CASE STUDY: Base One's viral campaign for Rackspace

Rackspace provides managed hosting and managed email solutions. Its services include web hosting, data warehousing, hosting online applications and managed email hosting. The company has built its reputation around a commitment to customer support, which it calls 'Fanatical support'. The firm assigns substantial resources to creating and maintaining awareness of what amounts to a key differentiator over its competitors.

Gets better with age
The message was simple: once a Rackspace customer, defection is unlikely as 'Fanatical support' goes on forever. Humour and involvement bring messages alive so Rackspace felt that an interactive viral campaign involving humour would reach the widest audience possible and to direct people to the Rackspace website. It would be entertaining, memorable and would encourage the users to involve friends and business associates.

The concept created was the 'Old timer's machine' viral, an online interactive programme which showed people what they would look like in 20 years time when they were still Rackspace customers of course. Users simply uploaded an image of themselves, a colleague, or searched Google for a famous or infamous stand in. Once the image had uploaded the user, as makeover artist, can manipulate it using a series of simple tools to add grey hair, baldness, wrinkles and various outrageous accessories to mimic the effect of age.