Bringing On a Bunny Helped Boost a Campaign

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The demand for creativity in the public relations sphere is one of the aspects of my job that I love most. Last year I had the opportunity to run the Best of Summerlin competition. My creative juices started to bubble over. Like a Best of the City-type competition, the Best of Summerlin was created several years ago to highlight the best venues in the 22,500 acre master-planned community. With fewer than 100 votes submitted in 2012 in a community of 100,000 residents, the competition had a lot of room to grow.

My first suggestion for the 2013 competition was to create a separate nomination period to stretch out the campaign’s promotional period and, more importantly, give the finalists the opportunity to promote themselves and campaign for votes. A brainstorming session with my client led to the creation of promotional materials for each finalist, including “Finalist” window clings, lapel buttons for staff and business cards encouraging people to vote. But the part that put us over the top?  A fun way to feature each finalist on social media.

Summerlin Sam

“The Adventures of Summerlin Sam” is what I named it. Sam, the Summerlin master-planned community’s jackrabbit mascot symbolized in the plush stuffed toy created years ago visited each finalist and took a photo that was featured on Instagram. Sam appeared on golf courses, poolside, at restaurants with local families and he hung out with grade school kids.

Sure, I felt a little nutty toting around a stuffed doll… but it was fun and it worked. People really got into posing with Sam. “The Adventures of Summerlin Sam” not only promoted the Best of Summerlin, it allowed us to promote and build Summerlin’s new Instagram page.

The Best of Summerlin 2013 received 500 nominations and 2,000 votes. And the Summerlin Instagram page took off and is alive and well and still Paseos Parkgrowing as we kick off the 2014 Best of Summerlin competition. Sam is gearing up for this year’s round of visits to the finalists and we plan to once again provide promotional items to those businesses and schools in contention for the “Best of” 2014 title.

Pavilion PoolSo… who will you nominate and vote for as Best of Summerlin 2014? Nominations end October 31st and voting is from November 3rd through November 21st. Winners will be announced November 24th. Go to summerlin.com and don’t forget to follow “The Adventures of Summerlin Sam” on the Summerlin Instagram page!

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