Saturday, October 15, 2011

Party Hearty with Scavenger Hunt Promotions

How about sending your target audience members out on a scavenger hunt? That’s the game where you give participants a list of items to find and maybe clues to finding the items. The first player or team to fulfill the list wins.
     It’s said that renowned party hostess Elsa Maxwell coined the name in the 1930s.
     Since then, scavenger hunts have been used by retailers to build excitement and knowledge about offerings. Here are two current examples, as reported by PROMO:
  • A promotion for Dodge dealers attracted more than one million YouTube hits. The viewers were watching people finding one of the three Dodge Journey cars hidden in a scenic U.S. location. Each clue included information about the Journey’s features.
  • Cathay Pacific is publicizing its new non-stop Chicago-Hong Kong route with a challenge to collect experiences. Take a photo of yourself at the entrance to Chicago’s Chinatown and then a photo of yourself reclining in the Cathay Pacific business class “Comfy Seat” sample at O’Hare Airport.
     Customers have always loved to play games used by retailers as promotions. Scratch-off discounts. Sweepstakes. “Design our new logo” or “Name our new service” or, decades ago, “Tell us in 25 words or less why you shop at our store.” Scavenger hunts follow that spirit, with a blend of the virtual and real worlds.
     Here are tips on using the tactic in ways that maximize profits:
  • Get people involved for the joy of the play. In early uses of games, retailers and manufacturers learned that there needed to be tangible prizes for maximum participant involvement, although the value of the prizes could be quite modest. This love of the game has blossomed further as a side effect of the popularity of e-commerce and the mobile and desktop devices shoppers use for e-commerce. The word “gaming” has morphed from serving as a euphemism for “gambling” into a shorthand for “playing games on a computerized gadget.”
  • Don’t get gamed. One form of scavenger hunt is the mobile device check-in: Consumers earn points by using a location-sensitive mobile device to confirm visits to a brick-and-mortar sales location. At one point, Virgin America was giving frequent flier points to people who check in at the airline’s baggage claim or ticketing areas. Trouble is this can increase foot traffic while being little more than a game to collect points without the consumer thinking at all about buying something.
Click below for more:
Guard Your Promotions Against Being Gamed
Look to Toys & Games for Retailing Trends

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