Lee Wojnar, VP of Marketing for the O Bee Credit Union in Tumwater, WA (the prosperous credit union of the now extinct Olympia brewery) really pushed the envelope with this promotion that tied in with several partners in the Olympia area.
Significant buzz was generated by this promotion — more than 360,000 pages of coverage were posted according to Google.
Capture the Tag’s announcement generated over 360,000 pages of coverage.
“Capture the Tag” — a fun variation on a traditional summer-camp favorite Capture the Flag –was the theme of the game aimed at everyone equipped with a Smartphone. Generous cash prizes and iPads served as incentives to participate, but to win, a participant had to collect all 30 Microsoft tags located at businesses around town (each tag provided a different clue). Some of the tags were for that specific business, but there are also 10 tags devoted to short videos on personal financial education.
To win, a player needed to be present at the drawing that was limited to confirmed 30-tag collectors, which took place at a large party. A First prize of $10,000.00, Second prize of $3,000.00 and Third prize of $2,000.00 were awarded.
The promotion brilliantly leveraged social media to attract participation. Microsoft tags were used because of the added functionality they offer over and above that of generic QR codes. Microsoft tags are 2D barcodes that connect a printed image to information and interactive experiences when scanned via the Tag Reader app on Smartphones.
Because “Capture the Tag” offered up useful personal financial tidbits to make the audience smarter about credit, fraud, and saving, it earned the backing and sponsorship of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
The ultimate objective of the campaign was local economic development. The promotion enticed participants into the “brick and mortar” locations of 20 area businesses to collect the required Microsoft tags. “No purchase was necessary” to scan the tags, but while in these shops and restaurants, game players undoubtedly shopped and bought. (The individual location could also offer discounts in association with the promotion.)
With “Capture the Tag,” O Bee Credit Union effectively demonstrated how to connect the younger tech-savvy audience with local businesses, teach a few financial lessons, and have a lot of fun in the process. It was very original, and certainly deserves to be copied, so its benefits can be replicated in many more communities.