Monday, November 19, 2007

Online Events Extend Reach of Events Offline

Marketers who want to get more mileage out of events held in the physical world should consider linking them to a parallel world in cyberspace. Last week when new media maven C. C. Chapman visited my class at Emerson College he told us about another installment in the Verizon FiOS block party series.

Verizon has an interesting approach to making a local event into a cyberspace happening. They can only expand the super-fast FiOS network in a particular area one neighborhood at a time. What they are doing is using the block party rubric because it’s essentially a local event. But by creating an event space on the web they give it greater reach and longer life. The event is modeled after the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition series on ABC. Verizon selects a family in the neighborhood for a “media makeover.” When it’s ready they invite both the real and the virtual neighborhoods. If you’ve watched the extreme home makeover shows or Trading Spaces on TLC, you pretty much know the drill.

The basic components (at least the ones I’ve found) are:

•The MyHome 2.0 website. It has serious information about the FiOS network, an introduction to the makeover specialists and a section featuring the families that have been selected for the upgrades.
•A Facebook group
•A Flickr site
•Tie in with FiOS TV
Blogs and vlogs all over the place.

When I tuned in to the Pittsburgh party about noon on Saturday, C.C. Chapman was broadcasting live from the Zaharko home as everyone geared up for the party. His video gives a great sense of what was happening. I also noted an invitation on Yahoo! Local and I’m sure there were lots of other things I didn’t find that were aimed at drawing attendees.

At that point I had to leave and go Christmas shopping—sorry, C.C! I caught up today—watching videos, reading blogs, and looking at some of the pictures.

And that’s exactly the point. This neighborhood block party in Pittsburgh left its footprint all over the web. Verizon has gotten a lot of mileage from the event and the promotion. It will last long after the last cup of coffee has been drunk.

One blogger was already hoping the promotion would next take place in Delaware. She wanted friends to be able to apply. The buzz is the real outcome. You might want to keep an eye on the Be The Next Reality Star page—they hold auditions.

Or you might want to think about how you can give your next promotional event a life of its own on the Internet!
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great write up and thanks for taking the time to check out what was going on after I mentioned it to the class the other day.