We built a digital content marketing campaign that helped a manufacturing and eCommerce company appeal to its target audience. The results surprised everyone: 3,000 leads and a rare bonus.

The Challenge:

Changing customer perceptions of a mundane but important topic that limited brand awareness and stunted purchase consideration.

The Outcome:

A measurable digital campaign that raised brand awareness, spoke to the target audience’s core values and generated leads.

Warranties, a Not-So-Sexy Topic

Warranties are what you gloss over on the way to getting what you want – a smartphone, laptop, or in this case a shiny new motorcycle, boat, or snowmobile.

They’re also dry documents loaded with legalese that can be hard to comprehend.

Original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) warranties along with unscrupulous dealerships were negatively affecting sales of our company’s aftermarket lubricants.

Dealerships actively discouraged customers from using any oil but their chosen brand. Customers frequently complied, scared they would void their warranty.

OEMs and dealerships simply wanted customers to use their products and receive service at their shops. They intimated that using a different brand of lubricants could affect their warranty coverage – a statement that’s not only false but illegal.

The Magnuson Moss Act of 1975 made it against the law for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. But few people are savvy to the finer points of product warranties or aftermarket lubrication. The scare tactics worked.

A Lonely Page That Did Little to Help

The information on our product warranty and legal protection lived on an isolated page, tucked away deep inside our corporate site.

The Original Warranty Page

In the spring of 2018, a team of us were assembled in a conference room and asked to drive awareness (read: web traffic) to this lonely warranty page.

One problem – it was a dry read. It would have to change for us to be successful.

Making a “Dry” Topic Appealing

We set out to discover the customer’s mindset. It’s easier for a message to resonate when it’s framed by one’s own values and perceptions. Bonus points if it strikes an emotional chord.

We studied our target audience and scouted for messaging already resonating with that particular group.

Credit: Wonderlane

We concluded that the goal was to create fun, edgy content. Other manufacturers had already keyed in on this and produced exciting, “attitude” driven campaigns.

Credit: Travis Isaacs

Landing on Freedom

In this context, our warranty appealed to the customer’s concept of freedom – the freedom to ride and the freedom to choose.

Building the Digital Campaign Strategy

We knew the campaign needed an educational component that made our message easily digestible.

We also needed the ability to measure the campaign’s impact, beyond just clicks and views.

With these goals in mind the “Runs on Freedom” campaign was born. After some brainstorming, the team built a campaign that had:

  • Educational PSA-style videos for social media and YouTube ads that educated customers on their rights and their freedom to choose
  • A refreshed warranty page that further covered the topic in a more engaging and skimmable style
  • An ad strategy that targeted fans of the various Powersports brands as well as individuals that watch new vehicle and equipment reviews on YouTube
  • Free “Runs on Freedom” decals (we knew our audience loved decals)

Customers who viewed the video would be incentivized to visit our refreshed landing page and request a free decal.

The redesigned warranty page

We measured web traffic, video views, engagement, and visitor-to-lead conversions.

The decals we sent to leads and customers

The campaign ran predominantly on social media as that was the best fit to target our demographic and gives us an excellent awareness channel.

The Result

The message resonated, drove leads and had a surprising twist.

Traffic shot up

In our initial ad push, web traffic skyrocketed. Unique pageviews shot up by 305% YOY, the average time on the page improved from 48 seconds to three minutes and three seconds (a 235% improvement), and the bounce rate dropped from 19.67% to 9.26%.

We generated 600 leads in the first few weeks, but that number quadrupled when we re-ran the campaign (notably over the 4th of July weekend) and featured it through the winter.

Nine months later, the campaign had generated over 4,000 requests – close to 3,000 of which were first-time customers.

The Ripple Effect

Our sponsored racing team loved the campaign and adopted the slogan, featuring it on their vehicles and jackets.

A Runs on Freedom Race Spec Jacket

The Surprising Twist

Roughly a year after that initial boardroom meeting, a fan sent us a photo of our “Runs on Freedom” message tattooed on his forearm. Quite a feat for a small digital campaign with limited ad spend.

The Runs on Freedom tattoo

Our message had reached our target audience in a form they could relate to and, most importantly, connect with emotionally.