Case Study: Yves Klein Blue Twitter Application

Yves Klein Blue are an indie/rock band who in June were about to release a new album Ragged and Ecstatic. With the release of the new album it was hoped that it would become a Top 40 selling album.


To captalise on the growing success YKB were having with Twitter we decided to leverage one of the recent innovations through Twitter which was a Twitter application which allowed someone to download an mp3 when they tweeted a unique code for, this had been used by TRVS-DJAM weeks earlier.

We proposed that Yves Klein Blue would allow people to download one of their songs and go in the running for VIP tickets to Splendour in the Grass if they tweeted a specific code.

We used Culture Jam who built the original TRVS-DJAM application to build the site/app for us. For launch, we went out to Yves Klein Blue existing social network and communicated the offer.

TRV$DJAM Twitter Promotion Screencast from Culture Jam on Vimeo.

We then went out to a number of influential music tweeters/bloggers and made them aware of the offer.

We were hoping for 1,200 downloads of the song (estimated that of their current social network that 15% would tweet the offer and they would influence one person in their twitter following to do the same).

We ended up falling significantly short of this target with only 432 downloads of the track.

The silver lining was that we were able to double the size of YKB Twitter following in two weeks, they went from followers 487 to 1,017 in three weeks. It took 5 months to get their first 487 followers.

I really think that you learn more from the campaigns that do not match your expectations than the ones that do.

Size of Twitter in Australia
Twitter is really really small in Australia. Twitter has 250,000 active Australian users. That is nothing! That is 3.5% of the size of Facebook. When you are trying to find a niche of fans, it probably would have been better to not make it even harder for ourselves by launching on a niche platform.

Locking in influentials
Locking in relevant influential Tweeters (music+following) prior to
launch is essential

Easier site navigation
We got 1,700 visitors to the site and only 432 followers. The drop between visitors and downloaders indicates that the bulk of users did not have twitter accounts or couldn’t be bothered to follow the steps

Mix of earned and paid media
We can’t rely on publicity to drive traffic to an application, since doing this venture with YKB we realized that it requires a mix of earned and paid media for an idea to kick off in the social media environment.

Comparing the Australian and US audiences

Be cautious when making comparisons between the US and Australia. Travis Barker and DJ-AM at the time had a substantial following, YKB did not.  


James said...

Great post Jules.

Anonymous said...

Aha! I'd been waiting for the results from this one. We've been working with YKB on another project ( and the Twitter campaign component has been dismal - not helped by our target 14-17-year-old target market's Twitter agnosticism :)

Julian Cole said...

Yep, Twitter is definitely an over hyped chamber. I could imagine it would not be big for teens on mass.

Where are you having the most wins with this project? My gut feeling would be Facebook, especially if it is skewed older.

Age said...

Interesting insight into what can be a dangerous assumption about Twitter in Oz. Good stuff, Jules, and kudos for having the balls to write/share a case study that didn't actually meet it's objectives.

AER Head said...

Really interesting article thanks Julian. For music/youth, I'd be interested to know the rationale for avoiding MySpace.

(BTW, YKB are a really good live band, if I'd have heard about this I'd have entered.)

Martin Walsh said...

Thanks for sharing your results and insight Julian.

I think this also clearly outlines why it is important to understand your intended target audience and or influencer behaviour and their behavioural attributes very clearly as well as defining your strategy / objectives for any marketing or social media iniative.

For example Twitter growth is being heavily driven by 25-54 year olds and those most likely to use / visit Twitter are 45-54 and then 25-34 year olds. So if someones target audience is 17 year olds then clearly Twitter may not be appropriate.

The size of the Australian active Twitter users is also important and not important depending upon your strategy and objectives. for example key influencers you identify through a social media benchmark / mapping report might reveal key people who you do want to target and engage with.

Technology and therefore channels should be some of the last decision marketers make in social media but unfrotunately many people are just establishing accounts like Facebook, Twitter & MySpace pages because they feel they have to but without a clear purpose / objective in mind.

I outline social media strategy concepts and frameworkd in my SlideShare deck here - This deck also includes Australian digital research and the Socialtechnographics profile for Australians. Specifically slides 101 and on.

A basic systematic method I use and advocate is:


I use the Forrester SocialTechnographic profile and our own social media benchmark reports to understand the 'social media technology' profile of audiences and can therefore understand what networks, technology, channels make sense depending upon what my objectives, strategy & tactics are.

Having said all this there is absolutely nothing wrong with experimenting! Honda did this just recently and they did it to learn and not for ROI - Honda's social media 'experiment' nets more than 2 million + fans on Facebook

Martin Walsh said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention I have just written a blog post for SPAA (Screen Producers Association Australia) in relation to how a $11k ultra low budget movie in the USA called 'Paranormal Activity' has gone on to take $62m at the US Box Office as at 26 October 2009.

