Agency friends spin to win office swag and aid charity

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Marcus Thomas invited friends to play a digital giveaway gam using an actual wheel of fortune
Marcus Thomas invited friends to play a digital giveaway gam using an actual wheel of fortune

The Offer: In advance of Marcus Thomas's planned 2012 move to a larger office space, the Cleveland-based marketing and PR firm got rid of 10-years worth of accumulated clutter in a creative way that also benefited the Akron Children's Hospital Fund. Friends of the agency were invited to spin the “Wheel of Holiday Destiny,” an actual wheel of fortune, five feet in diameter, which was manned live by a wacky Marcus Thomas junior art director named Roger McMullen.

The Data: The agency sent 1,500 email invites to friends offering them the chance to take part in the digital giveaway game. There were 1,500 gifts available, which fell into three categories: client swag, such as a case of Ovaltine; what the agency called “collected, once-hip agency decorabilia,” such as “a bobble-head of the pre-meltdown Charlie Sheen;” and $10, $20 or $100 donations made to the Akron Children's Hospital on behalf of the spinner. The game raised $5,000 for the hospital.

The Channel: The online event ran for five hours a day over three days in December. The live feed (Holiday. marcusthomasllc.com) could only be viewed during that time. Invitees communicated through a dedicated Twitter feed (@MTHolidayCard) using the hashtag #WheelOfHolidayDestiny.

The Creative: During lulls between spins, McMullen — dressed in a green blazer, Santa hat and bright red holiday sweater emblazoned with snowmen appliqués — was given different tasks to entertain the viewers, including attempting to knit a scarf, learning to dance and engaging in a dart battle with a PR intern stationed off-screen.

The Verdict:

Paul Notzold is senior creative director at Aspen Marketing Services, a marketing agency services division of Epsilon. He specializes in the mobile and interactive design and has done work for TIME, the 2008 Obama campaign, Merck, Rogaine, Neutrogena and others.

The description of doing a virtual “spin of the wheel” is appealing. Though the execution feels a little clunky to sit around and watch just for office swag.

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