Brands send fans on social media-based scavenger hunts

The success of marketing activations around last year’s Pokémon Go craze and the online/offline scavenger hunt trend showcases how young people, particularly teens, are hungry for challenges that let them test their skills. The latest such challenges from major brands offer more than the thrill of the chase, luring young consumers with the promise of free products and experiences.


To promote the release of the new iPhone, Verizon and Snap launched an augmented reality-based treasure hunt that gave Snapchat users in select cities across the U.S. a chance to win one of 256 iPhone 8s. Users in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Dallas, and Atlanta saw an ad in the app inviting them to take part in the scavenger hunt. Following clues throughout the day, players traveled from point to point in each of the cities, and after finding the final clue, a special Snapchat iPhone 8 Lens was unlocked, letting them take a selfie and send it to Verizon for an opportunity to win the real thing.


As part of its integrated campaign to launch its sporty SUV, the 2018 Tiguan, Volkswagen created an Instagram experience this September called VW Rule the Road. For 21 days, fans could embark on a digital scavenger hunt to chase down the hidden vehicle using a series of clues and win prizes for their efforts. Once users found the correct Tiguan, they had to take a screenshot of it and DM it to @VWRuleTheRoad for a chance to win a daily prize and qualify to enter the grand prize drawing, a 10-day trip to NYC, SF, and Miami.


Southwest hosted a scavenger hunt that gave players in 10 cities a chance to win a free trip to drum up excitement around its latest campaign. Called Behind Every Seat is a Story: Behind Every Story is the Reason for Transfarency, the campaign showcases unique stories inspired by customers and their reasons for flying. The company simultaneously launched a microsite that hosts as many as 175 individual stories, with the number of stories alluding to the number of seats on the Boeing 737 MAX 8. The aircraft, which Southwest just introduced into its fleet, will all be equipped with satellite-based WiFi, enabling gate-to-gate connectivity.