For their 2015 promotional Easter campaign, Germany’s leading consumer electronics retailer, Media Markt, was looking for a new and innovative approach.
Media Markt’s aim was to increase awareness during the Easter period and tempt customers into their stores. In order to cut through the clutter and differentiate from the numerous other Easter promotions, the campaign had to be smart, bold and entertaining.
Together with Ogilvy and Endemol Beyond, Media Markt developed a unique live sports event: the Media Markt ‘Rabbit Race’ (Das große Osterhasen-Rasen).
The idea: 10 rabbits, wearing the starting numbers 0 to 9, would compete in a sprint race series hosted by the popular sports commentator Frank Buschmann.
To encourage Media Markt customers to get behind the Rabbit Race, every Media Markt shopping receipt doubled as an official betting slip. For example, if you had a receipt number ending in a ‘4’, you backed rabbit number four. There were three two-minute-long race broadcasts on 1, 2 and 4 April 2015, and it paid off to cheer for your rabbit each time – customers whose receipt numbers matched the winning bunny’s number received 50 percent cashback on their purchase in the form of a Media Markt voucher.
The rabbits were presented as celebrity characters with fun names to help trigger conversation and support among the general public. From aging superstar Turboflausch, to bad boy athlete Der Zermöhrer and adrenalin junkie mountaineer Puschel to the Limit, the rabbits took on popular personas and fans were able to find out details of their special dietary habits, career profiles, music preferences and more. Of course, the rabbits also had a (real life) professional trainer caring for them.
DISTRIBUTION & ENGAGEMENT
In a media first, the Rabbit Race series was broadcast live during prime time ad breaks on the nine leading German free-to-air TV stations (SAT.1, ProSieben, kabel eins, RTL, SUPER RTL, RTL NITRO, VOX, n-tv and the Disney Channel) simultaneously, as well as online on YouTube’s homepage, the Media Markt website and Germany’s most popular news site Bild.de.
In addition to the Race series itself, there was an integrated communication campaign using traditional advertising, PR and social media. In the weeks before the live event, the Rabbit Race was heavily promoted with complementary branded content – such as profiles of each rabbit, collectors’ cards, training insight, celebrity interviews and press conferences with the rabbits, behind-the-scenes reports, and other interactive, engaging elements – which was shared across social media by fans. Media Markt also responded to social media comments during and after the event, including posting personal greeting cards online for supporters.
The happiest Easter ever for Media Markt:
- 21 million live viewers (a bigger audience than the FIFA World Cup 2014 semifinal between Germany and Brazil)
- 37% market share in the relevant target group
- 250 million net reach online
- 7.8 million tweets in four days
- +259% interaction with the brand’s Facebook page
- Increased traffic in stores (+18.2 %)
- Won two Gold Lions, 1 Silver Lion and 2 Bronze Lions at the 2015 Cannes Lions festival
The Rabbit Race concept combined branded content marketing with real-time advertising, resulting in much more than a traditional advertising campaign alone would have delivered – this became a national sports entertainment event and a media first.
From this innovative initiative, Media Markt generated strong awareness during the busy Easter period, a significant sales impact, and an enhanced reputation as a forward-thinking brand that understands how to entertain and connect with its market.
The Rabbit Race is yet more proof of Media Markt’s creative innovation: Germany’s biggest supplier of consumer electronics is itself becoming an entertainer and turning a promotional campaign into a sporting event for the whole family.
Felix Fenz, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather
The courage to create and implement an outstandingly unique idea, and most especially the perfect synchronisation of all the service providers involved, were the two factors of major importance for the success of our Rabbit Race campaign. Our creative agency Ogilvy developed the spectacular design of the idea, which immediately thrilled us. Also, we decided to simulcast the Rabbit Race live on Germany’s major private TV channels – something that has never been done in this way before. The implementation of the live race was carried out smoothly in collaboration with Endemol Beyond. I’m convinced that the professionalism of all our partners, as well as the collective enthusiasm for the Rabbit Race, drove its exceptional success.
Thomas Hesse, Head of Marketing, Media Markt Germany, redblue Marketing GmbH
Fan quotes from social media – Twitter users
Race like you’re on the run, #DerZermöhrer! So you win the mediamarkt_de #OsterhasenRasen
@mediamarkt_de I had fun at the #OsterhasenRasen
Too bad you lost #Turboflausch, you fluffy Racing Monster! I love you anyway hah
This case study was originally published in the BOBCM DACH Region Edition (2015) co-edited by Sandra Freisinger-Heinl and Greta MacFarlane.