Second Porch, a Web site for vacation housing rentals, is using social media for lead generation. The new Facebook app, called "Rent & Trade Vacation Homes," calls on consumers to "find a home" directly from the Facebook app. Consumers can then save housing finds to their "My Second Porch" pages. They can also share any of the houses they find to their Facebook walls.
British Airways has extended its "Face-to-Face" campaign, a nonprofit effort to promote entrepreneurship in tough times, by launching "Business Opportunity Grants." It worked with digital agency Agency.com to create a dedicated microsite at www.ba.com/facetoface, as well as an online ad campaign that features display ads that link to the microsite.
FedEx has launched a sweepstakes promotion, called "Golf Anywhere," to highlight its 3rd Annual FedExCup, a championship trophy for the PGA Tour sponsored by the shipping company.
To promote the launch of a new handbag, accessories designer Coach is running a social media sweepstakes campaign. The campaign to promote the new Poppy handbag calls on women age 16 to 28 to go online to create their own scrapbook page and design their own "Poppy Girl" personality.
The US Postal Service has created a new augmented reality Web tool, called the Virtual Box Simulator, to promote the fact that Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes can make shipping easier.
Pepsi-owned orange juice brand Tropicana has launched a new online community to support its Trop50 brand, in a move to connect with women who engage with social media every week.
It's dogs vs. cats at American Greetings where the furry pets are facing off in a contest to help promote the company's limited time offering of free selected pet e-cards. Owners can upload their pet's photo at www.americangreetings.com, where visitors can vote on the cutest, advancing the pet to the next round. The last four-legger left standing will win prizes, such as a $250 PetSmart gift certificate. Entrants also can invite people to vote through Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. The contest is sponsored by Frontline, which provides a downloadable $15 coupon on the site. The site requires registration where entrants also can opt in for e-mails on holiday reminders from American Greetings.
What ingredients would be in your ice cream? Ben & Jerry's are seeking their next fair trade flavor in the "Do the world a flavor" contest. Ice cream concoctors can enter the contest at www.benjerry.com. Using the "flavor generator," visitors mix a variety of ice creams and other ingredients, upload a photo for the pint and name their confection.
The American Egg Board has unveiled its "Incredible people" integrated campaign in support of the health benefits of the egg. The campaign, created by Grey New York, will appear on TV, magazine and online media outlets.
A new advergaming and text messaging campaign by Church's Chicken targets the urban youth market. The fast food franchise has partnered with Namco Bandai Games to release Afro Samurai, an animated video game.
Getting married and not a thing to wear? David's Bridal has launched a "Dress Your Wedding" virtual contest, through which people can dress themselves and their wedding party, share their wedding plans and win cash prizes.
Have a funny photo? Hallmark is hosting a new greeting card competition, "YourBloopers," where the winning entry becomes a new card and earns a $2,500 grand prize. Entrants can submit their photo and message at www.hallmarkcontests.com/bloopers.
If you've got a beef with someone you know, Burger King has a way for you to vent. To help promote its new Angry Whopper, the fast food chain launched www.angry-gram.com, which lets visitors deliver custom e-mails to friends or foes. The company said it has no follow-up plans at this time for the senders' or recipients' e-mail addresses. The spicy sandwich is available through March.
It's time again for New Year's resolutions, and Kellogg is chiming in to remind people to make the Special K Challenge to aid their weight loss, in what the company is calling its most significant campaign around the Challenge yet.
A new partnership between virtual community MiniEgo and Paws Inc., which manages the syndicated Garfield comic strip, will enable MiniEgo users to interact with Garfield characters. Visitors to www.miniego.com also will be able to design their avatars with Garfield-inspired characteristics and can hang out in virtual destination venues notable in the comic strip, such as the alley where Garfield sings and dances.
On June 30, the Paris-based Tribunal de Commerce ordered eBay to pay $61 million to French luxury goods group LVMH for allegedly allowing the sale of counterfeit goods on its Web site. The ruling raised eyebrows throughout the e-commerce world, especially in light of a similar lawsuit filed against the online auctioneer by Tiffany & Co. in the US.
The Downtown Center Business Improvement District of Los Angeles is running a new campaign, "LA stay-and-play," encouraging Californians who want a summer getaway, but also to save money, to stay close to home.
To promote the Moto Q9c, Motorola's latest hand-held personal organizer, the company launched a microsite starring spokeswoman and race car driver Danica Patrick. The site, which hosts a series of comical videos, was created in partnership with Draftfcb. Consumers can also register for a sweepstakes to win tickets to the 2008 Grand Prix of Sonoma.
National Geographic Channel is asking fans of its on-air special Stonehenge Decoded to get closer to the archaeological mystery by engaging with an online game of themed puzzles. The game, created by Arkadium, runs on www.natgeotv.com/stonehenge and promotes the show set to air June 1.
In order to get potential drivers behind a virtual wheel, Mini USA has released Clubmania Pinball, a free online game for the Nintendo Wii that promotes design elements from the 2008 Mini Clubman.
Arby's recently launched a Rescue Brigade concept with Merkley & Partners. A microsite, www.arbysrescuebrigade.com, introduces a group of brand enthusiasts who show up in a branded Rescue Mobile to "save the world from ordinary fast food." Consumers can submit videos to join the team and be featured in an on-air commercial.
