Last weekend, myself and a few others took part in Sony’s Z1 Hidden PR stunt. It was basically a treasure hunt for adults and it happened in lots of cities around the UK at different times. Clues were tweeted by @sonyxperiagb as to where their new phone was hidden and my team and I had worked out from other cities’ clues that they were hiding the phone in a watery location (to show off that it’s a waterproof phone unlike iPhone’s new operating system). Before Glasgow’s clues were released, my team had already worked out where the phone would be hidden – the water fountain at the People’s Palace. And we were right! We patiently waited for the clues to be tweeted because we needed a code and to get the code we had to retweet Sony’s tweets so that they would tell us the code.
All sounds pretty simple and fair so far.
Well, next we head to the Sony Representative expecting to be handed a phone because we were the first team there. Then we get told we have to put our names into a raffle as this is how the winner is picked. Obviously things have changed quite a bit since I was a kid because back then, the winners were the first people to win the treasure. So then we had to wait for two hours to find out who the winner was and because the names were picked out of a box, we might as well have gotten their last because our names would have been nearer the top and more likely to have been picked.
Five people were called out and made to stand in front of us losers, then they each had to choose a code to unlock the phone. And only one code could unlock it.
I did get an umbrella but unfortunately can’t take any pictures with that or make any phone calls. I did try to give it to a guy who had been waiting for hours at the water fountain and didn’t win anything (I felt really bad for him :/) but he said I could keep it.
The treasure hunt was fun and it did end up in a good day out but Sony could have done things a little better.
What I would have done:
* To do a treasure hunt the proper way, i.e. making the people who find the prize first actually get it, I would have made the treasure hunt with more prizes. Obviously a lot of companies couldn’t afford to give lots of pricey phones out but even if there were runner up prizes that could be found, it would still be a good prize.
* More than one location. Splitting the prizes into different locations would mean that lots of people wouldn’t be in the one place and it wouldn’t ruin the change for someone to win a prize because there would be more locations to find it. If people can’t get to one location, they might be able to go to another location and still participate.
* Finding locations that people might go to and putting clues to the real location. Because Sony put their phones near watery locations, they could have put clues at other locations with water that people may think of and have a sign with something like ‘Got the right idea, but the phone’s not here!’ This would take more time but might encourage people to keep going and then this would be more people that would find out about their new phone.
Who knows if my ideas would work or not but they do make things a little fairer!