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.
This morning at New York City's Grand Central Vanderbuilt Hall, Bank of America held an event to promote its new debit card product, "Keep the Change," which rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and places it in a saving account for the card holder. To attract attention to the new card, a gigantic, 20 foot long, 10 foot high sofa was placed in the Hall where people could climb on and reach beneath the cushions to find prizes such as MetroCards, Starbucks cards, restaurant gift certificates, retailer gift certificates and Apple store discounts.
This promotion, created by Jack Morton, aligns quite well with the whole money-stuck-under-the-couch-cushion thing. More photos to follow.
Sort of defeating the purpose of highlighting Jeep's new seven seat, 2006 Commander, Chrysler has launched an online promotion, called The Mudds featuring a family if five. Yup. Five, Not seven. OK, maybe that's splitting hairs but if you're going to highlight seven seats, you better have seven people to fill them. Hopefully, the kids have some friends.
The promotion will have all the usuals: bi-weekly webisodes - also available on Dish TV), biography pages, screensavers, wallpapers, text message notification of site updates, AvantGo PDA notification and online scavenger hunts using Google Maps. Oh wait, the Google Maps thing is new. Visitors can use Google maps to find virtual "geocaches" the Mudds have hidden and get a chance to win one of the new 2006 Commander's. Get your mud on.
To garner attention for its new season of sex talk show Talk Sex, Oxygen has launched an online match game where players must match the name of a fetish with its definitions while show host Sex Grandma Sue Johnson looks on. We have no idea if these are actual fetishes but Eproctophilia, or sexual arousal from farting and Agalmatophilia or sexual arousal from looking at mannequins sound plausible. While we don't think any of these fetishes apply to us, we'll certainly admit to Octogenariophobia or the fear of playing a sexual fetish game while grandma looks on.
U.K. Channel 4's IdeasFactory, along with viral email collector Bore Me, digital agency DS.Emotion and viral promoter Hot Cherry have announced "Germ," a viral email contest which seeks viral ideas that "get the whole world talking." Oddly, according to contest rules, only U.K. agencies, apparently, are able to get the world talking as U.K.-based agencies are the only agencies welcome to enter the contest. Though, it seems, the "general public" is allowed enter as well. However, it's not clear whether that refers to worldwide general public or U.K.-based general public.
Close-minded contest or not, the winning agency, in an even odder, oxymoronic move is promised by contest organizers to have it's work seen the world over via seeding by Bore Me. In a not so oxymoronic but clandestine promotional move, all of the companies hosting the contest have, surprise, a stake in viral advertising and, with the contest putting them into contact with top viral marketers, the hole thing is basically a new business endeavor for the organizers. Nifty.
Hoping to teach every guy how to turn his living space into a swanky love nest, Maxim has launched its Maxim Living microsite on which furniture and other lad-pad elements are featured. A house ad, created by Della Femina is currently running in the October issue of Maxim. Guys, check it out to improve your chances with the ladies. Ladies, check it out to see the lengths men will go to get into your..uh...show you a good time.
Family site Kaboose and Heinz have teamed to promote a new children's ketchup product Silly Squirt. The agreement provides Kaboose promotional space on Silly Squirt bottle labels and provides Heinz a promotional microsite within the Kaboose site. The deal was put together by Starcom.
Reaffirming New Zealanders know how to have fun, Telecom Mobile has launched an SMS campaign inspired by the board game Battleship and called Push the Button. The player who wins an SMS game to locate a virtual version of the former HMNZS Wellington battleship will win a trip, along with three friends, to push a button that will blow up the real HMNZS Wellington which will then sink to become an artificial marine reef and diving attraction. The contest launched September 30 and Telecom 027 customers must register by October 9 to play the game.
$150,000 of other prizes will also be awarded, including a Sanyo 32-inch widescreen televisions, Sanyo T3G mobile phones, dive gear and courses, Microsoft X Box consoles, airtime credit and other prizes. The game finishes on 31 October with the winner announced thereafter, and the sinking will take place on November 12.
In true shrimp-on-the-barbie style, experiential agency TOUCH/CAST conceived the Push The Button promotion over a lazy Christmas Day Bar-B-Q at one of the employees homes.
We just don't know how we could possibly have missed this stunning promotion. In a true example of fine taste, the American Red Cross and American Apparel hosted a Celebrity Bikini Car Wash to benefit Hurricane Katrina Victims held September 24 at Shelter Nightclub in Hollywood. In case you missed it, you can revel in the glory of water and soap-drenched hotties pretending to wash cars as tongues wag and cameras shoot. All for a good cause, of course. Repeat after me: "Sex Sells." Sex Sells." "Sex Sells." OK, enough. Put your tongue back in your mouth and go back to work before you boss catches you drooling.
Rick Bruner points us to a little promotion the National Guard is running that offers three free songs from the iTunes store if a person agrees to be contacted by the National Guard for recruitment. That's right. iTunes in exchange for the privilege of defending our country. What a deal.