Like any good American, I spent a good bit of time today watching the NCAA college basketball tournament.  I’m pretty good at ignoring commercials, but a new Vitamin Water ad I half watched tonight caught my attention.  I really don’t remember the television commercial itself at all, although from some research I believe it is this Steve Nash spot that I saw. 

What was interesting wasn’t the commercial itself, but the call to action at the end.  Where most commercials insert a logo and URL in the last frame, Vitamin Water included a link to their Facebook page at   I’m no expert on TV commercials, but this is not a strategy I recall seeing before and it caught my attention. 

The strategy strikes me as very smart.  Putting your corporate site URL at the end your commercial is sort of the norm now.  People have learned to tune the URL out since it is the expectation.  Also, the sites of most consumer brands are overwhelmingly boring.  There really isn’t anything you can do beyond look at pictures of the product and maybe look up some nutritional info.  The Vitamin Water site lived down to my low expectation.  I’m sure advertising the URL of would drive some traffic, but to what end?   The site doesn’t provide me with any way to deepen my relationship with the brand. 

Advertising the Facebook page will catch the attention of people like me by jarring us out of our slumber by doing something unexpected.  It is new and different.   In addition, unlike Vitamin Water’s regular site the Facebook page actually gives me something to do – I can become a fan and connect/interact with other Vitamin Water lovers.  By becoming a fan, I am essentially endorsing Vitamin Water to my network on Facebook, who will find out about my new relationship with Vitamin Water via their Facebook news feed.  I’m telling the world that I think enough of Vitamin Water to associate my brand (meaning my Facebook persona) with theirs.

That is word of mouth marketing, and a hell of a lot more valuable than a visit to the Vitamin Water website

Like I said, this seems really smart to me.  As of this writing Vitamin water has 48,145 fans on Facebook.  I’ll update this post periodically and report back on whether it is working or not

Note: Whoever built the Vitamin Water website needs to go to a remedial SEO course.  The entire site is in Flash and the title tags of the page contain the name of the drink’s manufacturer – Glaceau. The result is that the site is hard to locate in Google for even a direct search for “vitamin water”.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.