MySpace Capitalizes on Election for ROI Stunt

Playing off the national presidential election, MySpace promoted Max Roi, a character created to highlight how the social networking Web site can be leveraged by corporate brands to maximize return on investment.

By Anna Sekula November 4, 2008, 11:49 AM EST

MySpace's Max Roi publicity stunt

Photo: Courtesy of Precision Event Group

MySpace Max Roi Publicity Stunt
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In a bid to capture the attention of busy new-media and interactive-marketing professionals during Ad:Tech week, the annual digital marketing trade show and conference, MySpace took to the New York streets yesterday with a targeted publicity stunt involving 50 actors, megaphones, and a fictitious character named Max Roi. The promotion, which also capitalized on the national presidential election, was designed to draw attention to how the social networking Web site can be used for strategic and cost-effective advertising and marketing efforts.

Positioned in front of various media buying agencies, 25 two-person teams—one male dressed as a stockbroker and another representing Generation Y—shouted “Vote for Max Roi” and handed out flyers printed with the character's Web address. Scattered throughout the city, the 25 locations included the Midtown offices of Publicis and Universal McCann, as well as others including Dentsu Communications in TriBeCa and OMD Digital in the financial district.

With only seven days to pull off the stunt, Angela Courtin, MySpace's senior vice president of marketing, entertainment, and content, brought in Jason Wanderer of Precision Event Group to cast the actors and produce the one-off event. Although MySpace and Wanderer are based in California, the team chose New York for the campaign. ”[In New York] we knew we could get the most bang for our buck,” said Courtin.

The character Max Roi (short for maximum return on investment) was born out of MySpace's desire to remind ad executives that digital media promotions—and more specifically, those on MySpace—have made, and continue to make, a measurable impact on consumers. The profile page for Max Roi contains information and case studies on promoting products, movies, tours, and events through MySpace.

This stunt is part of a larger marketing strategy for the Web-based company, the primary aim of which is about increasing visibility in the advertising community.

“It's about changing the perception of MySpace, moving the needle for our brand and showing how MySpace can grow a brand for one campaign or be used to meet a long-term goal,” Courtin said.

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