Kidnap your consumer.


Ok, this one’s a few weeks old, but it’s totally my fault (and sorta my spam filter’s fault). But that doesn’t make it any less of a neat idea. It’s a campaign developed by Hoffman/Lewis in St. Louis that was part transit advertising, part social media, part mystery plot and part improv acting.

The “Kidnapped Chicagoan” campaign launched by “kidnapping”  local Chicago resident and posting ransom notes on the L-train commuter lines announcing, ransom-note style, that a local resident had been abducted from the city. Checking out the included URL showed the “victim” bound with heavy rope while visiting places like the City Museum, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Saint Louis Zoo, Citygarden and a Cardinals game. There were also photos, videos, interactive Google maps and a Twitter feed to round out the experience.

The entire campaign was for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission (CVC) to entice Chicagoans to visit the Gateway City. It’s a truly integrated campaign – although the funny thing is, Bob Hoffman, one of the shops founders, constantly rants on his blog about how Social Media is a waste and no one watches online video. Bob? Are you eating your own words?

One Response to “Kidnap your consumer.”

  1. 1 Steve

    Bob – and his “Creative” director – Sharon K. most likely had very little to do with the campaign. If they had, the ads would’ve ended up selling St. Louis with $1000 cash back deals on hotel rooms through radio ads and coupons. Because, you see, that’s “selling shit”.

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