Be-You Campaign story
As of now, you may have seen my project efforts for the Be-You Campaign. In short, it was a way to create exposure to the be squared brand by using high concept and high contact ideas. Think of it as a thoroughly involved, online street team project. Ill explained the details of it as you read on. First i want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone that was apart of this. You guys understood the vision that i was trying to achieve, and jumped on board. Thank you for taking the time out to swing by and support the brand and message. I had a lot of fun with each one of you guys – especially those who came in groups. sometimes it was a little too much fun haha.
One of the best ways for you to really get what be squared is all about, is to understand the story behind the project. Alot of people have asked me how did i think of this concept. All i know is that i didn’t suddenly have a stroke of genius – it was a combination of things that left an impact with me, and one day i was able to understand the relationships between them and connect the dots.
Influence number 1: “Project: Beyoutiful”
The first precursor to the campaign was a project that i worked on a year prior to the campaign efforts. It was named “Project Beyoutiful” – and was a small scale YouTube video to bring exposure to my shirt design of the same name, and more importantly, to expose the message of be squared. I wanted to spread the belief that we are meant to be great, and to better ourselves everyday – and to first do that, we must take a look in the mirror and believe that we are worth it and see that we are confident enough to challenge the world outside. So i worked hard with my cousin Bulli, director of Jaya Production, to rent out a studio. Set with soft lighting, a dark backdrop, and “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars playing in the background – It was a intimate video to shed light on our truths and ideas of real beauty. I tried my best to invite a diverse range of strong minded women to participate and share their ideas of beauty and to reenforce mental toughness to people who may be affected by their own negative ideas of their self worth.
I am tremendously proud of the project, and the production value of the video – though i was met with a few hiccups with my first be squared project. I learned early into “Project Beyoutiful” that not alot of people are comfortable with being video taped and interviewed. Many people were interested, and commemorated my efforts for thinking outside the box to promote my brand, though still they were too shy to participate. With the almost annoying amounts of contacting that i did – hitting up people over and over again to join this video project, i expected a much bigger turn out. Yet with the studio time being so inconvenient for many, and my approach to people still in need of refining – i had only a handful of girls that were able to make it.
Although it wasn’t as big as i would have liked it to be, i did get great feedback and support with the video. i had networking opportunities with the First Lady Movement, and set a foundation of what i wanted be squared to be about.
(on a side note, i made a second video blog trying to help me get through the feelings of failure when it seemed like the project was falling apart… also could be found on my YouTube Channel =)
Influence number 2: Cartoon Facebook profile pictures
However this viral happening came about, i was on board instantly!!! Afterwards there was alot of WHOO-BLAH about the origins – one stemming from child abuse awareness, and the second from a pedophile supporter group. Both of which are false by the way. It was simply a group of people who thought it would be kinda fun to reminisce about cartoons they watched as youths. They took it upon themselves to select these cartoons, may it be Angelica from the Rugrats, Sailor Mercury, Clifford the big red dog, Chip and/or Dale, Mr. Dink (Doug Funny’s neighbor), or Voltron – and post them up as their default profile picture on facebook. all of a sudden – it exploded.
i remember going on facebook that day and seeing all of the profile picture changes, and i really didn’t know what was going on, but i knew i wanted to be apart of it. this was a way for me to not only change my default picture of 3 months showing me in my tie/sweater vest combination – but i was able to pick a cartoon that would perfectly reflect me and hopefully trigger instant nostalgia to anyone that watched that same saturday morning cartoon. i soon selected Ronin Warriors, then Darkwing Duck, then finally Mighty Max: cartoons that made me feel a little exclusive because they were those one-off shows that people may have remembered but wouldn’t have jumped to them initially. And this small sense of importance, and nostalgia made me – just like everyone else – take the time to slow down my day a little and look at everyone else’s pictures. it was accidental genius!!!
Which brings me here. in late september 2011, i finally connected the dots.
