Tuesday, May 22

Shipping Nuts: NutsOnline For Jericho

After most New Jersey businesses had long locked their doors and headed home yesterday, NutsOnline was busy filling orders and fielding e-mail questions from social and mainstream media at midnight. Its total volume shipped was up 15 percent in three days.

Sudden surges in orders, especially around holidays, is nothing new for a third generation nut company founded by “Poppy” Sol, a hard-working 22-year-old with a can-do attitude on the brink of the Great Depression. But today, and for the past several days, nothing is business as usual for Jeffery Braverman and his family-owned business.

“On Friday we noticed a few orders coming in that looked kind of weird,” said Braverman, about the sudden run on nuts for CBS. “But then we Googled around and caught wind of some “NUTS” campaign and a few blogs had linked us as a place to buy them.”

If you are unfamiliar with the “NUTS” campaign, it is one of several grassroots efforts by the fans of the recently cancelled CBS series “Jericho.” Although Braverman was not a fan of show, he was curious about what seemed to be a growing movement across America. So he posted a small entry on his company’s blog and thousands of fans quickly demonstrated their appreciation.

“Then, the fans said they were looking for some kind of discount,” said Braverman. “So we decided to come up with a mechanism for Jericho fans to pool orders and get the most bang for their buck.”

Since responding to Jericho fans as part of the company’s long-term commitment to enthusiastic customer service (the polar opposite of how fans say they view CBS), large pooled orders being shipped to CBS have doubled and doubled again. Some customers place specific one-pound orders, but many are opting for an inventive $5 contribution.

Braverman also added a dedicated Jericho page and provides fans regular updates and a total accounting of all orders shipped to CBS.

What started as 1,000 pounds of nuts per day has steadily increased to 2,000 pounds. Today, Braverman anticipates that total might double. Given NutsOnline isn’t the only shop shipping nuts to CBS, it’s anybody’s guess how many nuts just might be stacking up in the CBS mailroom.

“We weren’t fans (of Jericho), but we are now!!!” adds Braverman enthusiastically, saying that he intends to start watching it as soon as he has a chance. “My cousin just watched a show online and he says it is great!”

Like Braverman, our team has been amazed how handfuls of fans quickly put together the largest show protest in television history. These fans are loyal, smart, self-funded, and increasingly organized. In addition to drawing from the 8 million strong Jericho fan base, they are securing fans from other shows, appealing to how those fans might feel if Heroes, Lost, or similar shows were let go like Jericho.

Within days, they’ve demonstrated better media savvy than most working public relations professionals, capturing write-ups in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, MediaWeek, and a growing number of mainstream media outlets dazzled by their commitment to save the show (not to mention the novelty of the NUTS campaign and other ideas). They’ve even raised eyebrows among some political consultants with their ability to pull together a highly motivated campaign team and employ social media better than many presidential candidates.

They’ve exhibited tremendous show loyalty, investing money that may have gone to former advertisers had the show not been cancelled. And, they are quickly learning how to organize everything from in-person protests to pricing full-page advertisements in Variety Magazine and USA Today. They’ve even encouraged some of the show’s stars to add comments on the CBS Jericho message boards — first Michael Gaston (who plays Mayor Gray) and then Brad Beyer (who plays Stanely Richmond).

In sum, there are dozens of lessons to be learned from this living case study: from the power of customer service as exhibited by NutsOnline (give customers what they want with nothing more than the hope NutsOnline will be remembered) to how social media might make an impact in an all-digital media age.

The bottom line: Jericho fans might be sending nuts to CBS, but they are hardly nuts themselves. For dozens of links to various spontaneously generated fan sites, check out our other Jericho posts here and check the tally the online petition created to save the show.

Digg!

17 comments:

Rich on 5/22/07, 12:11 PM said...

Famous Words From Kenneth Mitchell:

"Hello Jericho Fans...

I thought Eric being tortured by New Bern was difficult but having our show come to a close has been quite challenging emotionally. Working with CBS on Jericho has certainly been one of my favorite professional experiences. It was an absolute treat to go to work everyday and be apart of the Jericho family which extends out to you - the 9 million+ devoted fans that religiously tune in every week via a multitude of media outlets.

I really appreciate all your dedication and interest throughout the season. Your passion and enthusiasm over the last week has especially been overwhelming and touching. It's been a difficult time for the cast and crew but your response has warmed our souls.

I'm thrilled to witness that the themes of our show have resonated with you. Your recent rally has brought new meaning to the episodes "Why We Fight" and "Coalition of the Willing". I'm surprised Planters Peanuts hasn't called to do a cross promotion.

Though Eric morns the loss of his father he must be strong and soldier on with his brother in arms.

Thanks again for all the support." — Kenneth Mitchell

Rich on 5/22/07, 3:46 PM said...

Famous Counts:

NutsOnline nears 6,000 pounds of nuts.
Online Petition breaks 68,000.
CBS Jericho Save Jericho discussions hit 1,100.
Jericho Rally Points 'Fight' posts top 2,600.

gizelda196 on 5/22/07, 4:14 PM said...

