Apple’s iPad had to be one of the most wanted supplies for kids heading back to school this fall. Burlington Mall made it that much more appealing by giving two of them away in its “Back 2 Cool Tee-Torial Challenge” online contest.
At the crack of dawn on August 24, the center’s guerrilla marketing squad hit the streets of Burlington, Ontario to decorate the community with 2,000 free T-shirts. The call to action was written right on the tag: head to Burlington Mall for all your BTS gear. The plain white shirts also invited kids to drop by the mall’s video booth wearing their favorite tees and speak on camera about their BTS t-shirt style. The contestants would then try to acquire online votes on the contest micro-site (www.BMContest.com/teeTorial) to win an iPad.
From September 1 through 8, contestants shared their entries directly from the site via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, pushing family members and friends to vote for their own chance to win an iPad in a random draw.
According to Liz Gibson of Circus Strategic Communications, 130 people entered the contest, generating 14,663 online votes, including 4,928 votes for the winning participant.
While the iPad proved to be the right incentive, the guerrilla campaign set Burlington mall apart from other retail destinations chasing BTS shoppers.
“We like surprises and we figure other people do too, so we’re always handing out freebies in the community,” said marketing director Kim LaRonde.
“This year, we decided to make Back to School that much more fun by surprising people and having them wake up to t-shirts everywhere.”
The PR stunt delivered as much on the media front as it did with consumers. Among the coverage that the campaign received was a colour photo and caption in the Burlington Post, as well as online contest mentions from Canada Events Calendar, Circus Sideshow, Inside Halton, Kids Around Canada and Snap Burlington.
» Mall traffic saw a 4-percent increase the day the T-shirts were hung on the trees
» Hits to the micro-site: 1,127,075 in September during the voting period, with an average of 5,217 hits per hour
» A 27-percent increase in Facebook fans during the contest period
» A 25-percent increase in Twitter followers during the contest period
» The “Tees in Trees” video filmed during the placement of the trees on August 24th received over 360 views on YouTube between August 24 and September 10th
» A Google search found 508 results mentioning Burlington Mall’s Tee-Torial