Proximity Promo, Case study THE FOURSQUARIAN CANDIDATE by Energy BBDO Chicago

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Industry Political/Religious/Trade Organizations
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Energy BBDO Chicago
Creative Director Jonathan Linder
Art Director Francis Almeda
Designer Kevin Lynch
Released November 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Consumer Engagement
Advertiser: PROXIMITY
Date of First Appearance: Nov 1 2010
Entrant Company: ENERGY BBDO, Chicago, USA
Entry URL:
Designer: Kevin Lynch (Energy BBDO)
Creative Director: Jonathan Linder (Energy BBDO)
Senior Copywriter: Nate Gagnon (Energy BBDO)
Art Director: Francis Almeda (Energy BBDO)
Developer: Alina Gendal (Energy BBDO)
Tech Lead: Tim Janczewski (Energy BBDO)
Media placement: Website Launched - Online - November 1, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Print - September 30, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Broadcast - September 30, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Online Media - September 30, 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
When longtime Chicago mayor Richard Daley decided he wouldn’t run for re-election, it created a wide-open mayoral race for the first time in decades. Obviously, voter behavior had changed radically over the previous 20+ years, with social media playing an increasingly significant role in public elections. The objective was to continue evolving social media’s role and bridge the gap between politicians and young voters. The idea was to give mayoral candidates in Chicago the ability to showcase their modernity and relevance to younger, more tech-savvy voters.

Creative Execution
The creative strategic solution for giving mayoral candidates an opportunity to appeal to young voters was to create the Foursquarian Candidate. With Foursquarian Candidate, candidates could “become mayor, then become mayor.” That is, they could check into a designated place on foursquare as often as they’d like until the deadline. After that, whomever is the “mayor” of that location on foursquare would become the Foursquarian Candidate for the real-life mayor race, and would win free campaign materials for their campaign. The promotion’s channels maximized attention for the campaign. A website highlighted the leaderboard, offered details, and amplified social media buzz about the program. A designated location on foursquare tracked all check-ins. A direct mail effort was created specifically for mayoral candidates, and an aggressive PR campaign assured the effort tapped into existing media attention about the mayoral race.

Results and Effectiveness
As a result of the communication activity, the Foursquarian Candidate became part of the conversation about the next mayor of Chicago. The communication relied heavily on generating earned media, and received significant coverage from major news media in Chicago and beyond. The number of participating candidates exceeded the program’s goals by 104%. Candidate check-ins also far surpassed expectations, with leading candidates checking in an average of every 3 minutes on the weekend before the program’s deadline. In fact, the Foursquarian Candidate even earned accolades from the foursquare founder himself.