French Connection, the British clothing retailer, 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.

Sunny Queen Farms, an Australian company that sells eggs, dressed someone up in a giant, smiling egg suit with arms. They then compiled a clip reel of people's reactions to 'Sunny the Egg.' In a nod to the site's raunchier side, the video even shows Sunny covering his eyes at off-camera lewdness. The egg mongers from down under definitely get points for not taking themselves too seriously.

If you're promoting yourself on a site where users are unabashed about flashing some skin, why not respond in kind? We're not talking about going all Larry Flynt, but for April Fools' Day, the UK branch of Dr Pepper got a scantily clad cheerleader, to strut her stuff for the Chatroulette crowd (to the tune of 200,000 video views in under a week). It's a risky association to make with your brand but it's worked for companies like the domain name registrar Go Daddy.

Travelocity entered the Chatroulette fray with their iconic Roaming Gnome. The beloved lawn ornament holds a variety of signs throughout the day with messages such as 'This would be better if we were in Rio.' It's a case of clever targeting because the idea is that folks who spend their time video chatting with strangers could use a break from being cooped up with their computer. Sometimes the company's plaster mascot simply holds his sign, but during work hours, he's voiced by a staffer from their ad agency, McKinney, who chats with users. 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.

You can put your brand manager or even a mascot on Chatroulette but ultimately they're only one man, or egg, or gnome. Sabre, 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.

Published on: Apr 7, 2010