#55SecondsToLive, An innovative Twitter Campaign [Case Study]

A case study illustrating an innovative campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #55SecondsToLive for the launch of 55DSL from the house of Diesel in India

A case study illustrating an innovative campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #55SecondsToLive for the launch of 55DSL from the house of Diesel in India. #55SecondsToLive was a trending topic across India after only a couple of hours and continued for over the next three days.

“What would you do if you had 55 seconds to live?” This is the question that created all the buzz for the India launch of 55DSL from the house of Diesel. Let us explore.

Why #55SecondsToLive and How?

55DSL, a spin-off of the popular Italian brand Diesel, targets a young demographic with its fresh, provocative attitude and distinct brand identity. When it decided to launch in India, the plan was to reach out to the target group through new media channels. So, the brand along with digital agency, Brandmovers India, conceptualised a Twitter campaign based on the 55DSL brand name and personality for the launch.

Twitter was chosen as the platform for its sheer ability to run a contest with giveaways and the fact that the age group 18+ forms 120 million users on Twitter. Further, street art or graffiti culture was selected as the theme with the TG being 16-25 who are known for their passion for creativity. The graffiti culture was replicated in the online campaign through a microsite that allowed one to paint the walls with his tweets.

Tweeps were asked what they would do if they had “55 Seconds To Live” with the hashtag #55SecondsToLive and they could win exciting 55DSL goodies!

55SecondsToLive microsite

The contest rules were simple: one had to follow the brand’s Twitter handle @fiftyfiveDSLand then tweet their replies to the question along with the hashtag. The best tweets would be selected and featured on the digital graffiti wall on the microsite. There were different sets of prizes that would be unlocked at different levels of tweets. The best tweets for each level would qualify to win prizes. For instance, at 100 tweets there were 20 gym bags plus key chains to be won and at 250 tweets, there were 5 55DSL belts and so on till 2500 tweets.

Why did it trend?

The four T’s that made #55SecondsToLive a trending topic.

Tweet and Re-tweet - When the campaign kicked off, 55DSL reached out first to their followers and active influencers on Twitter. The buzz starts with you and your network, so be ready and armed with your own Twitter handle.

Timing - Tweets with the hashtag must appear intermittently but should not have too much of a time delay between each other. In the Twitter verse, it just takes a few minutes for one hot topic to be replaced by another. The 55DSL micro site unlocked several levels and gave a consistent incentive for on-going tweets.

Topic - The subject of your hashtag has to be catchy and your content has to be worth sharing. Tweeting about your last moments on earth is universally appealing and provoked people. Give people something worth thinking about. It didn’t hurt that #55SecondsToLive tweeters knew there was a contest involved; the extra incentive inspired humorous and witty tweets.

Tailor - Make sure that your content is on-brand and unique. 55DSL adopted its fresh attitude, fashion forward thinking and creativity when developing the campaign and site, which made for a truly innovative outcome. Also, the brand name 55DSL is a rough acronym for “55 Seconds to Live.”


The campaign has generated 5,000,000+ impressions and 3000+ tweets with the hashtag, of which currently only the best tweets are on display at the microsite after moderation. The microsite has had 5900+ unique visitors spending 1.30+ minutes on average.

Total daily tweets
Total daily impressions & reach generated

Brands are coming up with innovative product launches on social media, but #55SecondsToLive is really an endearing one as it connects well with the target group, both in terms of what they like and how they like it. I’m also impressed with the idea behind the hashtag ‘#55SecondsToLive’ as it adds value to the brand as well as leaves room for some awesome creativity. Here’s the case study video: