Monday, October 6, 2008

" $100k Experiment" gets A for Content, F for Social Functionality has a marketing campaign that is worth notice, but they failed to ask "How can I improve this by making it social?" As a result, their new campaign, The $100k Experiment, will not achieve as much attention and traffic as it might have had they considered ways to leverage Social Media., which specializes in job openings with salaries in excess of $100,000, wanted to make a point to employers about the kind of attention $100,000 can attract. So, they placed that amount of cash into a glass box in the middle of a park and left it there unguarded. Ten hidden cameras captured the reactions of passersby.

The video is great--it's funny, interesting, and worthy of attention. TheLadders gets an "A" for creating content that people will want to see (and unlike Google's "5 Friends," this video keeps it short and engaging.)

But this is 2008, and engaging content--while vital and challenging--is no longer all that is required for a successful marketing campaign. Where are the Social Media hooks in campaign? Consumers cannot embed the video on their sites (which I'd consider bare minimum functionality for an online video campaign), nor can they comment on The $100k Experiment. As a result, this site is a lonely island when it could have been a bustling network of interaction.

Other than links and comments, what else might they have done to turn this lonely and isolated video into the hub of a hundred thousand conversations?
  • How about a poll to determine the charity to which should give the $100,000? Think that might generate some attention, links, and dialogs?
  • Or, another charity angle might have been for to allow people to select a charity, generate a custom video link, and then earn a charitable donation for the chosen charity based on how much traffic that link generates to the microsite.
  • How about the ability for people to ask for their city or neighborhood to be the next spot where the glass box stops? Might it be fun to see friends, coworkers, and neighbors punked by the $100k experiment?

Their agency did place the video on YouTube (where it had 0 views as of this morning--was I really the first to see it?) There is no reference to in the text and no links to the career site or the microsite--another lost opportunity for links, attention, and traffic.

It's hard for me to understand how in 2008 marketers could generate a great idea and execute it with care and style, but miss the importance and value of Social Media features. The $100k Experiment will generate plenty of deserved attention, but the career site could have multiplied their success by asking, "How can I improve this by making it social?"


Paul van Veenendaal said...

Very well written article with great suggestions! I mentioned you in my posting on

Augie Ray said...

Thanks Paul. I enjoyed your article about the TheLadders' campaign. I'd suggest those interested in learning more check out his blog post at:

Anonymous said...

Today I signed up with The Ladders for a $15 payment for 1 month of Ops Ladder.

Then I was notified that I’d be charged $180 for a 1 YEAR membership.


Augie Ray said...


Sorry to hear about your issue with TheLadders. I was a member for a while and had no issue with a month-to-month membership. Hope you get your problem resolved!

Dave said...

We push the envelope a bit to try better educate jobseekers on the power of social networking. No other jobboard utilizes social media more than and is better at scanning corporate career sites for $100K jobs and posting the jobs we find and think are $100K ones on our site. Simplyhired and are job aggregation sites just like and though they are free they copy all types of jobs leaving it to the jobseeker to determine which jobs might carry a $100K+ compensation package. saves the jobseekers time and for that we charge a nominal monthly fee for our service.