VeriSign's "Cart Whisperer" Rolls Into the MarketingSherpa Viral Marketing Hall of Fame
CHICAGO, IL (Marketwire) - Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2008 — A creative marketing campaign that started with a reality TV-inspired video of a man who can "talk" to abandoned shopping carts has rolled into the MarketingSherpa Viral Marketing Hall of Fame for 2008. Called "The Cart Whisperer," the series of viral videos has triggered an avalanche of online attention, including more than 4 million views on YouTube and vast blog coverage.
Launched in February, the campaign stars Liberty Fillmore, a fictional character whose unusual communication skills have earned him the nickname "The Cart Whisperer." Fillmore's online presence includes a Web site (www.nomoreabandoncarts.com), which features videos, photos and poems depicting his life as a rescuer of abandoned shopping carts. Fillmore also has popular profiles on Facebook and MySpace. His mission is to teach others that shopping cart abandonment is preventable.
The brainchild of VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, and creative giant McCann Erickson, the campaign was hailed by bloggers and media as a smash success within days of its launch. The team launched the campaign by seeding the video on YouTube and in media player applications and widgets on Facebook pages and various blogs. A teaser video banner also ran on sites to drive VeriSign's core target audience to the campaign.
The results have been impressive: The videos have been viewed over 4 million times on YouTube alone, and Fillmore's site has seen over 90,000 unique visitors, each spending an average of more than 4 minutes on the site. Users have even submitted 61 photos to date.
"Viral marketing may be easier today with the help of social media, but that only made competition for MarketingSherpa's 2008 Viral Marketing Hall of Fame that much harder," said Jeanne Hopkins, chief marketing officer at MarketingSherpa, a research firm that specializes in tracking what works in all aspects of marketing (and what does not). "VeriSign's Liberty Fillmore character and its Cart Whisperer campaign truly belongs among the cream of the crop from the scores of entries evaluated this year by Sherpa staff."
Working with McCann Erickson in Salt Lake City, VeriSign aimed the campaign at highlighting the pain companies experience as they try to understand why consumers fill online shopping carts, only to abandon them before buying. Online retailers are clamoring to find ways to turn shoppers into buyers as consumers, already tightening their belts in the face of an uncertain economy, express growing concern over the security of Web transactions. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenues lost to abandoned carts.
VeriSign provides a range of security and identity protection solutions that help retailers establish and maintain trust with consumers who shop online. These include VeriSign® Extended Validation Secure Sockets Layer (EV SSL) certificates, which give millions of online consumers using high security browsers an immediately recognizable signal that they have arrived at a Web site whose identity has been certified by VeriSign. This improved trust has been demonstrated through testing to increase the average site visitor's likelihood of completing a transaction on the site, a very important metric to most online businesses.
"This campaign was designed to create a powerful visual metaphor for something that most people are familiar with, but think very little about — an abandoned shopping cart — and associate it with a company that billions of Internet users and businesses rely on every day," said Marianna Peyzner, SSL product marketing manager at VeriSign. "By all accounts, the Cart Whisperer is a home run. The popularity of this character and his adventures have made it possible to call attention to this phenomenon among decision makers for online businesses and let them know that they have alternatives to improve the situation. Viral success is fleeting — and enormously difficult to achieve on purpose — and that makes VeriSign's entry into the MarketingSherpa Viral Marketing Hall of Fame such a terrific honor."
Liberty Fillmore will be making a special appearance at the Internet Retailer conference in Chicago on Tuesday, June 10, at the VeriSign booth, #943 of the Exhibit Hall at IRCE '08.
For details on VeriSign's Hall of Fame entry, visit http://www.marketingsherpa.com/viralawards2008/7.html.
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisign.com.
Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including VeriSign EV SSL solutions; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.
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