Campaign Spotlight: OnePlus #OperationBlackBox

Campaign Spotlight: An Analysis of the OnePlus #OperationBlackBox Campaign

Do you ever see a marketing campaign that blows your mind and wish you’d thought of it yourself? This was certainly the case for me when I saw this OnePlus marketing campaign #OperationBlackBox.

As a OnePlus owner, I even took part myself (although sadly didn’t win ☹️) I still admire the planning and execution that went into this campaign. So without further ado, let’s get into what made it so fun, intuitive and I’d hazard a guess to say…successful!

The Who

OnePlus are a global technology company primarily creating and selling android smartphones but have recently moved into other technology verticals like wearable tech and accessories. Their smartphones are known for being elegantly and minimally designed, packed with amazing features and competitively priced compared to their Apple and Samsung counterparts.

The What

Campaign Spotlight: #OperationBlackBox by OnePlus

For four weeks up to and including Black Friday, OnePlus ran a marketing campaign via their website and Instagram channels which they dubbed #OperationBlackBox. Each week, their followers could win a range of OnePlus prizes including their latest smartphones and accessories.

All they had to do was find one of 4 boxes cleverly hidden around Europe.

Each week, OnePlus would publish a post on Instagram, announcing that they’d hidden a clue to that week’s box within their post and on their Black Friday landing page on their website.

This took the form of longitude and latitude coordinates which users would then have to put together. (I went old school and used a pen and paper to mark down the one on the Instagram post whilst enlarging it to see better).

These then needed to be put into Google Maps in order to find the secret location where the box had been hidden.

If you had the right coordinates, you could go onto the photos tab and you would find OnePlus’ iconic black box bearing their slogan ‘Never Settle’ in front of a famous European landmark.

You were then required to screenshot the location/Black Box and share to your Instagram Stories with the hashtag as well as engage with the original post by OnePlus by liking the post, following them and tagging your friends in the comments.

The winner would then be announced on Fridays – which allowed anticipation to build throughout the week (especially if like me you’d entered near the beginning of the week close to the post announcement!)

Each week would bring a fresh opportunity to win some OnePlus goodies, be it their smartphones and/or their accessories.

OnePlus kept everyone engaged by posting stories asking if people had cracked the code yet and upped the stakes each week, successfully keeping up the momentum and keeping people engaging with the brand.

OnePlus #OperationBlackBox Marketing Campaign using Google Maps

Campaign Takeaways

It’s clear that #OperationBlackBox was a well-thought out and executed campaign designed to increase engagement and raise awareness ahead of Black Friday.

It was highly interactive

Coordinates hidden in image for the OnePlus Marketing Campaign #OperationBlackBox
Coordinates hidden within an image for the OnePlus Marketing Campaign #OperationBlackBox

Instead of simply advertising their upcoming deals or asking for opt-in data ahead of Black Friday, they ran a highly interactive giveaway content in the style of a digital scavenger hunt. This is called reciprocity- a concept talked about in this episode of Nudge that I highly recommend.

It created a curiosity gap

This created intrigue around the campaign, firstly from OnePlus followers who were eager to find the secret location and have a chance to win. And secondly from the followers of all of OnePlus’ followers who had shared the campaign to their story or had tagged them in the original OnePlus post. This is known as the curiosity gap and can be extremely effective as a marketing hook.

It drove traffic to the website

Hiding one half of the coordinates on the website was a genius move for this OnePlus marketing campaign because it drove their followers and potential customers straight to their Black Friday landing page, offering another customer touchpoint. This page contained product information and offers so people were reminded of their product range.

It captured and retained attention over a period of time

OnePlus #OperationGoldenBox by Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben
For the last week of the campaign, OnePlus hid a gold box and changed the hashtag for the campaign to #OperationGoldenBox.

Spreading the campaign over a month allowed it to gain momentum, capture attention and retain it. In the last week the stakes were risen – where a gold box was hidden, with the prize being a lifetime supply of OnePlus’ flagship smartphones.

Overall, it was a fantastic campaign to watch unfold – I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, do leave me a comment below and also let me know if this is something you’d like to be to do again for any future impressive marketing campaigns I see!

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