Online footware and apparel retailer Zappos.com is partnering with video hosting and sharing platform Magnify.net to launch a “BoxBreak” campaign to engage the retailer’s customers into building a video community around Zappos. BoxBreak will encourage customers to first capture their experience (via video) of opening a Zappos box when it arrives and then upload the video to Zappo’s Magnify.net sponsored channel. On the site, customers can vote for the best video and each month the customer who made most popular video will receive a $100 gift certificate to Zappos.com
Last year, Magnify added social networking features to its video channels, which can integrate video from across the web (YouTube, AOL). Magnify is using these features to create a video platform and community for various businesses, including Zappos, New York Magazine and The Weather Channel.
Boxbreak seems like a decent idea in concept and a good way for a business to engage customers in a web 2.0 video community. Of course, getting customers to go through the process of taping the experience is the hard part, but a substantial gift certificate is a decent incentive, especially when people are looking for ways to save a few bucks in the current economy.
I’m not sure if the social network part of the campaign will really take off. Many people will submit one entry to the Zappos contest and that’s it (you have to open a different Zappos package for each entry). I’m doubtful the Zappos TV site will be able to drive continued traffic from its customer base through the BoxBreak campaign alone.
That being said, Zappos and Magnify have recruited a veritable who’s who of the tech community to be part of the official launch at South by Southwest this Friday, touting Guy Kawasaki, Kevin Rose, and Chris Brogan as all expected to participate in their own individual BoxBreak moment at the festival. Perhaps celebrity takes could be a possible way to drive traffic to the Zappos TV site. I’m already looking forward to seeing those videos.