RIDGECREST, Calif. -- For AltaOne Federal Credit Union a question mark helped get area residents buzzing.
Launching a campaign built around mystery that generated curiosity and suspense, the credit union strategically placed two, six-foot red question mark shaped statues within several community locations in a three-mile radius of the member service center. Locations included restaurants, grocery stores and the Bakersfield Condors hockey game.
"The goal we hoped to achieve with the statue placements was to create a sense of curiosity and interest in what was coming to the area," said AltaOne Vice President of Marketing Wendy Cleveland. "We definitely got what we were looking for--people had a real interest and fascination with the concept."
Incorporating a phased variety of interactive elements to enhance public participation, along with the question mark theme, a promotional Web site (www.guesstheanswer.org) was developed so the public could weigh in on what they thought was coming to the Bakersfield area over a four-week period. The URL address was included on the statue itself and within all elements of the marketing campaign.
In addition to collecting responses, the Web site featured a video component of man on the street interviews from statue locations where local community members were asked what they thought was coming to the community.
The next phase involved a series of five direct mail pieces and newspaper inserts sent to households within the target area. The teasers were designed to build the suspense while adding another layer to the marketing mix. The direct mailings included a new clue each week encouraging respondents to visit the Web site and submit their guess.
The final campaign element involved a wrapped guesstheanswer.org promotional vehicles, which were driven within the three-mile radius to extend the campaign message. In addition, media advisories and question mark shaped cookies were delivered to local media outlets to entice on-air publicity and encourage audiences to visit the site.
The campaign culminated with a three-hour event at the Bakersfield grand opening where some 800 attendees participated in the fun. The event itself resulted in more than 40 new members signing up with AltaOne and the promotional campaign generated over 18,000 visits to www.guesstheanswer.org.
In addition, more than 200 guesses were submitted, which Cleveland says demonstrates the interactivity and involvement of the community.