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Case Study: How a Telecommunications Company Enlisted the Quirkiness of an Offbeat Celebrity to Build Brand Awareness

by Kimberly Smith  |  
September 2, 2008

Company: GotVMail Communications, LLC
Contact: Siamak Taghaddos, cofounder, president, and CEO of GotVMail
Location: Needham, MA
Industry: Telecommunications, B2B
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 45

Quick Read:

Gary Busey has a way of generating publicity, whether it's directing his own press interviews or making friends on the red carpet at the Oscars. Typically, however, it's not the kind of publicity most companies want connected to their brands, unless that company is GotVMail Communications.

GotVMail targets entrepreneurs and small businesses with an affordable virtual phone system that provides advanced phone capabilities that give companies the appearance of being larger than they are.

As entrepreneurs themselves, GotVMail's founders have worked to build both a brand and a company culture synonymous with entrepreneurship and fun. So when the company set out this year to raise brand awareness among its target market, the goal included promoting its core values in a way that would amuse its audience and make the company stand out.

What resulted was a viral video campaign starring Gary Busey as himself, with his own Busey-ism spin on such topics as entrepreneurship, time management, business insights, clichés and more. The videos—which were posted on YouTube, social-networking sites, various blogs, and the campaign Web site—were an immediate hit, generating more than 100,000 views in the first week of their release, along with a Busey-sized serving of brand exposure.

"A lot of people who hadn't heard of GotVMail know about us now," said Siamak Taghaddos, GotVMail's cofounder, president, and CEO. "It was successful in building up our brand at one tenth the cost of a TV campaign."


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Kimberly Smith is a staff writer for MarketingProfs. Reach her via

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