Thinking / Shawn Gurn
How do you make a very special kid’s dream of becoming a zookeeper into something that the whole community can rally around? That was the challenge we faced when the North Texas chapter of Make-a-Wish asked Moroch to help make the granting of their 7,000th wish an event to remember.
Zander, the 7,000th wish recipient, loves animals. An event was planned to allow Zander to help wrangle a real alligator and to safely deliver the alligator back to his home at the Dallas Zoo. Our job was to create the story that would lead up to the big event, and to get as many folks to play along as possible.
Our team decided that the alligator who had “escaped” wasn’t going to sit around and wait… he had a personality and a life to live as long as he was free. We needed everyone to help us track this fugitive and make sure that Zander and the community was following along through social media and press. Our creative team created “Chompy,” the persona of the alligator, and armed our media partners and everyone participating in the story with the tools to catch a glimpse of the elusive beast.
To help track the beast, there were alligator footprints that could be printed and “found” by anyone who wanted to post a picture.
As more and more people became aware of the hunt for Chompy, the Make-a-Wish North Texas Facebook page was gaining more likes (our goal to get 7,000 likes to match the 7,000th wish). The more likes the page received, the more tools (including GPS, jeeps and gear) Zander would earn to help him on his quest.
To add a little digital “sizzle” to the event, we partnered with Goldrun, an augmented-reality application who had made news with some of their recent promotional efforts. Through the magic of Goldrun’s app, it was possible to not only take a picture with a virtual “Chompy”, but to share it socially and connect people throughout the country with our quest in Dallas/Fort Worth.
As much fun as it was for Zander to fulfill his dream and capture Chompy once and for all, it was even more fun for us to watch the community flood social media with sightings and evidence of Chompy’s shenanigans.
Special thanks to Goldrun and all of the other partners for donating their time and energy to making the 7,000th wish a special one, indeed.