By Lauren K. Terry Posted April 17, 2012, 6:20 PM EDT
Saucony's “Find Your Strong” event took place at Back Bay’s Cyclorama on Friday. With 400 guests and $5 tickets, this launch of the “Find Your Strong” marketing campaign aimed to present an evening of running inspiration—through talks from high-profile talent like marathoner Bill Rodgers, triathlete Karen Smyers, and Mark Herzlich of the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants—and to introduce Saucony’s newest minimalist running shoe, Kinvara 3. Interactive social media was the driving force behind the event’s design.
Chris Gasbarro, chief creative officer of Saucony’s event agency Creative Community Connections, said that the strategy was to provide “tangible social media” at the event and encourage attendee interaction.
To execute the strategy, a movie-theater-size projection screen, flanked by diaphanous curtains up-lit in Saucony's signature red, displayed a Twitter Mosaic. The mosaic consisted of hundreds of squares zigzagging and fading in and out, and each square in the constellation-like projection represented a live-event Twitter post from an attendee.
To encourage guests to tweet their inspirational thoughts and reactions to the event, a hash tag was created for the event, #findyourstrong. The newest posts and pics broadcast on the screen’s foreground on a running loop, allowing guests the gratification of seeing their tweets or photos pop up almost instantly. The Twitter Mosaic not only contributed to the event’s interactive goals, but, according to Gasbarro, also served as a vehicle of cross-promotion: Every guest’s post also appeared in his or her personal Twitter feed, creating promotional opportunities beyond the scope of the four-hour event.
Corresponding to the mosaic, gobos projected running-related content onto the Cyclorama’s circular walls. Projections included runners’ personal best marathon times and inspirational quotes from consumers and established athletes alike. Intermingled with the projections were dozens of color posters paired with more inspiring quotes and the event’s hash tag. Quotes on the posters began with the words “My strong is …” and ran with images that included the marathon's starting line and a child holding an encouraging sign for his father.
Blue Hills Brewery provided complimentary beer and wine. Caterer Off the Vine served healthy hors d’oeuvres, including flatbread pizza with artichokes and roasted red peppers and Moroccan chicken with couscous. Snackers and sippers stood at highboy tables swathed in white spandex, a fabric familiar to most runners. The tables’ centerpieces were the Kinvara 3 shoes, which guests were encouraged to handle.
A white, modern shelving unit with multiple open squares functioned as a display case for the varieties of Kinvara 3 shoes. Throughout the space, staffers were positioned at areas with Cybex treadmills and gym mats with Bosu balls, where guests could test the shoes. Easy-to-run-to contemporary hits—like remixes of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love”—were part of the evening’s soundtrack.
At the launch’s end, guests received orange and pink plastic wristbands embossed with the words “Find Your Strong” and tie-dyed neon pink and green T-shirts emblazoned with the same phrase.