Planting the Idea

The digital marketing landscape of today is hard pressed to be effected by broadcast messaging. It’s now more important to come up with innovative, meaningful, and engaging online marketing campaigns — ones that leverage the deep attention and thought of potential customers/viewers.

Even better? You plant the idea and let it happen. Yup, just like Inception. Take one single component of your entire campaign, and let it mature into the ultimate goal. Sounds hard, but it’s not.

An example: Broadcast Viewership – to – Website
Goal: Get broadcast viewers to attend online live event with Director of the film.

March, 2011, the PBS WORLD channel aired Land Of Destiny, a hard look into a small town in Canada, that has been effected by industry abandonment. Knowing that our target audience would be those already watching the broadcast, they were asked an engaging question, related to what they were watching .

What U.S. city has been most affected by industry abandonment?

After the initial thought was planted, viewers were then led to the website landing page and offered the chance to participate in a live poll containing the correct answer. Take a wild guess yourself —  think it’s Detroit? You’re wrong. The answer is Centralia, PA, a town abandoned by the anthracite coal industry, and left on fire. Literally.

Intrigued? Want to learn more? Now the idea begins to grow.

Upon finding this out, viewers were then led to a blog post about Centralia, PA, as well as various external resources for further investigating. Additionally, viewers were then given the opportunity to register for the live event.


  • Website page views were up by 50%
  • Live poll results and blog were shared over 150 times on Facebook and Twitter
  • Live event attendance registration was double the anticipated number

This all happened during the 2-hour broadcast.

Registration doubled again during the two-day period between the broadcast, and live event date, and attendance was higher than expected.

The live event was never promoted, but instead was offered as an engagement opportunity as a part of an entire theme. The biggest takeaway was: let viewers/customers make the action (your goal) their own idea.


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