The response to the Intel Sunflower campaign caught me by surprise. The level of response on the opening day reminds me of same level of response that the Relay For Life has. During the opening event, a two hour period, more than 400 sunflowers were planted (which means Intel will donate $400 to the Conservation International Foundation), and I’m told the final tally of day one was over 500! Wow! This is only day 1. With a future event with Cylindrian Rutabaga on March 20th, and a closing event on April 13th, you can help but to wonder what makes this promotion such a compelling promotion and how can you get Second Life residents to continue to push participation (by the way, go to Intel Island and plant some sunflowers! You can win a brand new computer!)
Thinking about how this promotion is, I realize that not only is it a very ambitious but very smart, and seems to provide the framework for a successful model in engaging residents with your band in a virtual world. There are two cores to this promotion that make it very unique and engaging and paves the road for its success. The first is that Intel is giving away money to the Conservation International Foundation completely based on the participation process of the Second Life residents. We residents have shown we are willing to get behind a promotion for a good cause (take a look at the Relay For Life.) Through resident to resident promotion, blog postings, groups, and telling friends, the news begins to spread like wildfire and it encourages residents to participate in the process, one of the cores of Second Life. The second factor is that this is not just a thankless job. Unlike similar promotions Intel is able to provide some real world rewards for participation. Through their many relationships with computer companies Intel is able to help another company get involved into the action – in this case Gateway stepped up to the plate. Gateway was very smart to embrace having a new laptop as a prize (something that every Second Lifer needs) but by also handing out a discount for all their laptops by using "Sunflowers" as their code. It’s a subtle reminder that Gateway is a part of this process to making the world greener.
This event and collaboration between brands (Intel and Gateway’s) part but also on the Electric Sheep Company (who has a role in this beyond just event coordination) was very smart. It is this sort of creative thinking that really makes a promotion like this very engaging and in my estimation it will be very successful. What further pushes the promotion is the added engagement of their Second Life events, using Second Life talent (such as myself and Cylindrian Rutabaga.) Not only do you get us to blog about it (this will be the third mention of the Intel Sunflowers event) but you also get our followers to listen to us blog about it and draw those who like to attend our events to their location.
Maybe I’m basking in the afterglow of a really successful first night, but promotions like this really need to be recognized for their intelligence and how they are able to be sucessful in Second Life. This is a really good case of how a company or band can not only enter into a virtual world like Second Life, but also have meaningful engagements with Second Life residents.