9 Top Chatroulette Marketing Examples

by Jason Keath on Sep 01, 2010

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What is On Your Webcam?Chatroulette is your friendly video gateway to the underbelly of the internet. Nudity, narcissism, and marketing. What’s not to like? For the uninitiated, Chatroulette.com is a video chat service that matches your video with a complete stranger. When the site got global attention back in March they became one of the most visited sites on the web overnight.

Beyond the 90% male audience and common flashing, there are some very interesting marketing experiments taking place on this wild west of a social platform. Wow, never thought I would write that sentence. Moving forward.

With all the nudity and men quickly clicking past anything that is not a pretty girl, we wonder how much depravity and rejection these marketers had to sort through to create the fun videos below. The site still has major traffic though and as a PR splash alone most of these efforts were likely worth the low cost it took to dabble on this new and untested platform.

1. Ben Folds Five Live Concert Chat

Chat Roulette Ben Folds

In response to another Youtube viral hit, where someone known simply as Merton serenaded random strangers on Chatroulette, the band Ben Folds Five (@benfolds),who many thought was the real character behind the Merton videos, decided to pay tribute to the same style of performance from one of their live concerts in Charlotte, NC. They randomly sang songs to and about strangers they encountered on Chat Roulette, involving their crowd of over 2,000 fans, and compiled the best parts into a Youtube video (see below). What a fun way to promote the band, right?

2. Last Exorcism Possessed Chat

Chat Roulette The Last Exorcism

As far as the number of eyeballs reached, the Last Exorcism looks to be the most successful marketing effort that has chanced the Chatroulette ecosystem. Borrowing some pretty terrifying computer aided imagery inspired by the new horror film, Chatroulette users thought they were chatting with an attractive young woman who was unbuttoning her shirt. Their reactions when she looked up, her eyes rolled back into her head and began to bleed, and she lunged toward them screaming? Well it was not a boyish chuckle for the most part. As of this blog post, the official highlight reel of reactions (below) has 2.5 million views and counting.

3. Dr Pepper Cheerleader

Chat Roulette Dr Pepper

The UK arm of this class soft drink decided to have a little fun with Chatroulette users by offering them an April Fools  Cheerleader campaign. Unsuspecting users were tricked by a beautiful young blond dressed up as a cheerleader into dancing to and acting like a puppy dog. When they thought they might see more of their gracious host, her much less attractive stand in replaces her and they learn it was a prank by Dr. Pepper. Most of them seemed to have taken it pretty well. We will never know how many reacted poorly I imagine. The resulting highlight reel (below) got a fair amount of views throughout the web, including hitting the Digg front page and 200,000 video views in under a week.

4. Harley Davidson Gone Riding Sign

Chat Roulette Harley Davidson

Sassenbach Advertising, a German PR firm, tried this simple campaign on Chatroulette and put together a nice ad for themselves featuring the results (below), namely 170,000+ “contacts” a week. All they did was print out a simple and clever Harley Davidson sign that said “Sorry, I’m on the road” and let the heavily male demographic take it all in, one smile at a time according to them. The cost of this campaign is so little, it really cannot fail as an investment. And I can imagine it as a pretty nice oasis in the chaotic world that Chatroulette browsing.

5. Travelocity Gnome Chilling

Chat Roulette Travelocity

Travelocity simply used Chatroulette as another outlet for their increasingly social Roaming Gnome. They simply gave him signs to hold for other viewers to see. Each sign was typically written in black marker on a white card sharing things like “This would be better if we were in Rio” or “Awesome things: Tahoe this weekend and traveling instead of chatting” both followed with Travelocity.com. The cards share where the gnome is in a given day, where he thinks you should be, and occasionally a voice chimed in to talk as the gnome. The voice and the campaign was run out of McKinney, who invented the gnome in 2003.

“By numbers, this was the most successful of the campaigns, garnering 16 million press impressions, thousands of retweets, and 100,000 interactions on Chatroulette itself.” via ClickZ.com

6. French Connection Dating Dare

Chat Roulette French Connection

“The British clothing retailer (also known as FCUK) offered vouchers for its merchandise worth about $375 for any user who can prove that they found a date through Chatroulette. Given the site’s androcentric demographics, FCUK both threw down the gauntlet for a serious challenge and targeted a very particular element of their consumer base. The contest got picked up by sites like Perez Hilton, which gets millions of visitors, and it boosted traffic to the company’s blog by 300 percent.” via Inc.

The contest winner pretty much had a girl in Ohio ready to fly to Europe.

7. Sabre Sunglasses

Chat Roulette Sabre Sunglasses

“A Newport Beach, California-based eyewear brand crowdsourced their Chatroulette presence by enticing users to send in their creepiest Sabre-related screenshots, with a no naughty parts clause, to win a pair of shades. While enlisting a grab bag of teenagers as your brand advocates might seem like reputation seppuku, it could be just another way to cut through the noise. In Sabre’s case, however, the company was disappointed to only receive 500 responses compared to thousands they had had for other picture contests.” via Inc.

8. Buzz TV Killer

Chat Roulette Buzz TV

This campaign was a bit dark, to say the least. Buzz TV, a Spain based television station known for being a bit edgy, surprised Chatroulette users with a clip of a masked man killing an unsuspecting girl they thought they were chatting with. The clip is not super high production wise, so we have to imagine not many people were completely fooled. But the shock value was definitely there. If you want to watch the highlight reel they put together on Youtube, then you are just sick, but here it is anyways.

9. FAKE Fancy Feast Ad

Chat Roulette Fancy Feast

Someone decided to test what it would look like to test out what reactions an ad from Fancy Feast would get from the Chatroulette demographic. The catfood company got some positive responses, but most were showered with profanity or confusion. Probably not the right type of brand for this medium. Watch the highlights on Youtube here.

Post Author

As the CEO and founder of Social Fresh, Jason is the lead analyst and consultant for all Social Fresh brand clients. Jason has 15+ years of experience as a marketing leader and focuses on how to help brands be more...