Multi-Messaging Mavens to Compete In Real and Social Worlds

We came across an idea that combines social media tools, marketing savvy and a sense of fun so well that it makes us wish we had thought of it first.
The FIJI Water Urban Hunt was created and is being executed by Leyla Arsan, founder of Lotus Marketing Services. We asked Arsan to tell us more about it and how it all came together.
“The FIJI Water Urban Hunt is designed to provide a fun and challenging adventure for Chicago’s most active Tweeters and Facebookers while strengthening the relationship between businesses and their audiences,” said Arsan. “The scavenger hunt is designed to raise awareness of places to dine, visit and shop in the downtown Chicago area and further build an online presence for those businesses.”
What’s it all about? On Saturday, August 14, social media enthusiasts will have the opportunity to put their Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Foursquare skills to the test. The event will pit teams against each other in a game designed to mesh social media with the real world. Fifty teams of two will be chosen to participate from those that apply. Submissions will be evaluated based on a set of criteria including number of Facebook friends, Twitter followers and level of engagement with both.
The FIJI Water Urban Hunt teams will search for locations and/or items from a list of businesses and, as each one is found, post comments, photos or videos on the specified social media site. Points will be awarded in real time by the judges, who will be monitoring throughout the experience. No cars or taxis allowed; participants will be making their way around by running, walking or taking the L-Train with a provided CTA Day Pass.
“I thought the idea of gathering user generated content for local businesses by crowdsourcing through an interactive event would be ideal,” Arsan told Social Times. “The goal is to bring together businesses that are willing to do something fun and share with the highly interactive, social media set. I am very involved in the social media community, so I started to bounce the idea around and received tremendously positive feedback from both consumers and businesses.”

Arsan searched for sponsors who understood both the value of social media and were willing to take a risk. “I have been in the event marketing world for a long time and an event like this can be a big risk for a consumer brand, especially because you’re asking for individuals to give their opinions very publicly about your brand.”
FIJI Water became the lead sponsor and filled a certain number of slots on the list of locations. They opted to support bars and restaurants that carry FIJI Water. Arsan sought out other businesses who would commit to the user experience versus selling their locations. Each location must provide a fun experience, as well as a prize for the participants, in return for user-generated-content.
Each team can create a “team page” on the event site and that can assist teams in generating some traffic for their own initiatives – this event “social” at so many levels. The day will be capped off by a post-event awards celebration where the teams and their friends can celebrate their victories with cocktails from VeeV Vodka and FIJI Water. Prizes such as gift certificates to local restaurants and White Sox tickets will be awarded at the end of the evening.