Proximity Promo CHAIR FREE CHICAGO by Energy BBDO Chicago

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Industry Public awareness
Media Promo & PR
Market United States
Agency Energy BBDO Chicago
Designer Mike Mcquade
Released December 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Integrated Campaign Led by Promotion and Activation
Advertiser: PROXIMITY
Date of First Appearance: Dec 4 2010
Entrant Company: ENERGY BBDO, Chicago, USA
Creative Director/Writer: Kevin Lynch (Energy BBDO)
Designer: Mike McQuade (Energy BBDO)
Developer: Brett Burwell (Energy BBDO)
Writer: Nate Gagnon (Energy BBDO)
Print Production: Heather Beck (Energy BBDO)
Project Manager: Claudia Richman (Energy BBDO)
Media placement: Website Launched - Online - December 4, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Print - December 6, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Local And National Broadcast - December 6, 2010
Media placement: Public Relations Campaign - Online Media - December 6, 2010

Describe the objective of the promotion.
Generally speaking, Chicagoans are rather nice to each other. Except after big snowstorms. After big storms, once people shovel out their cars, they have a tradition of saving their shovelled out parking spaces by placing chairs in the street where they shovelled. So we created Chair-Free Chicago, a community-based promotion that lets people declare their street a “Chair-Free Zone” with signs they can download or order. The objective of the promotion was to encourage our fellow Chicagoans to treat each other as nice in the winter as we do during the rest of the year.

Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation.
The promotion was conceived out of a desire to give a voice and action to Chicagoans who are frustrated with the tradition of saving shovelled out parking spaces. As a community-based effort, we knew a website and social media would serve as important hubs of activity and information. More importantly, we knew media attention would play a vital role in the promotion’s success. To maximise attention for the effort, the promotion launched on the eve of Chicago’s first big snowstorm of the year, and generated over 112 million media impressions within the first 4 weeks.

Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service.
At its heart, the Chair-Free Chicago promotion is a community effort. With all community efforts, the audience includes everyone from the mildly interested to the passionate action-takers. To increase relevance and maximise participation in the promotion, Chair-Free Chicago had tools and resources for everyone – whether you wanted to declare your street a Chair-Free Zone, or lobby city officials to change the law, or just pass the news on to your social media networks. By creating pressure on multiple levels (from neighbours to the government), Chair-Free Chicago not only promoted debate, it also increased the chance to truly change behaviour.

Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results.
Within days of launching, Chair-Free Chicago became a rallying cry and focal point for citizens and community activists to openly question a tradition that was reluctantly “accepted” previously. The site’s visitors downloaded hundreds of signs, and thousands contacted their city officials, pleading with them to make the city a Chair-Free Zone. In addition, the site generated over 6.3 BILLION measured media impressions within the first three months. All with a media spend of $0.