Cellular phone maker LG challenges the fastest thumbs in the nation every year in its annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship. Each year, LG assigns its latest device as the official device of the event. In 2011, it was the LG DoublePlay. Since 2007, the program has expanded to 15 regions worldwide.
Alcone was challenged with producing a four-month Facebook and SMS promotion, culminating in a live championship event in New York City, that differentiated itself from previous years and maintained high levels of fan engagement and gameplay. Goals included utilizing Facebook as a texting gameplay hub to double LG's Facebook community from 50,000 to 100,000, and garner $10 million in PR value around the texting tournament and final championship event.
The program's consumer target was 13- to 18-year-old social media-ites who love being the center of attention and are ambitious and leaders by nature.
To achieve its goals, LG engaged its target with new texting games on Facebook. "High School Musical" star Ashley Tisdale supported the program through Twitter, Facebook posts, and by attending the final event to present the top prize. Also, unlike any previous year, a documentary was created around the event, making the program bigger and better than ever before.
The agency developed a unique Facebook page and application that tracks tournament play, accomplishment badges, team play and community. This laid a foundation for community camaraderie, game functionality and content management. Both weekly and tournament prize structures infused gameplays with value for participation and continuity. New games unlocked as the tournament progressed.
A broadcast partnership with MTV premiered the LG U.S. National Texting Championship documentary, THUMBS, with VIP media screening events in New York and Los Angeles. THUMBS tells the story of seven finalists' road to the championship and kicked off a month of live text-to-play text challenges on primetime MTV. Supporting digital and broadcast media drove traffic to the dedicated Facebook page.
When the last button was pushed, goals had been sent to oblivion. LG's Facebook fan base grew more than 100% over 2010 to 112,000, exceeding goal by 12%. The more than 600,000 gameplay engagements exceeded 2010 by 35%. The PR goal was exceeded by 18%.