Budget Launches Blog-Based, Sixteen City Treasure Hunt
In a first, Car rental company Budget has launched a blog-based, four-week, 16-city treasure hunt, called Up Your Budget, which offers a total of $160,000 in prizes. To win, participants must find a sticker which has been placed in a public location in each of the 16 cities, call the number on the sticker and provide photographic or video proof they've located the sticker. To find the sticker, contestants will read the Up Your Budget blog for clues and watch daily video clips (in easy to navigate Quicktime, thankfully) shot in each of the 16 cities which help identify the city and where the sticker has been placed within the city. The clues will come in the form of blog posts by the two-person crew that shot the videos as they drop identifiers such as weather, local culinary choices and geographic references. There will also be a Treasure Hunter's blog on which contestants can submit hints, clues and sightings. Each week, four of the 16 cities will be in play.
Following the blog-based approach, the contest itself will be promoted almost entirely within the blogosphere with sites like Adrants, MarketingVOX and Boing Boing breaking the story and with advertising promotion on 74 weblogs, including Buzzmachine, Metafilter, Gothamist, Jossip and Busblog, through the BlogAds blog advertising network. There will also be some minimal search engine keyword and IM buys. It will be a true test of the weblog medium's ability to propagate information and main stream media's capacity to rely on (and credit) bloggers as sources.
The campaign was created by blogger, author and marketing strategist B.L. Ochman and Impax Marketing Group's Jay Arnold. The Up Your Budget blog was designed by Design4Results' Komra Moriko and advertising was created by the famed "cartoons on the back of business cards'" Hugh Macleod. Center City Film & Video shot the clue clips. Gret stuff. Who needs mainstream media when you have the consumer-generated, conversational power of weblogs and social media? Already the thing is spreading like crazy. This is truly very cool.