A breakup, bowiechick, webcams and Logitech's increased sales

I am currently at the F-Secure partners conference in Vienna, Austria, and have been listening to Richard Gatarski speak about a passion for social media. One incredible story illustrates the power that new social media forms have to influence brands, and how little many established companies (even those who sell products and services that are designed for this new world) know about this.

In March 2006, Melody, a teenager better known by her YouTube name, “Bowiechick”, was feeling pretty depressed. She had just broken up with her boyfriend. So, she decided to record a vlog (a video blog entry). In order to cheer herself up, she experimented with some cool software that came with her webcam. By the end of the 75 second video, she had had a bit of fun and was feeling better. She posted the result at YouTube (see it here). This clip has now been viewed nearly 2 million times!

As you could anticipate, a few of her friends saw it, and wrote notes to her, encouraging her to cheer up and move on. But then people started asking her about the software she used to make the video itself. More and more people asked, so she created a little video to explain how her Logitech webcam and software worked. This 2 minute video has been viewed over 3 million times. Watch it here.


Logitech’s sales of webcams went crazy. Now, imagine you’re Logitech’s sales manager. Your sales start increasing. You feel good about yourself, but you don’t know why it’s happening. You haven’t had a campaign recently. Then, they do more than spike – they go crazy! Read a news report from the time (along with the usual gumph from Logitech and Amazon about what the cause was – or maybe they just didn’t want her to claim any money from them for advertising).

This is the new world of marketing and sales promotions. There are new rules and the companies that understand this first, and make moves to harness these sorts of things, will be well rewarded. Social networking and sharing sites are not just teenage toys!

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3 Responses to “A breakup, bowiechick, webcams and Logitech's increased sales”

  1. Dean van Leeuwen February 5, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Graeme, this is just brilliant, fab post!

  2. Barrie Bramley February 7, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    Great example. A very similar one in concept is the wedding march into the Chris Brown song ‘Forever’. YouTube goes crazy, ‘Forever’ climbs back into the charts, and to number one on some.

    None of us is surprised by these events anymore. They’re great stories, but they’ve become part of our ‘it happens’ paradigm.

    I’m becoming more interested in the ‘corporate’ response? As you point out in this story, as with Chris Brown and his business entourage, there seems to be very little preparedness on their part. From inadequate responses, to not even giving credit where credit is due.

    My opinion is that it once again highlights how Web 2.0 happenings like this don’t fit into the business structure, processes and systems. Thoroughly unprepared.

    I look forward to the case study of the company that gets it right.

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