They (Paramount) successfully used social media marketing early on inspiring the conversation with traditional advertising & marketing and then continuing to energise social media with more above the line support.

They have successfully used Twitter as part of their campaign.

More details here -

Julian Cole said...

Hey Martin,

You know for all your models and amazing stats about numbers, you help do one thing. Show the difference between the people who talk the talk and people who walk the walk. Your complete misreading of this environment shows why we should not put our faith in the social media evangelists, who just use flashy numbers to convince clients why you must invest in social media.

Clearly you have not read my blog before, most of the people who comment on this blog also work in digital marketing and have amazing ideas. However they never try to link to their own work unless it is completely relevant. Thanks for the lesson on your model but it is not revolutionary and we have all heard it before!

Martin Walsh said...

Wow Julian,

I am sorry I have offended you that was not my intention.

I have read your blog before and I enjoy reading it. I have also ReTweeted one or two of your posts in the past.

I enjoyed reading your specific case study and all I wanted to do was provide some follow up perspective and context in support of your analysis.

I am not a social media evangelist and if you knew me then you would know I am the last person to go around pushing numbers to convince people to invest in social media!

I am spending a lot of my time doing the opposite and I am spending time just focused on helping people get back to marketing basics but at the same time embrace new concepts where relevant. I have been a Digital Marketing Director / Marketing Director for a long time and my experience speaks for itself. I've done it locally and globally and therefore all I've wanted to share is a perspective which most people don't get to see because of the reasons you outline - people are just doing presentations, sharing numbers, pushing this and that without any real experience or operational / executional insight.

I have nothing to sell, peddle or evangelise. I work with a dozen organisations right now pro bono in the digital marketing space and I choose to put a lot of my work online simply because I see so much bad practice and bad advice in Australia. If people don't appreciate me doing that then I'll happily stop doing it because it's a lot of additional work.

I don't know you personally and can only summise that you have your blog and share what you share because you, like me, are passionate about digital marketing. Nothing more and nothing less.

I am sharing what I know to help people understand the operational and strategic frameworks to do it right - something which agencies and many commentators are not doing. People don't know what they don't know and unless people like me or you share what we know or have learnt then people will either do it wrong or not keep up with consumer behavioural changes which effects marketing.

As far as your last two sentences go I have to disagree as all I see at Social Media Club and many blogs and online sites is stats, stats and more facts and very little insight about how to operationalise digital and social media marketing with traditional marketing in a complimentary way. These are the barriers to success and more often the first things I am being asked about across many organisations.

This is a new experience for me as I've never been rebuked for simply providing a comment on a blog post before - but it is your blog so I respect anything you say.

Anyway, once again I am sorry if I've offended you.

All the best....

Ben Shepherd said...

good honest post, good data and real insight ... good one julian!

Julian Cole said...

Hey Martin, thank you for your response. It is great we both share a passion for this industry.

I may have been a bit strong. The point I was trying to make is that for Social Media to be taken seriously in Australia currently, we need more practical examples. I would love to hear more about your specific experience with real life examples. In talking about specific case studies, we can learn from practical examples. Lets explore this, rather than get into discussions about the theory.

Sara Fitzpatrick Comito said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. My favorite nugget: "I really think that you learn more from the campaigns that do not match your expectations than the ones that do."

Anonymous said...

Jules, MySpace has seen the biggest participation rate in our YKB/Flavoured Milk campaign actually - not surprising considering the age group (under 18s) and the fact that we're targeting music lovers.

Facebook isn't far behind, but the numbers are skewed because they're not all in the target demographic.

It's been a long campaign backed up by considerable radio and other above the line coverage in Qld and we've learnt a lot so I'll publish some results/findings next month when the event is over.

pruerobson said...

Great post Julian. Like you said, we need more and more practical examples so we can learn and grow and help our clients learn and grow. Kudos for presenting a case study that didn't go to plan.

Kate Richardson said...

I knew when I heard someone say this week that Twitter would become like the telephone that something wasup

David Washington said...

Julian, your attack on Martin was pretty OTT - sure he was peddling wares, but he did so in the context of providing content and context in this thread. A little naive perhaps, but didn't deserve that panning.

One fact missing from the post, how did YKB feel about the results?

marek. said...

So I downloaded the song from this campaign and it came up on my shuffle recently and I wondered about the campaign.

This series of case studies is brilliant. I love the transparency. I must be honest, i scrolled down straight to the learnings.

Twitter is still a super niche and targeted channel.
Really, given the amount of digital marketers out there, its real value would be for all those suppliers and publishers who want to sell to us.

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