There’s something magical about the moment when an ordinary person becomes an overnight sensation, courtesy of social media. This rings true with Candace Payne, a charming stay-at-home mom from Texas, who shattered Facebook Live’s viewing record after a video she recorded laughing hysterically while trying on a Star Wars Chewbacca mask from Kohl’s hit 136 million views in just four days.
It’s easy to see how the world fell in love with Candace. From her infectious laughter to her genuine excitement, Candace made us laugh—in some cases to the point of tears.
As the video rose quickly in popularity, Candace became flooded with interview requests from news outlets around the world, such as the BBC, NPR, Buzzfeed, Good Morning America, and many, many more. The other star of the show—the Chewbacca mask—sold out at Kohl’s, and according to CNBC, also sold out on Wal-Mart, Toys-R-Us, and Amazon.
In response to this amazing and unexpected viral video, Kohl’s has risen to the occasion, offering a good example of how to respond in these moments. Knowing how unwilling Candace was to share her Chewbacca mask, the company “confiscated” enough for the entire family, plus lots of other Star Wars-themed merchandise, $2,500 in gift cards, and 10,000 loyalty program points—just in time for back-to-school shopping. Filmed outside of her house, the video now has more than 30 million views.
The responses to the video are great. Many customers praised Kohl’s for “treating her like family,” and others even suggested hiring Candace for the company’s TV commercials.
In addition to Kohl’s, Hasbro (which makes the Chewbacca mask) announced during Candace’s Good Morning America segment that it was giving Candace and her family a gift card to enjoy other Hasbro toys and games.
Disney has also tweeted its support and covered the video on its “Oh So Disney” blog.
— Disney (@Disney) May 20, 2016
Last (but most certainly not least), the official Star Wars Twitter handle has also been tweeting content related to the video, including one from Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca.
“I’m such a happy chewbacca..” This lady is still making me smile. Lovely video to come out on my birthday 🙂 pic.twitter.com/khUizi6nFf
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 21, 2016
So, what can you learn from this hilarious moment?
Advocates Say It Better
What makes this video so amazing—besides Candace’s fantastic laugh—is how genuine it is. When a customer genuinely loves and recommends something, their enthusiasm shines through. The content that results—whether it’s blog content, social media posts, or in Candace’s case, record-breaking Facebook live videos—is trusted and considered by consumers when making purchase decisions. According to a study by Google, Ogilvy, and TNS, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. As seen by the record sell-out of the Chewbacca mask across multiple retailers, a great piece of content from a brand advocate can drive results.
Seize the Moment
When you’re at the helm of a large company, it’s an amazing moment when a positive mention or user-generated piece of content about your brand goes viral. If we were part of a sports team, we would view this as a game-clinching moment that we train for. Companies need to adopt the same mentality.
Real-time opportunities are where people, processes, and technology come together to hit that proverbial home run. From social listening that catches the conversation spike as it’s taking off to seamless collaboration among stakeholders and a healthy dose of common sense, Kohl’s response to the video hit all the right notes and was rewarded with positive feedback from its customers.
Advocacy Is One Piece of the Larger Picture
Companies often develop unique strategies to target influencers and advocates as they pertain to their overall goals, objectives, and passion points for those target groups. However, today’s reality is that advocacy and influencer programs need to be part of your overall customer experience management strategy.
Successful customer experience management means that you have the ability turn every customer into a lifelong advocate. Deeply knowing who your customers are, what motivates them, and what their passion points are—even if it’s a little “me time” and giggles with the coolest Chewbacca mask ever—make all the difference in a company’s ability to continuously deliver memorable experiences across all customer interactions.
Here’s hoping this isn’t the last we see of the fabulous Candace Payne!
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