Home > Uncategorized > Yahoo Bus Stop Derby Turned Waiting into Gaming

Yahoo Bus Stop Derby Turned Waiting into Gaming

If social marketing is about engaging people into something they would love to spend time with, Yahoo! just had a great shot in San Francisco, installing 72-inch interactive screens at  20 bus stops in the 20 communities and inviting the citizens in each neighborhood to fight against others for the opportunity to have the special event featuring the famous rock band OK-GO.

This event took place from November 24, 2010 to January 28, 2011 and there were four types of addictive games that every player can play on the screens. The player could choose to play alone or challenge other players in real-time and they were all playing for their neighborhood. This event also had a designated website (http://www.busstopderby.com/) and tweeter to engage players with the competition among communities.

This out-of-home event was phenomenal and brought countless buzzs among San Fran people. As a learner of interactive marketing at this point, I think this event’s success can be accounted to several key elements for a successful interactive marketing campaign that Yahoo! mastered.

First, this event is not about the brand, Yahoo!, but about the users themselves. While they were playing, the players surely knew that this screen and the games were distributed by Yahoo!. However, they still chose to participate because this equipment really made waiting for bus more interesting. Unlike other promotional events trying really hard to sell the brands or products, this event successfully made players love to play with the interactive screens even though they knew the games were provided by Yahoo!!, making players’ involvement more in-depth.

Secondly, players played the games not only for the prize, but also for the fun of the games themselves. The prize itself was really big only in the fans’ minds; however, this event had appealed to all the citizens aged over 18 because it was “just fun.” In the old-fashioned promotional events with prizes, what is attractive is usually the prize only and this method is actually treating consumers as greedy people who just want something extra. On the other hand, the set-up of this event: fighting against other neighborhoods was really including all the citizens in the same neighborhood together into one team and made the game more engaging because it added more incentives to players.

Last but not least, every single player or passenger can be a moving medium of this promotion. Social media work in the condition where the news is really worthy to be passed and this event definitely was one of the top news stories during the end of November 2010 to January 2011. Affiliation with the community, the contribution that every player made to the neighborhood, and the fun they just enjoyed while waiting for the bus can be one of the numerous reasons making the players want to share this event via social media, word-of-mouth, and other personal communication channels, making this event more absorbed in the players’ lives and more popular among the people in the communities.

At the end of this event, the neighborhood North Beach won over other communities and they did have OK-GO perform in the special event held for the neighborhood. However, I think all of the players in these 20 communities had fun with the bus stops already.

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