15 February, 2009

Where the (pardon my French) hell is Matt? Proper Sponsorship Gets You Going Places.

Photo upload from Flickr: Stride Gum Spearmint
Stride Gum Spearmint, originally uploaded by StrideGum.

This epitomizes the perfect working relationship between a company (Stride gum) and an individual who demonstrates qualities of their brand (Matt).

Matt posted a video a few years back (2005) doing a silly dance in exotic locations around the world. Being a travel-loving creative myself, I appreciated the concept and apparently a lot of other people did too. Here is the original video:

Because of his quasi-internet success, the Stride gum company (Cadbury Adams USA LLC) approached him in 2006 about taking a second trip and making a new video. Regarding the sponsorship, Matt has posted on his FAQ section. His response is honest, straightforward, and speaks volumes about the people at Cadbury Adams and how they went about this endeavor:

"Help?" I hear you got a sponsorship. What's that about?
The folks at Stride gum were nice enough to support me on my second trip.

Why haven't I heard of Stride before?
Because it's new.

What's so special about it?
The flavor lasts a really long time.

Come on. How long?
Ridiculously long.

Are they paying you to say this?
Nope. Honest.

Did they make you chew gum on your trip?
They didn't make me do much of anything. They are very good people.

Did they tell you where to go?
Nope. They said, and I'm quoting here:

"We like what you're doing. We want to help you. We don't want to mess with you."
These words charmed me, and they stayed true to them.

Did they edit the video for you?
Nope. I came home, put it together, sorted the music out, and slapped it up on the internet. That was pretty much it.
Like I said: good people.

Do you get lots of free gum?
I get lots of free gum.

How did you find them?
They found me.

How do I get sponsored to travel?
I really can't help you with that. Wouldn't have a clue. Sorry.

The results of this sponsorship? YouTube's ratings as of right now speak volumes:
Added: June 20, 2008
Views: 18,277,619
Ratings: 66,312 (five stars average)
Responses: 187 (these are videos posted by others after seeing this one)
Comments: 54,369
Favorited: 114,635 times
Honors: in 34 categories
See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlfKdbWwruY&feature=channel

As for Stride, they have a devoted section on their website for his videos, and had their name on a few clips from Matt's second video, as well as numberous links from Matt's content back to them. I have no idea about the impact on their sales, but it certainly got their name out there, got people talking, and even inspired people all over the world. And what more could you hope for in a partnership? It beats brand-sabotaging, individual-sacrificing, corporate-feeling failures. No cheesy taglines from Stride as far as I can see. So props to Cadbury Adams, and to Matt. Way to make a brand really come alive - you both make a traveling marketer proud! :-)

1 Comment(s):

suZen said...

That's an incredible story! Knowing the b.s. in the corporate world (admittedly I served my time with that!) its amazing he had such freedom. Don't know how you found my blog but I linked back to you and will sign up to follow YOU. A month ago I couldn't copy/paste, so altho I'm bloggin it is some kind of miracle. I may not have a clue what I'm doing technically, but I have an uncanny nose for finding talent in the blogosphere - like YOU!

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