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But, Daddy, I want a Golden Ticket NOW!

Despite massive success in 2012, Red Frog Events wanted to keep things fresh when promoting their 2nd annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware.

To reach their core audience, social media was a must. What evolved was one of the most successful Twitter campaigns I’ve seen to date (not counting Oreo’s brilliant moment with a “super” power outage).

They created a virtual scavenger hunt. And the prize was VIP passes to the three-day festival. Here’s how it worked (they can certainly explain it better than I can):

“Next week, we’re kicking off a little scavenger hunt for all of you. Five pairs of VIP tickets are hidden throughout the northeast, waiting to be found. On Monday morning at 9AM EST, a map will be released. This is where the fun begins. The more that you tweet using the hash tag #‎Firefly2013, the closer the map will zoom towards the hidden tickets. The first person to find each set of tickets will walk away with them. Once each pair is found, the map will reset and begin zooming towards the next location. Got it?”

The map began with a broad view of the Eastern Seaboard. Each “zoom” was enabled after a certain number of tweets — it could be anywhere between 300 and 1,000+ tweets. So the need for tweets grew. And the whole Twitter-sphere was aflutter as more and more people tried to get the map to zoom into a reasonably searchable radius.

Five cities — from Poughkeepsie, New York, to good old Dover, Delaware — were the lucky ticket locations. Over the course of only a few hours, hundreds of thousands of tweets went out with the #Firefly2013 tag, making Firefly one of the most popular trending hash tags on Twitter that day — not an easy feat for a local event.

I guess there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt to get those hash tags flying. Bet Mr. Wonka wishes he’d thought of that.

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