Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview with First Generation

Every now and then, we like to do a blog interview with a Lehigh Valley business that has done something particularly interesting or remarkable.  Today, we interviewed Sara Lorenz, Creative Director at First Generation.  First Generation recently held a 1G for Good contest.  What is it?  Find out below....
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Can you give us a summary of the 1G for Good contest?


The 1G for Good Contest challenged individuals to develop creative submissions in support of charitable organizations in the Lehigh Valley. It began with a call for entries for individuals to submit a video, essay, song, or work of art that explained – in the most creative way possible – why their nominated organization deserved a $1,000 donation from First Generation. First Generation’s creative team reviewed the submissions and selected the most creative entry in each category, each of which were then featured on the contest website (www.1GforGood.com). For one month thereafter, voting was open to the public, and the entry receiving the highest number of votes was named the winner.

What inspired doing this?

Given the nature of our business as a marketing agency, we wanted to do something in our local community that would inspire creativity – but we wanted to take it a step further. We developed the contest in such a way that it would also engage residents to get out there and get active in support of all the wonderful charitable organizations that exist here. There are so many groups in the Lehigh Valley that work tirelessly to help those in need, and this was an opportunity to promote awareness of these groups, as well as to promote creative thinking.

How were you, as a business, hoping to benefit from this?
We hoped the contest would show that we support the well-being, strength, and growth of our local community, as well as allow us to increase our interaction with residents of the Lehigh Valley. In addition, the contest gave us a new creative outlet and a way to showcase the integrated marketing services we provide.

How did you market the contest?


The marketing for this contest was truly integrated – it blended traditional advertising with PR, social media, and word of mouth. We started with a strategic plan, and spread the word through our social media channels, press releases, outdoor, direct mail, and hand-to-hand flyer and sticker distribution. In addition to the print and interactive elements, we
 created an original song and fun promotional music video for the 
contest. Because we have such a talented team, our Art Director, Integrated Marketing Producer, and Media Planner even sang and played
the instruments! (You can view the video on First Generation’s YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/firstgencom)  Once we hit the public voting phase, the contest finalists and their nominated organizations began marketing the contest as well – simply by promoting their entries through their own social media, word of mouth, and more. We heard one group even created t-shirts directing people to the contest website to help gain votes for their submission!

What benefits did you see from it?


The strongest benefit we saw from this contest was awareness. We increased awareness for both our agency and for the organizations that were nominated. We saw a significant jump in our social media followers and traffic on our website, and a total of 302,264 total votes were cast the one month voting period. The campaign was featured in multiple local publications and on Outlook with Dan Holzman through Clear Channel radio stations WAEB, B104, WZZO and WSAN. We also had a great time creating and producing this contest – it brought us together as a company to work for something that contributed to the greater good.

Who won?


The contest winners were Salisbury High School juniors Casey Creveling and Alan Mendez. These students submitted an original song and music video nominating the Race For Adam Foundation (www.raceforadam.org), which is a local organization dedicated to funding research for treatment and a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. They did an incredible job of bringing Lehigh Valley residents together in support of their cause, in every stage of the contest, and a total of 136,820 votes were cast for their entry. On September 25th, First Generation presented the Race For Adam Foundation with a $1,000 donation at the Cruise For Adam event. The students played their original song live at the event, and were presented with First Generation Honorary Producer Awards.


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