Eleven has created an online experience that allows users to skip stones in real time on a Sun Valley lake in Idaho online. The entirely digital campaign entitled “Skip town and come to Sun Valley” has been created on behalf of the Visit Sun Valley and Sun Valley Resort in the hopes of enticing people to visit the Pacific Northwest location.
“With our technology obsessed culture, we thought that there would be no better way to promote the resort than give the audience a real live visual and experience of being out in one of the gorgeous lakes in the mountains,” said Dan Murphy, director of interactive production at Eleven, an integrated marketing firm.
To make the experience possible, Eleven engineered and built a stone-skipping robot in-house, named Skippy. They then shipped it in an RV to the shores of a remote lake in Sun Valley, where satellite Internet powered by TodoCAST allows users to remotely control the robot. The end result is a site that gives users the ability to aim, shoot, and skip a stone in Sun Valley via their computer screen.
“Users can control the trajectory and power of their throw, watch it skip in real-time, post a video on Facebook and Twitter, and compare results on the leaderboard,” said Murphy.
“Skip town and come to Sun Valley” also includes the “pack your getaway car” sweepstakes, where visitors to VisitSunValley.com can win a five day trip by customizing their dream mountain escape.
To enter, users pack a car by dragging and dropping various icons representing a large selection of prizes that showcase the variety of summer activities in Sun Valley. These include mountain biking, hiking, rafting, fishing, paragliding, and more. The winner, to be drawn at random from the pool of entries on July 27, will then receive a summer getaway of his own design, plus round-trip airfare and accommodations.
The campaign, which is primarily targeted to Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco, is exclusively live online with display ads on Facebook and the Google network. Social media channels such as Twitter are also being used to promote it.
“As this is such a unique campaign we presumed that we would get a lot of value from these social media channels. After one day our assumption had already been confirmed and 20 to 30 percent of our site traffic had been from direct referrals off of Facebook. Another large percentage has also come from Twitter,” Murphy noted.
While the skipping stones capability through Skippy will only be available until July 14 at 5 p.m. MDT, Murphy said the overall campaign will run for approximately one month.