Travel lends itself to user-generated video more than any other activity. When people travel they love taking video, plus the scenery, activities and great food all make for great footage. This is one reason the New Zealand and Australia campervan specialist JUCY values user-generated marketing. The single best advert for attracting potential future renters is to showcase the company's iconic green and purple vans in exotic locations around both countries.
JUCY wanted to use its loyal brand advocates
JUCY has a product that people love. As a result, it has no trouble getting user-submitted images on social media. To incentivise its customers further, it often runs promotions.
However, video submissions were more elusive, despite being ubiquitous among its target demographic of 18–35 year-old travellers. The other challenge JUCY’s marketing department had was expanding its user-generated submissions beyond the typical international traveller and into a new market segment such as the domestic traveller.
What the company needed was a way to unlock the videos taken by customers on their phones as they travelled in JUCY campervans and cars. “We have been looking for a way to easily allow our customers to share their road trip experiences with us," said Ashley Andrew, Brand and Customer Experience Manager at JUCY.
The Southern Hemisphere summer of 2020/2021 was like no other. Both New Zealand and Australia had endured lockdowns in the middle of 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but both countries have brought the virus under control. As such, they were operating largely as usual, despite the volume of international travellers in the run up to the traditional peak period for vacationing, the long hot summer that lasts from December to February Down Under.
The cost for the relative normality that both countries enjoyed, while the rest of the world sadly passed into a second wave of the virus, which closed international borders and, in the case of Australia, closed internal state borders. For JUCY, whose target market is traditionally backpackers from overseas, this posed a unique marketing challenge.
But equally, the hundreds of young Aussies and Kiwis who would normally be holidaying overseas were all stuck at home, looking for adventure. JUCY saw an increase in last minute bookings in the weeks before Christmas and put extra vehicles on the road to meet the demand.
JUCY needed to build an authentic branded video library
The JUCY marketing team wanted to capitalise on the 2020-21 summer bookings to restock its video library. The brand's visual identity had undergone a refresh and some new vehicles were in the fleet. But with all the uncertainty of 2020, no decision was made to launch a user-generated content campaign until early December, usually too short a time frame to set up all the elements required for a successful user-generated contest.
Previously, JUCY had two options when looking to source user-generated content. “We encouraged our customers to share content on their social media channels by tagging @jucyworld and our #JUCYWORLD hashtag. To gain permission to use this content, we would DM [direct message] the customer and ask to use their content. The challenge with this option is that not all customers wanted to share their content on their personal social media account and often people have private accounts so we wouldn’t be able to access the content” explained Miss Andrew.
"The other option that we had was by working with content creators, which was often through a contra collboration where we’d provide a free rental in return for the content captured on their JUCY road trip. However, pre-arranged trips can be costly in terms of the resource needed to find quality creators, agree on a mutually-beneficial arrangements and ensure that on-brand content is delivered” said Miss Andrew
"Both these two options for acquiring UGC often favored imagery and lacked diverse content that is reflective of the wider demographic of our customers and their experiences” says Miss Andrew.
JUCY wanted to capitalise on the rise of engaging videos over images. Most posts shared on Instagram are still images, while videos posted as Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours. "We download videos shared with us, but there is often copy and stickers on it from customers, which makes it less shareable," says Miss Andrew.
"Ideally, we wanted more authentic video footage of our customers having great experiences but in a format that we could also re-purpose and share on various channels"
Brand and Customer Experience Manager, JUCY
JUCY opened video uploads to all
JUCY decided that with limited time (and a limited budget due to the travel disruptions of 2020), they would encourage all their customers to share videos with the chance to win back the cost of their rental. The #JUCYMOMENTS campaign encouraged everyone to share any of their favorite moments whilst out travelling or after their trip. This reversed the traditional method of gifting complementary product to a pre-selected influencer and waiting for set deliverables to come in.
