Brands are using scavenger hunts as productive ways to interact with customers, but also, and even more important, as a means to educate customers about products or services they may not know about. Any number of platforms are used, including social and mobile, and of course, good ‘ol fashioned shoe-leather detective work. Here are some recent examples from Chrysler, Cathay Pacific and Starbucks.
On the ground
Chrysler and its Dodge brand had people running around the country several weeks ago looking for three hidden Dodge Journey vehicles in a promotion called, “Search Engine for the Real World.” Chrysler pitches the vehicle as one for the adventurous and played the promotion along the same lines.
Beginning on Sept. 9, TV and digital spots took viewers on a tour of some of America’s most picturesque landscapes while showcasing the Journey. One spot showed kayakers headed out for a trip. Another was of friends on a road trip and a third took a family on a camping trip. The spots ended by telling viewers that the vehicles they have just seen taking off on wonderful trips are in fact still sitting in those final locations in the real world waiting to be discovered. The first person to find the cars, won them.
All three vehicles were in the U.S., one each in the West, Midwest and East. Three additional TV spots focused on each of the three regions with more clues realized as viewers learned more about the car’s features during the 30-second spots from Wieden+Kennedy. Ads for the West Coast debuted Sept. 10, those for the Midwest aired Sept. 16 and spots for the East began running Sept. 23.
On YouTube, players unlocked clues from videos and watched a 24/7 live feed of the vehicles’ travels, which also revealed more clues and the discovery of the cars by the winners. The hunt lasted just 17 days, ending Sept. 27. More than 1 million views were registered on YouTube. About 300,000 people watched the live feed for an average 25 minutes each.
Can you text me now?
Cathay Pacific is combining on-the-ground sleuthing with mobile to make it known that it has a new non-stop destination that departs from Chicago. It is using that city, among others, as the backdrop for a hunt that could lead to a trip to the new location: Hong Kong.
The sweepstakes takes place on iPhone and Android phones and is run by SCVNGR. Those who play receive challenges via their mobiles. For example, the Gateway to China challenge requires players to visit the entrance to Chicago’s historic Chinatown where they must take a group photo to submit for the chance to win. Another challenge, the Comfy Seat, has players taking photos of themselves posing by Cathy Pacific’s new business class seat display at Terminal 3 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Challenges will also be sent to mobile players at airports in Boston, New York and San Francisco. People who don’t own the appropriate phones, can log on to play at Cathay Pacific’s website through Nov. 1.
Starbucks earlier this summer ran its first mobile scavenger hunt around trivia questions that related to the brand.
For every question answered, players were entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to play the “Ultimate Scavenger Hunt “in New York City. Last month, five winners and their guests met in New York City to compete in the hunt, a two-day challenge. The team that solved the most clues and proved to be the most successful adventurers won a grand-prize trip to Costa Rica.