NUTS to CBS

nutsonline rocks!

dwcarless on 5/22/07, 4:18 PM said...

This is the best and most comprehensive observation and analysis that I have seen since Jericho was canceled and the fans began our protest.

Thank you Rich for your coverage, and your willingness to dig deep for all of the happenings going on.

You have gained a new permanent fan and reader to your site :)

Scott on 5/22/07, 4:59 PM said...

Excellent work and excellent article. This is truly amazing, something I thought I'd never find myself involved with, but here I am nonetheless. I'm certainly a minor player in all of this, and can't thank the major players enough, but I try to do "several" things to push the campaign along every day. I will continue to do so until Jericho is back by popular demand.

Thanks for a great article, and special thanks to Nuts Online...may you never be invaded by gangs of rogue squirrels...

Scott

erika on 5/22/07, 5:35 PM said...

Thank you so much for your posts on our 'little' show, Jericho. I find your commentary interesting and amusing, and I and many others appreciate you helping getting the word out to the troops!

Janina on 5/22/07, 6:00 PM said...

Best written article about the Save Jericho campaign. Other articles seemed to have disdain but you covered all aspects with rays of hope

Rich on 5/22/07, 8:12 PM said...

Thank you all very much. We appreciate your kind words. We've really been taken by the fans.

Tomorrow, we're going to share an image we put together. If you want a sneak peak, visit our Remember Jericho shirts (take a look at the back of the shirts on the top row). Hope you like them! Any proceeds to our company will be forwarded to the Nuts Campaign.

nightbird on 5/22/07, 8:17 PM said...

When this began nobody expected anything like this incredable phenomena. It is especially meaningful that we have had no particular leader to coordinate, but the combined ideas, skills, and cooperating of many many individuals. In this age of a broken socieity we have proven that that is not the only way we can go.

This is not for Jericho alone. Part of the passion is to make a stand against the dumming down of America and the encouragement of sheep. We are insisting that it is time for a change of course.

We get our show back, we won. We don't get our show back we've still won because we've proven that there is the will and energy to make this a better place and carry out the effort.

Rich on 5/22/07, 9:20 PM said...

I could not agree more nightbird. If Jericho fans like the image, they can also use it for non-commercial purposes. We just had fun making something.

As someone who is tracking and reporting on the campaign and the social media implications, we cannot accept funds. I can't stress that enough, which is why we will donate any Jericho T-shirt funds to the campaign or, if it should end, to an appropriate non-profit. Good luck!

Orhan Kahn on 5/23/07, 5:10 AM said...

Well, I for one am impressed.

Rich on 5/23/07, 11:33 AM said...

Famous Numbers:

The nut count now stands at 9,534 pounds (from a single store).

To put this into perspective, that's about the same size as an average Asian elephant.

Rich on 5/23/07, 4:12 PM said...

Famous Donations:

According to a fan on the CBS Jericho message boards, CBS Entertainment has made arrangments for the "bulk of the boxes to be picked up by Staten Island Project Home Front, an organization that focuses on fundraising and supporting military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan."

We've also made contact with the Bronx Zoo to see if they'd like some of these, as well as local homeless shelters and food banks."

sheryl_b33 on 5/24/07, 4:09 AM said...

Jericho is a interesting and entertaining program that deserves a full second season. We do not want a hurried or rushed ending to allow CBS to dot the i and cross the t's. We investeded 22 hours of our lives enjoying the Jericho story and it needs to unfold gradually over the fall season. My family also says "NUTS to CBS!" Suddenly, My family's time has become way too valuable to watch ANYTHING on CBS!

BoonDoggie on 5/24/07, 8:46 AM said...

Hi Rich -

I share your fascination with this movement. This viral campaign would be an award winner if a marketing department had pulled it off.

I take your point on CBS having made a bad decision based upon not understanding the Nielson ratings vs New Media, but from CBS's point of view they're just operating within their framework. Their advertisers pay them for Nielson ratings -- the model of web viewing just hasn't caught up with an adequate revenue stream. They live in an Old Media world, and part of the fascination is watching Old Media and New Media collide.

BTW, I linked to your article in my post today. Thanks for the clear thinking.

Rich on 5/24/07, 11:53 AM said...

Hey BoonDoogie. Yes, I read your piece and it's an interesting addition for sure.

You are absolutely right that CBS seems to be stuck in old media measures, which is what makes it so fascinating. Still, Jericho did have 8 million viewers, which is more than many shows on the air. Eight million is only 2 million away from breaking into the top 20 shows on television.

But what really perplexes in all of this, as the nut count is about to top 15,000 pounds, is why CBS has botched so many opportunities since this began. Even accepting and then donating the nuts was only about 50 percent as effective as it could have been. Ho hum. Maybe it's not just the show selection that's broken.

Rich on 5/24/07, 6:56 PM said...

Famous Measures:

17,000 pounds ...

... is the same size as your average howitzer.
... the exact weight of the largest ball of twine.
... the "101 Dalmatians" building at Disney.
... the size of a Gray Whale raised at Seaworld.
... the most nuts ever earned by a CBS executive!

Congrats CBS! You might make Guinness yet!

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