Guest Post by: Ed Thompson

This weekend, FreshNetworks checked out the Swarovski Discover Your Light event, to experience a luxury brand social media campaign using SCVNGR. SCVNGR is a check-in app that sets users tasks or “challenges” to complete at certain locations.

First impressions

On arrival at the London Horticultural Society we were impressed to see hundreds of people queued up amongst dozens of support staff and film crew.

The event space looked fantastic with a light haze of smoke and bright beam lights cutting across the vast hall. Curtains of crystals hung either side of the stage and dazzled participants with shards of light.

Contestants were seriously impressed with the decor, lighting and staging – a great way to build excitement at the start of the event.

Above the line spending to draw the crowd?

500 teams of two participated in the hunt, so we were impressed by the 1000-strong crowd. It seemed like a big pull for a social media only event, so we dug around to find out where people had heard about it.

Answers included The Metro, Grazia, Stylist, London Underground billboards and Facebook as well as word of mouth. One pair heard from a friend in another country via Twitter! Sadly then, a significant ATL and PR spend rather than social media gets credit for pulling the punters.

The in-game experience was enjoyable. Over two hours we had 42 challenges to achieve by racing between different tasks on the Discover Your Light “Trek”. FreshNetworks achieved a worthy, but not winning 69 points, enjoying the walk (and an ice-cream).

Contestant feedback was great: “It was a wonderful way to explore central London. Karen and I spotted interesting landmarks we didn’t know existed before” and “it helped me learn a lot about central London & get my bearings around the city”, said two teams we asked.

Lessons to brands considering SCVNGR

So what did Swarovski get out of this? They’ve positioned themselves as innovators in digital, and they had a positive effect on the audience: “I almost went out to buy myself a Nirvana ring as I was so gutted not to win one” one participant told us.

There were three areas we felt could have been improved:

  1. Swarovski made the good decision to give away low value freebies at their store checkpoints. However, one or two poorly briefed store staff kept freebies from participants who accidentally skipped over the task completion screen they were meant to show. An easy mistake for the participant, but it created a sense of poor customer service for a handful of people. Upset contestants being held up in the store demonstrated the need for staff to better understand the technology being deployed.
  2. The second mistake was purely organisational. An hour and a half wait that resulted from the demand on the invitation for a 12:30 prompt kick off meaning everyone arrived at once. The long wait killed some of the excitement about getting started. This could have been better managed by the SCVNGR team with an open ended start (12:30-13:30) and a hard deadline for kick-off.
  3. Finally, the SCVNGR app itself misses out on an opportunity for social sharing by embedding the share via Twitter & Facebook tools at the task completion stage. Most participants were too busy with the race to bother. It would make more sense for the app to invite you to connect social platforms with your account at sign in, allowing users to opt in to always share achievements. This would garner significantly more online buzz during big events like Swarovski’s Discover Your Light.
  4. Original Post: http://www.freshnetworks.com/blog/2011/09/swarovski-scvngr-hunt/