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The business of selling pest control must be tricky, as it’s either a product you need or you don’t – there’s not really any middle ground.

So the best approach for pest controllers is to promote brand awareness so when you do spot a rat in the kitchen they are the first ones you think of.

This is the approach Rentokil is adopting with its new social media campaign involving a CGI mouse called Scamper who has his own Facebook game, Twitter account and four CGI video clips.

The idea is to educate people about how mice get into houses and how to spot if you have an infestation – with the ultimate aim of getting people to call Rentokil if they do have mice.

Back in 2010 we reported on Rentokil’s ham-fisted attempts to engage people through social media by mass following users on Twitter.

It gained some negative press and as a result Rentokil implemented the lessons learned into a new social media strategy.

This latest initiative indicates that it is heading in the right direction as Facebook games have proved to be hugely popular medium.

The Scamper Mouse game is very basic but sits on the right side of being frustrating enough to make you determined to get past the first level.

Each time you die you are given stats about mice, such as how far they can jump and how much they eat.

The game is also open to all – you aren’t forced to like the brand before you can access it.

This is a canny move, as due to the nature of its business Rentokil is hardly the sort of brand that you want all your Facebook friends to know you ‘like’ so by leaving no barriers to entry it is making sure the campaign reaches the widest possible audience.

The videos are also well thought out - they are short (all are less than 30 seconds) and informative, so viewers won’t be put off and may be encouraged to share the content.

But there is a danger that it might break the Twitter spam rules again – @scampermouse currently follows more than 1,700 people but only has 534 followers. 

This ratio isn’t too bad, but the social media team need to keep an eye on it to make sure they don’t annoy Twitter users.

Overall the campaign looks good and the use of a CGI mouse adds a quirky element that couldn’t be achieved through a straightforward corporate blog. 

David Moth

Published 27 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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