easyhome Salina: Grand Opening

This weekend I had the pleasure of working with Ryan Gates and his New York based production company, CreativeRHINO, on a very cool viral video marketing project. The client was easyhome, a rent-to-own company originally based out of Canada. On Saturday, easyhome opened three new stores across the US.

I worked on the opening in Salina, KS and I can tell you, these people go big or go home. This was so much more than a store opening. They had breakfast for everyone waiting in line in the morning, hot dogs grilling all day long, a DJ, magician, band, bouncy castle and tons of doorbuster sales. Several media outlets picked up the story including the Wichita Business Journalthe Wichita Eagle, and the Salina Journal.

Ryan Gates and I were in charge of the viral video campaign. This was one of the most interesting projects I have ever worked on. We had four Flip cameras going all day long, catching everything from funny anecdotes and crowds of people rushing the doors to people dancing along with the band.

Then, the real excitement began. easyhome has a fantastic referral program in which you get 50 dollars off your contract for every friend you refer and your friend gets 25 dollars off. It’s completely unlimited. You could refer 500 people if you wanted to and never have to make a payment.

In order to perpetuate further distribution of the referral program we gave customers the opportunity to make a video after they signed their contract. The video was simple, most of them about 15 seconds long. Basically, the customer would say, “Hi, my name is John and I just leased a plasma screen TV at easyhome in Salina! If you come down and say I sent you, I get 50 dollars and you get 25!”  Once the video was complete, each customer got to spin the “Wheel of Cash” and everyone went home with more money in their pocket than they came in with.

That was it. Then we put all the videos on YouTube and emailed each customer’s individual video to them so that they would have the option of embedding it on a Facebook or Myspace page, or emailing it to friends, family and coworkers.

In this way, we gave the customers an amazing opportunity to save a lot of money through referrals and produced a highly effective and very inexpensive marketing campaign in which we gave the power to the customer. We didn’t have to talk about how amazing the grand opening was or all the great deals that were available. The customers willingly took care of that.

The hard work paid off when we found out that the Salina, KS store was the fourth largest easyhome opening in the US. Below is a short highlight video of the weekend but be sure to visit the easyhome Salina Youtube channel to see videos from the entire event.

Easyhome Salina: Grand Opening from Jessica Forbes on Vimeo.