CHALK BLOG by Zig for Chicago Tribune

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CHALK BLOG

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Industry Website
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Zig
Creative Director Stephen Leps Saatchi
Art Director Janay Blazejewski
Released August 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Localisation Campaign
Advertiser: CHICAGO TRIBUNE MEDIA GROUP
Product/Service: CHICAGONOW.COM
Agency: zig
Date of First Appearance: Aug 12 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: zig, Chicago, USA
Creative Director: Stephen Leps (zig)
Art Director: Janay Blazejewski (zig)
Writer: Geoff Berg (zig)
Writer: Natalie Taylor (zig)
Planner: Ryan Wilson (zig)
Project Manager: Carlie Naftolin (zig)
Media placement: Ambient - Outdoor - Michigan Ave, Chicago - 12, August 2009

Results and Effectiveness
Over 4,500 people participated in ChicagoNow.com’s chalk blog by commenting on the boards. Hundreds more stopped and took pictures of the stunt or read the comments left behind by others. And thousands more were exposed to the chalk blog simply by walking past it. The stunt kicked off an advertising campaign that ultimately increased visitors to ChicagoNow.com by over 300%.

Creative Execution
To encourage Chicagoans to contribute to ChicagoNow.com by commenting on the site, the online experience was simulated offline with a 1,300 square foot chalk “blog”, which took over Pioneer Court on Chicago’s famous Michigan Avenue. There, locals were encouraged to comment and discuss hot Chicago topics like the 2016 Olympic Games and public transportation, just as they could on ChicagoNow.com. Michigan Avenue runs through the centre of downtown. The stunt was performed on a warm, summer weekday when a large majority of the passers-by were local Chicagoans (unlike the weekend days when tourists are more prevalent).

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
In August 2009, Tribune Media Group launched ChicagoNow.com, a website that houses 250+ blogs about all things Chicago-related. In addition to introducing the website, the objective was to encourage Chicagoans to share their opinion on issues discussed on the site itself. To make ChicagoNow.com the place where Chicagoans share their opinion, an ambient stunt was executed that allowed the target - Chicago residents - an opportunity to engage with the website in an unexpected way. The strategy for the ambient stunt was to make sharing opinions on ChicagoNow.com a contagious behavior in Chicago. If you live in Chicago, you have an opinion about this town; our goal was to get locals talking. The chalk blog was relevant to ChicagoNow.com, in that, like the site itself, it got Chicagoans talking and forming opinions about Chicago issues.