fox show Lone Star? I had seen one commercial for it, but it really caught my eye, when I received an email a couple of weeks ago from Klout.

Subject: Klout Perk: Be the first to see the pilot of Lone Star

We hear rumors that Lone Star, a provocative new drama about a con man leading two lives, is going to be this season’s hottest show on FOX.

FOX wants you to be one of the first people to watch the premiere episode. You’ll get a DVD of the pilot and a party pack to help you host your own Lone Star preview party…

Of course, I responded to the email and this past Thursday, I received a HUGE box in the mail:

Lone Star box

And the following inside the box: cocktail napkins, 4 plastic wine glasses, 4 plastic beer mugs, plastic ice bucket, soft cooler, bottle opener, corkscrew, 2 posters, tub of popcorn, t-shirt, 2 show posters and a DVD of the pilot of the show. All branded with the Lone Star name.  Awesome!

Lone Star box inside


kloutSo what’s Klout? Klout calls itself the “Standard of Influence” and rates Twitter users and gives them a score of their clout based on reach, amplification and network.  In a few seconds, it gives you your Klout Score by combining factors such as the number of lists the Twitter user is on, your retweets, and your mentions… all of which are factors that are much more important than the commonly looked at “follower numbers”.  How many followers you have is irrelevant if no one is listening to you, and Klout attempts to quantify how much people are listening to you.  It’s  a great measure, and is quickly becoming the “standard”, as they say.  I have looked up many people I know from Twitter, and the scores seem reasonable based on how influential I know these people to be.

What Klout is starting to do, is partner with companies to give offers to people who have high Klout scores.  I have received a few like this (Covergirl, Starbucks in partnership with BzzAgent), but this was, by far, the most impactful presentation.

lone star

The idea is that I am supposed to throw a party with the contents of the box, and watch the pilot episode with my friends.  Brilliant thinking Fox!  Here are a few reasons why it’s great marketing:

  • Gets people excited about the build-up to the show
  • Makes enjoying the show a social activity
  • Makes the receiver of the package (me!) feel special
  • Gives people something to talk about after watching the pilot and enjoying the “party in a box”
  • Targets people who are influential

Fox has also coupled this with other social media tactics, including a Twitter account (@LoneStarOnFox), use of QR codes in print ads, strong use of hashtag (#LoneStar), a Facebook page and a sweepstakes on Facebook.

Overall, a very smart social media campaign by Fox.  The major feedback I’d have for them is to start earlier.  I received the party box on Thursday, the premier is on Monday, and I’m supposed to plan and have a party in that 4 day period.  Also looking at their Twitter page, it looks like thy just started promoting it last minute, with only 300 followers (although follower number aren’t everything, right?). Their Facebook page has been  active longer, but still only has 1,900 fans, a small amount for a national show. It’s important to remember that social media is a slow build medium, so you need to start early!

So, did I have the party and watch the show?  I didn’t have the party, as it wasn’t enough notice for me, but I DID watch the pilot I received.  I loved it!  The cast is great, and the plot is just a twisted mess of lies (in an intriguing way!). I’m looking forward to seeing more of it, and will certainly be watching the premier on Monday!

Have you seen campaigns like this?  What do you think of the idea of this campaign for “influencers”?

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    • http://twitter.com/girlgamy Amy Greenlaw

      I agree with your post. I too found the late arrival too short of notice to throw a party, but a brilliant campaign non the less. I am sure it wasn’t an easy task to get all those boxes out to the “influencers”!
      Can’t wait for this show to air!

      • http://www.rachel-levy.com Rachel Levy

        Thanks for the comment Amy! I’ll see you tonight on twitter at #LoneStar!

    • http://adamhcohen.com adamcohen

      I really like this approach overall – identifying influencers and following up with a “wow” experience for them including samples, exclusive content, etc. It’s a great way to engage and build advocates but it won’t work for every brand or media play. I think good product companies make a regular practice of this (sending out samples) but sometimes miss that level of scrutiny to select the right people. Good stuff.

      • http://www.rachel-levy.com Rachel Levy

        Great point, Adam. I was actually thinking the same, as I’m not much of a TV watcher. So, was I the right target? But then again, it DID get me to watch the show, so it did it’s job!

    • Anonymous

      Great post Rachel. I was one of the lucky Klouters too. I received the box four days before the premiere, and was then bummed to see the show fall to the Fox Axe after just two episodes. I know they have more episodes in the can, so I’m hoping they can at least release it on Hulu or a straight-to-DVD release.