Designing the Weld-On promotion for ESAB Cutting and Welding
// BACKGROUND //
ESAB, who manufactures welding and cutting equipment for use around the world, invests significantly in a diverse marketing strategy that allows the company to engage and communicate with distributors and fabricators. Printed materials, annual trade shows, monthly promotions, and an active digital presence have all been successful ways for ESAB to interact with their customers and end-users—yet when they were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic they had to quickly pivot and relocate their resources, moving entirely to a digital strategy as a way to communicate and reach their audience.
Riveter Design works with ESAB on an on-going basis to develop identities and content for ESAB’s monthly promotions deployed primarily through social media channels.
// AUDIENCE //
Cases of COVID-19 were quickly rising as ESAB and Riveter were planning for April’s promotion—National Welding Month. This promotion has always been about supporting welding students. In past years, the winner of an entry-based contest received a prize package along with a significant equipment gift to the school of their choice. But schools were starting to close and students were shifting to distance learning. With the world on pause, ESAB began developing a plan focusing on making sure students stayed engaged with welding and continued to learn about their craft, even if they were locked out of classrooms and didn’t have equipment at home. When it came time to bring the idea to life, they called Riveter in to develop all the campaign creative.
// APPROACH //
ESAB immediately turned to industry celebrities Bob Moffatt and Ian Johnson, who agreed to host live online classes weekly. The hosts each provided valuable welding training, including discussion, demonstrations, and live Q&A from commenters—and while the hosts did use ESAB equipment and the sessions were available to watch via ESAB’s social channels, the content was not promotional in nature.
The last-minute change in campaign strategy required Riveter to quickly activate on a Friday and—by Monday—develop three potential campaign names and identities while standing by ready to execute a social media campaign each week in April.
“Weld-On” was used to represent that when the going gets tough, the tough get welding. We didn’t want to let the downtown slow welding students down, instead empowering them to keep calm and (weld) on.
Visually the concept juxtaposed the rallying cry to “Weld-On” with close-up shots of human, non-welding imagery —an eye (looking at the computer screen), hands on a computer keyboard, things the student welder would need to participate. The logo also incorporated ESAB’s branding. We pulled in some red and orange colors new to the ESAB palette to ensure that the content was arresting amidst a sea of pandemic-related posts.
Communications Strategy and Social Content
Riveter developed weekly social content for the five-week digital campaign that was deployed via Facebook posts and stories and Instagram posts and stories. Each week viewers voted for topics that they hoped would be covered during the live training, and Riveter would—typically in less than 24 hours—develop social content based on the winning subject. We delivered content in an easy-to-use format that allowed them to easily post accompanying captions while having a direct link to the imagery.
In addition to the social campaign, Riveter delivered a suite of website banners that ESAB used to promote the campaign on their North American website, and camera cards that ESAB used for promotional videos.
// RESULTS //
In first six weeks of the campaign, ESAB experienced the following:
1.3M video views
1.9M person reach
52k engaged users
4k new leads generated
over 3.5M views
of Weld-On video content
The campaign, which was originally scheduled for April alone, has achieved such success that it immediately turned this into an ongoing part of ESAB’s overall content strategy. Weld-On content will continue to be created and shared globally, indefinitely.