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How Freeze Tag Became a Top Promotion Tool

Breeanna Straessle is Vocus’ Director of Public Relations.

Brands often want to promote things, such as events and launches, that reporters and consumers just don’t care about.

Exceptions like Google and Microsoft hardly have to try to create buzz for their promotions and releases. But the rest of us need to think outside the box to generate excitement for our offerings, no matter how great they might be.

Mp3 Experiment

On April 12, Vocus organized an Mp3 Experiment with the help of Improv Everywhere on the National Mall to help promote our Demand Success 2014 Marketing and PR Conference.

The flash mob-type event attracted 1,000 people who downloaded an Mp3 file and listened to a narrator who instructed them to play freeze tag, act like human darts and perform other shenanigans.

Here’s why we chose the event, what made it work (including how you can do one yourself) and the results we achieved:

Why an Mp3 Experiment?

After over a decade as a users-only conference, Demand Success opened to the public last year, so we are tasked with building awareness of it outside our customer base, including generating pre-event publicity.

The Mp3 Experiment seemed a perfect way to share our message in a way that the local media would be excited to cover.

Demand Success - Be Super - Mp3 ExperimentThe goal wasn’t to convince our experimenters to register for the conference. Vocus aimed to build a buzz that would reach our target audience.

With local and targeted media coverage, it would reach the eyes and ears of marketers and PR pros in the Washington, DC area and show them that they had a premier conference in their own backyard.

It’s not just conferences, by the way. An Mp3 Experiment or similar event can work no matter what you wish to promote, presuming you do it properly.

What made it work?

Our Mp3 Experiment wouldn’t have gotten us anywhere without some serious legwork.

As spontaneous as an event like an Mp3 Experiment seems, it involved weeks of heavy planning.

The date and location? It coincided with the Cherry Blossom Festival, which brought thousands to the National Mall, increasing the amount of exposure Demand Success received.

A press releaseblog post and a geographically targeted email blast to our customers spread the word and generated some early buzz.

Green capes emblazoned with Vocus’ 2014 theme – “Be Super” – and reinforced our brand were designed, ordered and distributed.

On scene, the Vocus social team live-tweeted the antics, while others recorded and took pictures of the action. Of course, we shared it all on social and now on the blog.

Panorama: @improvevery and @vocus take over the national mall in DC! #besuper #demand14 pic.twitter.com/MlGUEOkR7p

— Vocus (@Vocus) April 12, 2014

Demand Success - Mp3 Experiment - Laying DownOf course, our participants get a lot of the credit. Their energy astonished us as they enthusiastically followed the narrator’s instructions for 45 minutes.

They even gathered for a spontaneous group photo and broke into a chant for Steve, the recorded voice that narrated their fun. Without them, no amount of planning would have made this a success.

What about results?

How could we justify an event like this to the C-Suite? Well, we picked up media coverage in all of the major D.C. outlets and a few targeted industry ones, such as the Capitol Communicator.

Equipped with Demand Success branding and event details, our video of the Mp3 Experiment received more views in 24 hours than any other video we posted within the last year.

Ultimately, this event introduced thousands of people to the Vocus brand and its annual conference and did so in a way that was fun and surprising.

Hopefully, this event will drive attendees to Demand Success this year and for years to come. Stay tuned for next year when we try top this year!

Do you think an Mp3 Experiment or another event could work for your organization? Let us know in the comments!

Want to hear from top marketing and PR thought leaders? Register for Demand Success now!

Images courtesy of Geoff Livingston.

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