Using social content to reposition bowling as relevant and fun


As a pastime perceived to be more ‘classic’ than contemporary, bowling has a bit of an image and interest-level problem, especially with younger audiences. AMF needed to remind people that bowling is good, honest fun for any time, rather than just a nostalgic activity for “every once in a while”. AMF wanted to target young, socially-driven audiences, change their perceptions of bowling and drive them to consider going on a regular basis.


We developed a range of social content to position bowling as fun both then and now.  We undertook a test-and-learn phase to uncover the kind of content that tickles the AMF audience’s funny bone. We then used our findings to build an always-on approach that would put bowling in the same mental space as 2015-style fun for young audiences. Content was light-weight and easily consumed, with large doses of pop-culture and internet humour injected regularly.


Engagement increased within weeks to well above industry standards, with key pieces of content driving ‘social planning’ (the act of tagging friends on brand posts to plan an activity). For Q1 and Q2, Facebook engagement rates averaged between 0.35% and 0.48%. This is well above the industry average of 0.29% and AMF’s 2014 rate of 0.07%. Total audience size for the AMF Facebook page increased by 82%, with an average cost-per-like of just $0.73. 63% of new fans were the target youth audience. 
The Social Newsroom
Current sporting, political and pop-cultural events contemporized and brought a ‘2015 flavour’ to all things bowling.
At the intersection of real-world and social
First person video brought the experience of AMF Bowling Centres to life in social and reminded audiences of the more tangible thrills and spills of hitting the lanes.
Rapid content proto-typing
We used a test and learn methodology to understand exactly how to make bowling content that resonates with young audiences. Our approach to social strategy was rapid, flexible and responsive to industry trends.
Cross-referencing real time results with Facebook’s rich psychographic data gave us a deeper understanding of our audience and just what makes them click ‘like’.