SBD/October 24, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

StubHub Looks To Capitalize On Success Of Ticket Oak Campaign With New Viral Videos

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StubHub has found success with its Ticket Oak marketing campaign, “especially in social media,” and to "take advantage of that, the brand is releasing a series of viral videos starring the Ticket Oak," according to Mallory Russell of AD AGE. The first video "will be released this month and another will air in December.” StubHub CMO Ray Elias in an interview spoke about the Ticket Oak campaign, and how the secondary market ticketing company "plans to better serve its audience." The following is an excerpt from the Q&A:

Q: Why did you decide to use the Ticket Oak as your central character? What was the strategy behind that?
Elias: Contrary to the way it's been written about, we don't view it as a mascot, per se. … We took a risk with that creative. And we thought it was either going to be really funny and catchy or ... (not). So we took the risk and we have seen tremendous growth as a result. … Historically, we've been very measurement focused, direct response focused. There's been a lot of pent-up demand out there, and it was easy to grow the business in that way. And now that we're the size that we are it's really about reaching the mass market. We wanted a single iconic creative that delivered our core message at this point, which has gone from functional -- what is StubHub and where you want to sit -- to the emotional aspects: access, choice, convenience, lots of selection and tickets growing on trees.

Q: How has the Ticket Oak affected the business?
Elias: Tremendous success. The traffic growth has been 40% year over year. We're a company that's seeing 15 million uniques a month. Brand awareness has gone up something like 20% as a result of these campaigns. Marketing at StubHub is the revenue driving function, so we really manage marketing based on revenue and top-line growth. So as the business has continued to grow and flourish over the years so has our marketing investment. ... This was really to refresh and extend the shelf life. We're buying more media that we did in the spring around this.

Q: Can you talk about what new technology you are working on and how that might change the way you market?
Elias: Most people don't go to something because they don't know about it. So people have started to use StubHub beyond just buying tickets. They're really using it to discover events now as well. And I would say that our experience is being tuned to support that to be very, very useful to fans as a discovery tool. We're in a great position because we care about all live events all the time (ADAGE.com, 10/23).
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