An Unexpected Marketing Campaign via Social Media

  • November 16, 2011 8:36 am

Blue Nile is using social media to its advantage by creating a fun and interactive way to promote their engagement rings. “Are You Manly Enough?” No, I’m not questioning you, that is the name of their new marketing campaign.

The campaign is encouraging men to submit a story or a video showing their masculinity and why they deserve to win. The winner receives a free Blue Nile engagement ring and a trip to Manhattan with their significant other to propose at the Nasdaq’s opening bell on Black Friday.

Blue Nile’s ad promoting the sweepstakes has been uploaded on YouTube and Funny or Die’s site. They also used their Facebook page to get the word out to the 116,364 people who “Like” the page and countless others who view it.

When you think about advertisements for jewelry the first thought that comes to mind is probably of a cheesy commercial you saw or a straight forward ad telling you the price. Blue Nile took this “Are You Manly Enough” campaign in a completely different direction by adding humor and encouraging people to actively participate. They understood that using social media for an ad campaign would require a different approach for a few different reasons…

Are you not entertained?

When a company spends money on an ad campaign that will air on television they are paying for a specific amount of time (usually 30 seconds) and to have it aired during a specific time slot. Market research is done to find when the target audience for the product is most likely to be watching and that is how decisions are made on when to air the ad (this is the abbreviated version of the process). The ads air enough times that even if you constantly change the channel during commercials you will see it eventually. Social media marketing campaigns are different because people have the choice of viewing it or not.

That is why Blue Nile’s decision to add humor was a smart one. People who may not have any interest in purchasing an engagement ring will watch the ad purely for the humor. After watching it on YouTube they may find it funny enough to share with friends via Facebook and Twitter. Someone might “ReTweet” it or share it with their friends list then the cycle continues. While watching it for the jokes you are being made aware of who Blue Nile is and the products they offer. People can visit the website and purchase jewelry for gifts or for themselves.

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Michael grew up in a small town in the midwest, but as an adult moved to the city, where he now works at a small tech company and writes about technology at

  • Iamme

    As a result of  Blue Nile’s policy of censoring questions about the provenance of their supposedly conflict-free diamonds, no one in Ireland will be able to view this campaign via Facebook. This time last year Blue Nile took the unprecedented decision to block all Facebook users with an Irish IP address from accessing their page. When Blue Nile “fans” in Ireland questioned how they justify selling diamonds crafted in Israel as conflict free diamonds Blue Nile initially censored and blocked people. But as more and more people wanted to know if any of their diamonds were crafted in Israel where the military stands accused by the UN HRC of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, Blue Nile blocked everyone in Ireland from accessing their a page.
    One has to wonder if the abrupt resignation of the CFO shortly after the CEO and Executive Chair sold large amounts of stock in the company on the same day they imposed the ban on Irish Facebook users was mere coincidence. The sudden resignation of the same CEO a few weeks ago may also be related to Blue Nile’s attempts to hide its links with the Israeli diamond industry and the failure to make any mention of this censorship in returns filed with the SEC last February. Further info about Blue Nile here -  and here -

    • Mike Norris

      Thanks for the info. Worth a read.