Is social media part of the start?

My loyal readers may know that I follow the Marketoonist’s blog.  Today, his post was about the ROI on social media.  It discussed how the industry still don’t know how to measure the success of a social media campaign.  And how talking about ROI on social media is simply an antiquated notion.  Social media is about engagement.  Social media is about word of mouth.

Okay, let’s talk about word of mouth.  What’s the buzz around the water coolers today?

The Grammys.

And perhaps it’s because I work in marketing, but there was a very specific moment about the Grammy’s that garnered quite a bit of attention.

Yes, Chipotle’s touching commercial ‘Back to Start’ that the Hollywood Gossip thought stole the show and put all Super Bowl ads to shame.

But why exactly is this commercial buzz-worthy?  Why is the Hollywood Gossip even talking about it today.  After all, it’s kind of old news.  This video has been airing in 10,000 theaters worldwide for a few months now.  Oh, perhaps you don’t indulgence in theater anymore in this economy.  And heck, why would you need to with netflix?

But, did you know that this had been thriving in social media for months now?  In fact, it had already had over 4 million views prior to Grammy night.

This is why the ROI or the success of social media is so hard to measure.  4 million views over the course of a few months versus nearly 40 million views on Grammys night.  While the cost for a Grammys commercial is reported to top $800K for just 30 seconds (a bargain compared to the $3.5 million price tag during Super Bowl), the cost of producing that video is not small either.  This lovely story started with virtual modeling.  Then the team built 3D models of all the pigs, cows, and farmers.  Then, they built the set with the model puppets.  Then, they filmed it and finally edited and finished it.  Don’t forget the cost of having Willie Nelson cover Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’.  I don’t know for sure, but I just assumed that he didn’t do it for free.

Then, there were all the supporting videos that were produced and housed on YouTube.  There was the Behind the Scene video.  There was the sustainable farmer story video.  There was the farmer hardship video.  There was the ecosystem video.  Then, finally, there was the Chipotle fresh food philosophy video.  This was one robust online video PR campaign.

But would the online campaign really got mass attention if it wasn’t for the Grammys?

And would the Grammys commercial alone get enough people into Chipotle without the YouTube video campaign?

It’s an ‘integral’ part of the campaign, one may say.  But just exactly how much value did the entire YouTube campaign bring to the picture?  That’s the question.  It seemed to me that the ‘social media win’ was achieved based on the on-air old fashion television commercial

So the question remains:  How to measure success of a social media campaign?


Let’s get the discussion started.  Here are some tweetable bits:

Did you love the Chipotle commercial during the #Grammys?  Did you know it’s old? @jeannie_chan

How did Chipotle achieved the ‘social media win’?  With YouTube or with #Grammys? @jeannie_chan

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