Digital Pulp launched a new brand site for The PayItGreen Alliance, formed by NACHA — the Electronic Payments Association — to encourage consumers and businesses to manage their finances electronically. The Web site, found at www.payitgreen.org, guides visitors to information about the benefits of online payment using animation.
In an effort to promote its services as the earth-friendly alternative to cars, the Capital District Transportation Authority of Albany, NY, launched an iRide Green campaign, giving away 5,000 eco-friendly bus passes good for free rides all day on April 22, Earth Day. The campaign was promoted by online and outdoor advertising.
Reaching out to tense 20- and 30-something females, Johnson's launched an online campaign around its Melt Away Stress line of skin care products at www.JohnsonsForYou.com\Escape. The site features an Express Your Stress user-generated content contest, Jamaica getaway sweepstakes, Celebrity Stress Secrets videos featuring ABC's Ugly Betty actress Ana Ortiz, and an "Escape Your Stress" quiz widget.
Getting men to interact with its brand is no sweat for Unilever's Degree Men, with the launch last week of the "The Rookie: Day 3 Extraction" campaign. Through a partnership with the Fox network's 24, the brand is distributing digital shorts for the next five weeks through video on demand, broadband andmobile devices that chronicle the adventures of counterterrorism agent Jason Blaine.
In an effort to celebrate mail, the US Postal Service has joined with HBO to spotlight founding father and prolific letter-writer John Adams. The "Power of the Letter" campaign, running until the end of this month, promotes HBO's epic miniseries John Adams, which premieres on March 16. It also drives viewers to visit www.poweroftheletter.com to create and customize greeting cards with quotes from John Adams and his wife Abigail that were created by the USPS' online retail partner Cardstore. Visitors can also enter a sweepstakes to win a VIP trip for four to Colonial Williamsburg.
Boston Market offered a free lunch to any of the estimated 200,000 Americans born on Leap Day as part of a promotion featuring its limited-time-only chipotle meatloaf and its newest menu item, apple gallette.
On March 1, New York-based hair product manufacturer Redken will launch a search marketing campaign with more than 5,000 keywords to promote its redesigned consumer and salon professional Web sites, which already boast more than 150,000 unique visitors after last week's soft launch.
In an effort to drive membership to its TrueBlue loyalty program, which boasts more than 5 million members, JetBlue Airways Corp. has launched an anniversary sweepstakes. The "All You Can 8" sweepstakes will award 800 round trip flights to 100 TrueBlue members.
In a campaign aimed at adding levity to paying the bills, Intuit is running a sweepstakes that invites aspiring comics to submit stand-up videos for its TurboTax software at its microsite TaxLaugh.com. The tagline "Comedy is hard, TurboTax is easy" promotes the home tax program, and the sweepstakes is hosted by comedian Jay Mohr.
Mars Snackfood US has launched an online sweepstakes for its Dove chocolate brand, which offers consumers the chance to win a $21,000 Kwiat diamond necklace. To win, users submit a short Valentine's Day message on a branded microsite.
In order to promote this year's World Poker Tour, WPT Enterprises Inc. and its agency of record Digitaria are celebrating the poker-playing community online at a revamped Web site and an online club at www.worldpokertour.com.
Family-friendly cable network The Hallmark Channel launched its first interactive mobile campaign last week to promote the premiere of the network's original movie, The Good Witch, as part of a larger strategy to support network-produced movies on multiple platforms.
Kettle Foods has partnered with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) to launch its Backyard Barbeque potato chip. Beginning in January, when the snack is released, Kettle Foods will donate $1 to NWF for each backyard certified as a habitat for wildlife, according to the standards set by the wildlife nonprofit, at microsite nwf.org/kettlefoods.
To promote its Fusion men's razor, Gillette has enlisted professional athletes Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Thierry Henry.
In a seasonal viral e-mail effort, American Express Co. has launched a microsite, www.holidayrockstar.com. Visitors to the site choose one of three songs: "Holiday," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" or "Jingle Bells," and record their crooning while a customizable avatar lip syncs the words.
Country music fans are enjoying an online greeting from ponytailed, gravel-voiced star Trace Adkins in a new Web campaign through Innovate Ads' iAds Video Spokesperson technology.
Microsoft has launched a campaign for its digital media player, Zune, targeting the Latino market. With agency Kinetix Integrated, Microsoft partnered with reggaeton stars, Wisin y Yandel, to launch a customized 30GB device with special packaging, content and device exterior. The group's fan base was notified by e-mail blast.
Company of the week
R2C creates, produces, distributes and measures messages that inspire and compel consumers to do something with a brand to drive commercial advantage. The full-service advertising agency specializes in creative, production, media, analytics and performance.
What's in our mailbox this month: fitness postcards from Retro Fitness, American Woman Fitness Centers, Union's United Taekwondo Academy, and Bally Total Fitness. (We're totally pumped.)
Social data can improve a brand's bottom line and customer relationships. Just ask brands Infiniti and Diamond Nexus.
Here are three must-have data sets that every marketer should include in his or her email strategy.