User acquisition campaigns for 87,821 new customers in one month.
As an agency that deals primarily with software and tech products, it’s not every day that we get to create ads cast with dilruba-playing EDM artists and cherry-haired rocker hairdressers.
That’s why our whole team was beyond thrilled to land an ad campaign for Lenovo, one of our favorite clients to date. We were even more thrilled when the campaign performed exceptionally well.
Website ad campaign
lower than industry avg for display ads
lower than industry avg for search ads
A new offering from a high profile brand.
We created an ad campaign to support Lenovo’s new service, the Lenovo App Explorer (LAE). LAE launched last August and allows users to pick apps they want to use on their computer from a carefully curated list. Now, when a user opens their new Lenovo product, they only find the bare essentials and can customize their machine to fit their needs in a simple and secure way.
We quickly went to work, thinking through how to create compelling search and display ads to support this new service.
How do you visually market an app-recommending tool without referencing UI screens?
Selling software made by a hardware company
The main challenge for this project was creating ads for a company known more for its hardware than its software. How do you visually market an app-recommending tool without referencing UI screens? That would have been the easy solution, but we needed to stay within Lenovo’s brand guidelines. Lenovo conveys vibrant energy and innovation to match their attitude—never stand still—the opposite of boring UI screens.
We had to approach the display ad creation process from a very real perspective. We needed the images to convey the Lenovo brand and speak to its audience.
Only the apps you love
Of the three concepts presented, Lenovo enthusiastically selected our second concept—Only the apps you love. This concept focused on the outcome of easy customization—a computer that is just how you want it to be. After all, your computer is an extension of you. Each ad features someone being entirely authentic and true to their own unique style to mirror how LAE allows for this level of customization.
Our agency always favors hand drawn sketches over composite stock for concept mockups because they often communicate ideas more effectively. They expose the ‘bones’ of the idea rather than distracting with full color images that aren’t final.
If you’d been in the office while creating mockups you may have been surprised to see our content director hunched over a light table with a pen in hand—probably stolen from the poor designer who was at a video shoot for another client. Don’t worry though, he got it back eventually...
Hand-picked, hand-staged, purposeful.
With approved concepts in hand, we went back to our creative team to decide how to bring them to life. We always opt for authentic, custom images for our clients because consumers can always smell a stock image from a mile away. For Lenovo, individual expression is central to their brand, so custom photography was even more critical to a successful ad campaign—especially since the ad campaign concept was to capture the concept of customization.
We worked closely with Kelsey Goodwin from KGOODPHOTO for the display ad photoshoots. Each cast member, Eriko, Manj and Ebonnie, are lively, unexpected and bold leaders in their fields—not models. We insisted on this detail. The challenge for this photoshoot was to capture their vibrant energy and progressive mindsets to sell the product while staying in line with Lenovo’s brand guidelines.
Eriko is our cherry-haired rocker hairdresser. While cutting sleek new hairstyles for various clients, she dabbles as a hardcore rock drummer and singer songwriter on the side. The skull and scissor crossbones on the computer represent how, as a hairdresser, the Lenovo machine has been customized for her unique progressive mindset. This is how the image sells the product—it shows LAE can be customized just for you.
Manj is known in Victoria for his reactive lighting designs and unique Indian music compositions on the dilruba—his favorite instrument. The Lenovo brand speaks to unexpected technology that allows people to progress in interesting ways. Manj’s reactive lights in the background and the corresponding image on his computer speak to moving forward in this creative way—also reflecting the way Manj has customized his computer to become an extension of himself. This sells LAE.
Our last ad cast member, Ebonnie, is a talented taxidermy artist and dance performer with a progressive mindset. She’s not afraid to do the unconventional and forge ahead. The spray paint captured in the photo allowed us to align Ebonnie’s vibrant energy with the Lenovo’s attitude of never standing still in an interesting way. Again, this ad sells the product by conveying the power of individual customization to match her unique personality and style.
In January 2017, our team delivered the following campaign results to the product team down at Lenovo HQ in North Carolina. They were elated.
Here's how the campaign performed
customers in four months with only 10% of available impressions tapped
(0.4% industry avg)
(0.4% industry avg)
conversion (1.04% industry avg)
conversion (2.55% industry avg)
lower than industry average
lower than industry average
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
Always be optimizing.
The heavy lifting was done, but we didn’t stop there. Any successful ad campaign is constantly reviewed and optimized over time to ensure maximum performance. Our dedicated media buyers and copywriters regularly monitored the campaign to improve results.
As for those ideas that didn't make it past the concepting stage, those boneyard mockups can be found proudly displayed on our kitchen fridge—a constant reminder to remain energized about generating unique ideas for our clients.
“I appreciate the high-quality work that you’ve done, and I will not hesitate to find ways to work with you in the future.”
- Neil Lancia, Integrated Digital Marketing Manager, Lenovo