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Chatroulette remains a bit of a marketing headache.

On the one hand, it’s a free platform that has had enormous amounts of publicity and thousands of users. On the other though, the site is somewhat stigmatised, as quite a number of those users don’t seem to be the sort who want clever, real-time advertising. 

My colleague, Meghan, has previously covered the ongoing debate as to whether marketers should be considering Chatroulette as a possible guerrilla tactic. I’m not wanting to debate the pros and cons of this, as she already does a great job, but in a nutshell, I’d suggest that the extent to which the platform raises brand awareness needs to be assessed, especially given the one-on-one functionality and that a large proportion of the current Chatroulette user base is questionable to say the least.

But perhaps it's the subsequent awareness surrounding any brand that dares to appear on such a risqué site that is most valuable? Below are eight very different brands that have tried to leverage Chatroulette in engaging and innovative ways. Some are amusing, others are fairly graphic. All have received large amounts of press coverage, likely followed by spikes of interest from consumers...

French Connection 

FCUK was the first brand to leap into the unknown. They ran a clever campaign challenging men to literally “chat-up” women online, with the chance to win a £250 voucher if they could prove they had. It was deemed a reasonable success, not least because of the column inches it received around the world and the amusing attempts of users

GiffGaff

GiffGaff is an O2-run mobile network, which recently started promoting itself through the use of caricatures: “Pierre” drew users whilst talking to them. There are also rumblings that the company plans to use Chatroulette in order to give out promotional codes which will allow users to claim SIM cards with free credit when they register on the company’s site.

 

Dr Pepper

A tongue-in-cheek campaign for April Fools was set up by the Dr Pepper crew. A cheerleader bounces around and requests users to dance with her. What’s the worst that can happen? It becomes clear around 40 seconds into the video. 

 

Burger King

As part of a promotion earlier this year, it was decided that the Burger King should put in an appearance online. Surprised users found themselves faced with fast-food royalty and links to a voucher site. 

Sunny Queen Farms

Not exactly a global brand, but the wonderful Australian sense of humour shone through when Sunny Queen jumped onto Chatroulette... what could be better than talking to a giant, smiling egg? 

 

Travelocity

Travelocity gets cited a lot for their campaign, especially as apparently generated 350,000 impressions and 400 conversations between potential customers and its ‘chat specialists', using their gnome, who also features in their TV adverts and on Facebook and Twitter, as a catalyst.

Condomerie 

The Amsterdam-based condom company executes this HIV-awareness campaign perfectly. Similarly to Dr Pepper and FCUK, it plays on the stereotype of the site. Be warned though – some people might find the video a bit offensive. 

Buzz TV

The latest Chatroulette campaign is for a Spanish TV station. It’s been produced by McCann Erickson and is pretty graphic. Rumour has it that the agency managed to talk their client out of running a simple banner campaign and rolling with something completely different. 

Jake Hird

Published 28 May, 2010 by Jake Hird

Jake Hird is Econsultancy Australia's Director of Research and Education. Follow him on Twitter and Google+, connect with him on LinkedIn or see what he's keeping an eye on via diigo

126 more posts from this author

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Boris Booij

Check this video http://youtu.be/vjo9WNbS84o
Chatroulette on local basis during dance and rock festivals.

about 6 years ago

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