Alternate Reality & Cause

Picture 1CRUNCHY NUGGETS:  Today’s blog post is a double dose of marketing smarts.  Now, seemingly, the new Levi’s Go Forth promotion (or “G.O. IV” if you’re 2cool4words), is just another scavenger hunt.  Starbucks, those weird Kidrobot action figures, Borders Books — all have made the nuggets this year with scavenger hunt programs.  So what makes this program so crunchy and noteworthy?  Wow, UR2cool, really — thanks for participating!

Reason 1:  Alternate Reality – This is a fancy term I want you to start using when you brainstorm scavenger hunt ideas that combine online game play with real world action (not to be confused with Augmented Reality, which has also made the nuggets).  In this case, Levi’s has a website where it shares clues as to the whereabouts of a buried $100,000 (feels like the buried Volvo promo from a few years back, for my promo friends with strong memory skills).  A made up character named Grayson Ozias IV (a “friend” of Levi Strauss and family) tells the tale of how he needed to carpe diem and live life to the fullest.  He thus headed out across country.  And buried a bunch of money so as not to have to live a structured life (poor, poor Grayson not wanting to work for the man).  Keep track of the clues, discuss the clues with others, and submit where you think he’s headed.  Finalists will win prizes, and then chance at actually going to the location in the U.S. to unearth the money.  Grayson’s got his own Twitter account and FB page, too.  So again, Alternate Reality = Online game that compels offline behavior around the game play.

Reason 2:  Custom Cause Overlay – Now, if you’ve been living in a cave, please…come out now, take off the fur wrap, drop the club, and see a trend here.  Causes have played such an important role in creating differentiation and true “value” for brands this year.  A Cone study conducted late last year revealed that even in tough, economic times, 52% of consumers expect corporations to support causes.  And this program brings a new fresh twist to cause promotions.  Not only does the recipient get $100k, but a charity will also receive $100k at the end of the program.  And not a Levi’s chosen cause, but rather, one that over the next few weeks will be selected by consumers’ popular vote.  Not sure whether consumers will choose from a menu of Levi’s selected causes (which is probably the case) or nominate your selection and then vote.  By none the less, it makes the program more appealing when consumers feel like they “have a say” in the selection.  A “custom cause,” if you will, which helps drive consumer affinity.

So now that you’re armed with new smarts, go IVth and share with others.  Urock!  TASTY TREND:  The Hunt is On; Feeling Good About Doing Good