The Groundhog Goes Mobile
Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day promotion incorporates video, voice, and text messaging components created by Ripple Effects Interactive and Red Tettemer.
Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) January 17, 2007 -
With the weather seemingly more unpredictable than ever, this Groundhog Day may be the biggest challenge yet for the seer of seers, the sage of sages, the prognosticator of prognosticators. At daybreak on February 2nd in the Pennsylvania Wilds region of the Commonwealth, Punxsutawney Phil will make his 121st weather prediction. But in the weeks leading up to this event, groundhog fans around the world can join in on the fun via a unique online campaign that agencies Ripple Effects Interactive and Red Tettemer launched on behalf of the Pennsylvania Tourism Office at www. GroundhogCrossing. com.
Following the spirit of the last two year's buzz-worthy Groundhog Day campaigns, this year's adventure once again brings the Groundhog to life - larger than life, that is - with a compelling tale that encourages audience participation. The premise is that the Groundhog's counterpart, the Shadow, has fled Punxsutawney, overwhelmed with the pressure that 96 out of the last 120 years, the Shadow has been the cause of another six weeks of winter. Missing his lifelong friend, the Groundhog makes a literal cross-country trek to recover the Shadow and return to Pennsylvania in time for Groundhog Day 2007.
Upon entering www. GroundhogCrossing. com, visitors find themselves in the driver's seat of a vehicle on a highway thousands of miles from Punxsutawney, listening to an urgent radio bulletin about the missing Shadow and his Groundhog counterpart in hot pursuit. Site visitors can zoom in on an interactive map, select any of the dozens of video clips available of Shadow-spottings across the country, sign up for email and text alerts when a new video is posted, and leave text and voice messages via their mobile phones as to why the Groundhog and his Shadow should return for Groundhog Day.
In addition to sending and receiving text messages and viewing others' texts, users can click on the cell phone sitting on the dashboard to leave a voice message and hear others' messages. A few select text and voice messages will be shared with all mobile participants. The final text message, on the morning of Groundhog Day, will immediately let subscribers know if the Groundhog saw his Shadow in Punxsutawney, or if there will be an early Spring.
GroundhogCrossing. com represents Ripple Effects Interactive's entrance into mobile marketing, and several other mobile projects are in the works for the Pittsburgh-based full-service web and online marketing firm. "Mobile marketing is unique because it is always on and in the pocket of the user," says Paul Magnani, president of Ripple Effects Interactive. "Groundhog Day itself is a community event, so we set out to create a truly mobile community around the online aspects of the event, allowing our consumers to participate in the adventure via more channels than ever before. With more than 200 million mobile subscribers in the United States alone, we believe mobility is one of the most exciting marketing channels today, and interactive agencies who already know how to reach mobile consumers are well poised to start engaging them both on - and offline."
The Groundhog and Shadow's unique online video journey, created by Philadelphia-based advertising agency Red Tettemer, ranges from partying in Tijuana, Mexico, to sailing across Lake Tahoe, to ballooning over Kansas, to disguising themselves as deer in Oklahoma, and many more crazy cross-country adventures that prove there's no place like home. The videos are also available on popular video-sharing sites like YouTube, Soapbox, Sharkle, AOL, Yahoo, and Google.
"In 2005, we introduced the Groundhog and his Shadow in a series of action-packed chase sequences, and the Groundhog eventually caught his Shadow, which meant six more weeks of winter. In 2006, we spoofed the Jack Nicholson cult movie classic "The Shining," and in a remote cabin, the Groundhog eventually saw his Shadow, which meant six more weeks of winter again. Now in 2007, we've added mobility to the mix - reaching users in yet another creative way," explained Mickey Rowley, Deputy Secretary for Tourism at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. "And no, we have no idea what Phil will predict this year. You'll just have to tune in to the live webcast, or check your email and your cell phone for the answer!"
A downloadable poster, desktop wallpaper, and instant messaging icon are also available at www. GroundhogCrossing. com. As the Groundhog and Shadow travel cross-country, new postcards will become available for users to send to friends; on each one, the actual location is crossed out, and the Groundhog or Shadow has written "Not Pennsylvania" over it.
While the Pennsylvania Tourism Office's annual Groundhog campaigns typically have international appeal, and users worldwide can access www. GroundhogCrossing. com, voice and text messaging are available for United States mobile users only. In addition to receiving text and email notifications of Punxsutawney Phil's prediction, users can visit http://groundhog. visitpa. com/ (http://groundhog. visitpa. com/) for a free, live webcast from Gobblers Knob of the entire event on February 2nd.
About Ripple Effects Interactive
Founded in 1997 by interactive marketing veterans, Ripple Effects Interactive (www. RippleEffectsInteractive. com) is a national digital marketing agency ranked among the nation's Top 25 independent interactive firms by Advertising Age. With offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Ripple Effects offers a full range of services, including strategic communications planning, website design, email marketing, online and search marketing, user experience testing, content management solutions and web application development for a prestigious client roster in higher education, cultural and nonprofit, consumer and lifestyle, and travel and tourism. For more information, a client list and portfolio of work, please visit www. RippleEffectsInteractive. com.
Online Relations Manager
Ripple Effects Interactive
Ripple Effects Interactive
·www. GroundhogCrossing. com
·www. VisitPA. com
·www. RippleEffectsInteractive. com