- Project: Beyoutiful created a good support platform for the be squared message
- Most people aren’t big fans of being video recorded…
- …although i realized that they LOVE taking great pictures
- the cartoon facebook picture phenomenon made people feel important and evokes great fluffy childhood feeling and memories.
- the cartoon pictures gives a sense of individuality because no two pictures were trying to be alike
- facebook automatically shows new profile pictures, and captures attention without being super annoying, but also more importantly….
- …. it creates a sense of buzz when lots of people are doing it, and gets others to talk about it.
I thought it would be really awesome to create a campaign to utilize these key points. I had a great belief that this idea was going to stick. it was scary, and i knew it was going to take alot of work, networking, and tremendous amounts of people organizing – but i was up for the challenge. In mid October 2011, as i was setting the plans in motion, i knew i needed some capital quickly to fund the project. i needed to purchase a DSLR camera, a grey backdrop, studio lighting kit, and the initially cost of the shirts and print. What i ended up doing was pulling out a big loan against my 401k from my day job. This helped me jump start the project the way that i envisioned it. I had a very keen idea of what i wanted each aspect to look and feel like, and i was unwilling to compromise for anything less. As i proceed with the campaign, it started to click and i was really sure that this was going to work.
Instead of recording video interviews which people didn’t like, i would take studio quality pictures which people tend to LOVE. i would allow people to create their own “be” statements – short, sweet, to the point, and exclusive – meaning no overlapping statements. This gives the sense of individuality just like the cartoon profile picture, and people can be as creative as they wanted to be with their shirts. Then on January 1st 2012 – we all upload our campaign pictures up to our facebook all at the same time!!!!! I was able to utilize facebook’s profile picture update to quickly blitz the site and create a buzz with the initially question of “what the crap is going on with all these pictures?? Am i missing something??” followed up with “what the feezy is be squared??”. I envision that after the initially launch, people would react just this way – seeing multiple mutual friends with all the same profile picture then makes people want to know what is going on, and then people would come onto my facebook page and not only see who else was apart of it, but slow their lives down just a little bit to read the statements on each persons shirt…….. and guess what happens January 1st 2012???
I had a few friends over at my place the day of launch, and 7 all of them were on facebook (and hungover from new years eve). Some on their iphones, HTC Evo’s, ipads, and laptops – they were uploading their pictures, and looking through other peoples photos. Then they would get excited about and seeing who else just uploaded their campaign pictures to facebook. I was getting not stop notifications of people uploading their pictures, and then more notifications when people commented on them. i read a few stating something along the lines as “what is this?!” – and i thought to myself…. “perfect” haha. I also received a comment from my friend that was apart of campaign, and said that the best part “is seeing her friends upload pictures, that she had no idea they were also apart of the campaign”. There was a sense of energy that went on that day – and i can only assume that if my few friends that were right next to me were on facebook flipping through all of the pictures throughout the day – everyone else that was apart of the be-you campaign was doing the exact same thing. And those who weren’t apart of the campaign flipped through the same pictures and now know be squared. I dont think i could forget that day
The Be-You Campaign was a win/win/win:
- people who came for the photo shoots were able to get a be squared shirts for $5.
- those who did not participate still found out what be squared was by seeing those multiple friends that joined the campaign
- when wearing the campaign shirts, people feel special because no one else has the same shirt statement.
- and when they see others wearing the shirts, they instantly understand how they got it, and reinforces the message of be squared. plus, its a great conversation starter. YAY!!!
After all said an done, i’m really happy with the success of the Be-You Campaign. My stretch goals was 300 people to participate before the launch date on the first of the year – and i landed on 186 – which i don’t think is too shabby all. Still now, people are contacting me to be apart of the campaign – so that must mean that im doing something right. i felt like i only scratch the surface of what i can accomplish with be squared, and just like my own personal be-you campaign shirt states, this is “just the BEginning”