Plus, JUCY customers are given the option of either tagging the hashtag on Instagram as usual or uploading via the Vloggi Uploader tool. "By opening up a new channel for our customers to share videos, we were hoping to unlock more authentic footage from a wider range of customers" said Miss Andrew.
JUCY could gather more authentic videos from a more diverse segment of its audience
The results validated this approach. JUCY pushed the Vloggi upload code via social media, direct email newsletters and posters at their branch locations that contained a unique QR code taking customers straight to the customised upload landing page.
The company received over 50 video clips from customers in January 2021 alone. This was roughly half the number posted on Instagram, but the ones uploaded directly proved to share higher quality content that more authentic.
"We have run UGC campaigns before, but we didn't receive the desirable quality of video and in a format that is easy to re-purpose"
Brand and Customer Experience Manager, JUCY
By widening the funnel, by allowing direct uploads of original video from anyone's phones, this problem has been solved, added Miss Andrew.
“The campaign successfully unlocked more diverse video content as more customers were encouraged to share through the ease of uploading via multiple channels and nobody was shooting to a content brief,” says Miss Andrew.
For Miss Andrew, one video uploaded encapsulated this broader diversity. " I remember a clip coming through of an older man feeding ducks out the back of his campervan kitchen, which would be less likely found on social media. However, we got the opportunity to see this moment that makes for great sharing of the different experiences that happen out on a JUCY adventure.”
The clip was uploaded from Piha Domain Camp, a popular motorhome and campervan site on New Zealand's west coast, some 40km from Auckland. Every clip uploaded via Vloggi contains the filming location, which can either be automatically captured from the phone's metadata, or manually inputted, depending on the contributor preferences.
"Knowing the location of every clip shared also helps build greater insights on where our customers travel to as we can see more than just the aesthetically pleasing scenic spots which are more likely to be shared on social media. Also, we can build more relevant content such as itineraries for our customer’s journeys," says Miss Andrew.
Tourism New Zealand has launched a campaign called "Travelling under the Social Influence" aimed at persuading Kiwis not to always photograph the same locations as others have before and posted on Instagram.
JUCY's library makes branded video easier
The ability for JUCY customers to share their footage all to one place was a key draw card for JUCY. "Before we used Vloggi, we had no easy way for our community to share their video directly with us," said Miss Andrew. Now the company has a live library of authentic video clips directly from customers. Permission to use is assigned to JUCY at time of upload.
Because all video clips are branded from the moment they are uploaded, JUCY now has a library of fully branded video clips. From here making a compilation is as easy as selecting those relevant to a particular theme or location and merging those together. The smart video template then applies the transitions, intro and outro sequence specified by the customer.
"I initially thought Vloggi was a DropBox for video clips, but then I realised there is a lot more value with the ability for customers to upload in their chosen format, and we can download in the best format for our channels."
Brand and Customer Experience Manager, JUCY
The entire marketing tream at JUCY go into the Vloggi Studio automated video creation platform and add tags to videos, making content management easier. They can also select the best ones as favourites, making compilations like listicles straightforward.
For JUCY, this means their entire authentic video library of customer-uploaded clips is at their fingertips, already formatted with their branded video elements like logo, hashtag, colours and fonts.
"Vloggi actually allows us to save on post-production costs as we can edit and add content all within the platform” says Miss Andrew.
Following the success of the #JUCYMOMENTS campaign, JUCY has gone on to use Vloggi for additional campaigns targeting niche demographics, who travel more in the off-peak period. "Influencer content still has an important role in JUCY's content strategy. However, having a subscription to a tool like Vloggi makes it easy for us to run targeted campaigns to get more authentic road trip videos from our customers as well," said Miss Andrew.
The final result: A branded video compilation from the Nelson area
As with all competitions, there must be a winner. In the case of JUCY New Zealand, for the month of January 2021, the marketing team picked a montage made by Laura Fenwick as she travelled across the South Island from Nelson.