Buckets of red paint on fur coats. Nude models parading the city streets. Graphic online videos. PETA is one of those organizations that people either love or hate. Such strong passion is a direct result of their intense and controversial marketing campaigns, which usually draw quick media attention. When they market, people notice. PETA is also an organization that has embraced Web 2.0 marketing with great fervor. MySpace, Flickr, YouTube–they’re all over the place. A recent interview with PETA marketing manager Joel Bartlett shed some great light on why Web 2.0 marketing is now the way to go.
So read-up and see what you learn. But no, I’m not suggesting you dump red paint the next time a patron keeps a book out long past it’s due date. (As badly as you may want to…)
We’ve had a lot of success on YouTube and other video sharing sites. We’ve had a three-pronged plan for them. Our first step was just getting all our content on the various popular video sharing sites like YouTube, MetaCafe, Break.com, and GoogleVideo. Our goal is for people to find PETA videos whenever and wherever they’re searching for videos online. If someone is searching on YouTube for an interview of their favorite band—say Good Charlotte—they’ll find our interview with band member Billy Martin talking about vegetarianism. Or if they’re searching for John McEnroe, they’ll find his spay and neuter PSA. From just our efforts of posting videos we estimate we’ve received almost 2 million video views.
We also try to harness word of mouth on YouTube, in a few ways. For instance, we encouraged finalists in our “World’s Cutest Vegetarian” contest, run on our youth division Web site peta2.com, to send us videos of themselves asking people to vote for them. We posted the videos on our blog and MySpace profile, and they also promoted them to everyone they knew.
We also recently had a contest on peta2.com asking our Street Team members to create videos of themselves explaining why they went veg and how it’s benefited them. The winning video received over 1,000 votes.
Most recently, we’ve been working to encourage our supporters to upload animal rights videos to their accounts. peta2 just finished a “mission” asking our Street Teamers to do this, with a prize of a digital camera going to the Street Teamer with the most views to a video in the span of three weeks. The winning video received 258,275 views in the first three weeks and is now up to over 320,000 views.”