Zappos Gingerbread Man Leads Social Chase Activation
During the 2013 holiday season, online retailer Zappos delighted Austin consumers with a unique chase activation that was as weird as the city’s self-proclaimed personality. In order to drive traffic and purchases at Zappos.com, the brand sent a life-sized gingerbread man out onto the streets of the city and challenged folks to catch him and take a picture. The players were to upload the photos to Twitter with the hashtag #ZapposGingerbreadMan.
The Man was a human runner outfitted in a gingerbread costume with a rounded head and a cape. A street team, outfitted as bakers, chased the escaped Gingerbread Man throughout the city. To build initial buzz, the brand sent packages of custom gingerbread cookies in Zappos boxes to local media outlets and social-savvy companies. Then, on chase day, Zappos encouraged local Austinites, armed with their mobile devices, to join the social hunt based on clues pushed out through the @Zappos Twitter handle. Those consumers who spotted the Gingerbread Man around the city were asked to snap a picture and share his whereabouts. These social actions equated to the capture of the Gingerbread Man and participants were rewarded with Zappos gift cards. Over the course of the two-day event, 350 Austin consumers earned a reward for capturing the Gingerbread Man and the social chatter around the event yielded 9.3 million impressions for the brand.