Girl Scout Cookies Go Viral


girl-scout-cookiesGirl Scout cookies sales dipped about 1 percent last year. (I don’t know who these people with financial and dietary willpower are, but they’re certainly not me.)

Since the cookies are the keystone of the organization’s fundraising–bringing in $700 million a year–the Girl Scouts will not let Thin Mints go gently into that dark night. They’re pulling out all the stops to make record sells this year, proving that everyone needs cookies, even (or especially) when the economy, to put it succinctly, blows.

The Girl Scouts have already launched a new flavor and an online cookie finder, and now they’re turning to YouTube. Their video, “What Can a Cookie Do?”, has already logged more than 26,000 views. In case you haven’t seen it yet, it will give you a good excuse to throw three (or four, or five) extra boxes of Thin Mints in your freezer.

The use of social media mirrors a general change in the Girl Scouts’ business strategy beginning in 2004. Since the organization originally relied on the volunteer involvement of mothers–most of whom stayed at home prior to WWII–they’ve had to reconsider how best to cater to working parents in recent years. Since 2004, the Girl Scouts have changed their recruitment efforts to include things like online orientations and opportunities for flexible involvement.

YouTube is one more way of reaching as many people as possible with as little spending as possible.  Plus, according to the Girl Scouts’ chief marketing officer, “There’s a greater engagement when a video is passed onto you, because it has the implicit endorsement of the person who passes it on.”

Think of it as the 2010 equivalent of going door-to-door.

Image: Eat Our Brains