Netregistry nurses at CeBIT – naughty or nice?

Written on 13 May, 2009 by Jonathan Crossfield
Categories EventsTags event

The Netregistry stand at CeBIT this year has been a sensational success, despite some criticism and claims of controversy. If you didn’t attend CeBIT, our stand used a medical theme of doctors and nurses as we offered to find the online cures for whatever symptoms a website may suffer. We populated the stand with doctors, orderlies and nurses to add a bit of humour and stand out from the crowd of business suits.

The concept of the stand was designed to have fun with the brand, show Netregistry as having a sense of humour and to engage with the audience in a way that goes beyond merely handing out a leaflet and hoping someone will call. With the campaign coordinated with lead gathering, scripted follow-up emails, specially designed information packs and the ability to provide concrete advice and sales on site, we felt we offered more to the delegates than most other stands focussed on acquiring business cards or smiling politely as people passed.

The stand worked exceptionally well, keeping the sales team incredibly busy and garnering praise from visitors for our creativity and humour. The health pack each visitor took away was extremely popular and was designed to be read on returning home with a chuckle, rather than added to a stack of paper in the in-tray and forgotten, like most expo handouts.

Amongst a lot of standard tech stands offering servers and CPUs,  it is important to stand out and ensure the brand isn’t forgotten. A huge round of applause must go to Aaron Darc – our copywriter – and Karen Lim-Sam – our Marketing Administrator – for devising and producing such a brillant creative idea with virtually no budget, no time and a lot of ideas.

“Controversy hits CeBIT!”

Sadly, the two nurses did come in for some criticism from a handful of vocal critics on Twitter and elsewhere – prompting stories to be written about the Netregistry Controversy.

Most of the loudest critics weren’t even attending the event. “ I wasn’t at CeBIT, I didn’t see the ‘nurses’ in question. But I didn’t have to…” was one typical example of someone incensed by others tweeting about the nurses and thereby making extreme assumptions about their nature without the context provided by the whole stand. This was inflamed still further by Tech Wired choosing to use a picture of a provocatively sexy nurse to accompany the article on their website (later removed). The image wasn’t of one of our nurses but of a sexed up version depicting exactly the derogatory image we had tried to avoid. Suddenly, the story of  ”Netregistry’s naughty nurses” began to overtake the serious stuff happening at CeBIT and prompted many visitors to the stand to wonder what all the fuss was about on seeing the genuine article. We shouldn’t be surprised – it made a more fun and titillating story for the IT sites to write about. Ironically, our stand and brand gained even more exposure because of the additional publicity.

In the end, you have to make up your own mind whether the Netregistry stand was effective and fun or questionable and controversial. No marketing campaign will ever please everyone. Ultimately, the stand was a great success, with far more praise than criticism and achieved everything Netregistry set out to achieve… and more.

Now we’re talking about next year!