Derek Carr

Earned Media: Part II – Derek Carr Goes Platinum with EECU

Posted: October 6, 2017 by Angela Corbett

Blame the eclipse if you want. Maybe it was Mercury being in… Gatorade, or whatever celestial body the kids are blaming these days…but the Canadian tuxedo is gonna be hot this fall, and not in that “ironic” hipster way that’s also trying to make tape decks and handlebar mustaches a thing, but in a real way.

You can thank us for that.

If you haven’t heard, Derek Carr just released the music video for his debut single, which Sports Illustrated called the “greatest athlete commercial ever.” The music video, which is equal parts David Hasselhoff, equal parts Prince, had sports announcers and outlets from USA Today, ESPN, CBS Sports, NBC Sunday Night Football, and nearly every outlet imaginable talking about Derek and his dance moves, and of course, Educational Employees Credit Union (EECU).

Can you believe the drama that just a simple campaign concept—Derek Carr dropping an EECU-sponsored single—caused?

That’s what happens when top-notch creative meets exceptional strategy. Together with Windsong Productions, we created five commercials that told the story of Derek’s music career (you can watch them below). And with weeks of planning, and an extremely dedicated and detail oriented team, we shot the videos all in one day—one very long, very fast, very fun day. How? We blocked out every shot days before and scheduled the shoot by the minute.

The creative team at Jeffrey Scott wrote and produced Derek’s song in house, designed the boy-band-liscious wardrobe (our producer stayed up late the night before the big day assembling Derek’s famed fringed jean jacket by hand), and our creative director even brought the Gray Poupon.

The beauty of this whole campaign (besides all the denim)? This campaign garnered over 93 million impressions. Yup. You read that right. Over 93 MILLION. To put that in perspective, there are 323 million people in the United States. Hypothetically, that means nearly a third of them engaged with our campaign.

And remember when we talked about earned media? It was in that post from a few weeks ago, with the Szechuan Sauce? The Carr campaign garnered a over $236,000 in earned media dollars. And we spent zero.

So how did everyone come to believe Derek Carr was dropping his first music single? With a lot of imagination, a lot of planning—and don’t forget the jacket tassels.

It all started with a billboard. On Friday, August 11th, we put up Derek Carr’s steely gaze (well, half of it) on Clovis Avenue, north of Shaw with the message, “GET READY 8.15.2017.” Just cryptic enough, this first billboard, launched the initial Nsync circa 2000 buzz. Then, as promised, on August 15th, another billboard replaced the first, but this time it revealed Derek Carr’s Valley exclusive music single. And if the first billboard didn’t turn heads, the second did, especially since Derek Carr himself tweeted a short teaser video to his 349,000 followers.

And BAM. Derek Carr was trending on Twitter, where the teaser video got 1.6K retweets and 3.9K likes. On Instagram, the video garnered over 121,000 views, and on Facebook it got over 117,000 views.

This campaign included its own hashtag, #DerekCarrMusic and it wouldn’t have succeeded without a diligent social media strategy for both EECU and Derek Carr, which included stills from each commercial, hilarious boomerangs and branded content a-plenty, along with tantalizing messaging that encouraged fans and followers to stay tuned.

Social media posts also directed followers back to the landing page, which mimicked a true album release site and kept our audience engaged by leaving enticing messages that teased upcoming content. It’s also where we linked to the commercials—all four of them leading up to the big finale.

Derek pitches his EECU-sponsored album idea:

Derek records his first single:

Derek does an album cover photo shoot:

Derek shoots the music video for his single:

And, finally. The last installment of the #DerekCarrMusic saga—the music video:

We hope you enjoyed watching these spots as much as we enjoyed making them. And if you ever want to make a music video, figure out how to make earned media work for you, or you want a killer viral campaign, you know where to find us.

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