Update: We have thrown up a brandless version of the app at kaepernickadgenerator.com
A couple of folks over on our /r/SideProject thread brought up the possibility of this happening, and I shrugged it off at the time, but lo and behold here we are.
This project was a little experiment in viral trends for us though. I wanted to see how much traffic we could generate by cashing in on a trend at just the right time.
Politics aside, Colin Kaepernick and Nike produced one of this years most talked about moments. The Nike ad generated over 6 million tweets in just 2 days.
NikeAdGenerator.com had over 130k views over the course of 5 days. We did no advertising of course, but were lucky enough to be the #3 Product of the Day on ProductHunt which contributed to a good portion of the traffic.
However, we got most of our referred traffic from Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube along with the bulk actually being Google searches.
Our best day was Saturday, with 33k page views. We burned through the free plan on Cloudinary our first night however with over 30,000 image transformation which meant upgrading to the $99/month plan.
On a day to day basis, we were generating 120+ images per hour and as of right now we just blew past the upgraded $99/month plan on Cloudinary.
So how did this translate to interest in SoFriendly?
We are a small design agency in Orlando, Fl. We NEVER get 500 views to the website per day. There’s just no reason for that kind of traffic to be coming to us. However, 80% of our traffic over the last week came from NikeAdGenerator.com resulting in a 1,600% increase in traffic. That’s more than I expected to be honest.
There was a huge spike in views of our portfolio which resulted in a few leads coming in via the contact form on the site.
Syrup for Startups, our discounts site for startups, saw roughly a 10% increase in traffic over the last 7 days.
VRooms, our VR UI/UX prototyping tool gained a few new subscribers as well as a couple users here and there. Nothing major there which was a bit disappointing.
So what did we learn, and what will we do in the future?
Well, we learned about how Cloudinary works. It’s awesome. Seriously, we started the project out doing all the image transformations ourselves using ImageMagick. It was time consuming and there was a lot of tweaking to be done. When we hit a wall, I just decided to bring Cloudinary in and we got the grayscale and image overlay working in under 10 minutes. From there, we added the text overlays over the next few days as we learned more about how to use custom fonts and x y translations using their API.
All that to say, the next time a viral “meme” like this pops up, we will be ready! We’ve built something that can be re-used and rebranded and in the process learned a lot. It was fun to be honest.
When it comes to launching pages like this, I think in retrospect, I would add some internal benefit to us. Facebook tracking pixel, email sign up, Google Ads, something. As is, I’ve spent at minimum $99 for the month of Cloudinary plus mine and my developers’ time. It’d be nice to recoup some of that cost and hopefully the leads that came to our site as a result of this will do that.
If you, your business, or anyone you know needs design or development services please hit us up. We love working with startups of all sizes as well as entrepreneurs with innovative ideas we can help bring to life. Conversely, if you’d like to just build something fun like NikeAdGenerator.com feel free to ping us anytime!