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Tacori, Michael C. Fina flaunt philanthropy via SMS scavenger hunt

October 30, 2012


Jewelers Tacori and Michael C. Fina are sending participants in the annual Diamond Dash charity event to scavenger hunt clues via SMS and relying on the mobile messages to choose this year’s winner.

The third annual "Diamond Dash: Dash for a Diamond & a Cure" will be held Nov. 14 in New York to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In a departure this year, couples residing in all 50 U.S. states are eligible to participate.

"There is a viral aspect to this campaign with photos being taken and shared,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA. “It creates a level of excitement that extends beyond just those who are part of the hunt.”

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with Michael C. Fina or Tacori, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Michael C. Fina nor Tacori were available to comment directly on this effort before press deadline.

Dashing bride and groom

Couples who are participating in the Diamond Dash will receive scavenger hunt clues via SMS on their mobile devices. The clues will also be distributed on a physical list.

Consumers will prove that they have stopped at each scavenger hunt location by taking an image of them in front of signage with their smartphone’s camera.

Participants must then text in a code to tell that they have reached the location.

The top three couples will be determined by the time stamps on scavenger hunt text and images messages. The finalists are those couples who have reached the highest number of scavenger hunt destinations in the smallest amount of time.

These finalists will compete for the grand prize.

Each year, Michael C. Fina and Tacori alter the clues so that it is a new experience for participants.

The couple deemed the winner of the Diamond Dash will receive a Tacori engagement ring setting matched with a Tacori diamond worth $20,000, an engagement photography package from Photomuse, and gift certificates for the purchase of wedding bands and a bridal registry at Michael C. Fina.

The Diamond Dash will end with a live marriage proposal.

"Mobile scavenger hunts often rise or fall depending on the cause and the payout,” Mr. Hasen said. “In this case, a $20,000 diamond, plus the other wedding-related elements, should drive signups.”

Testing texting

Luxury marketers are using SMS more frequently to reach consumers on a channel that is often used for personal communication.

Some marketers are using SMS for entertainment purposes, but others are using the mobile marketing medium to trigger purchases.

For instance, retail chain Neiman Marcus began to test a mobile initiative in partnership with Visa that allows consumers to get personalized, real-time offers via SMS depending on location and purchase history.

Consumers can enroll in the nmbuzz mobile program with their eligible Visa account and mobile number. The personalized messages that Neiman Marcus is sending its customers based on all purchases, not just those in its own retail stores, will likely give its retention a boost (see story).

In addition, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is upping its service to affluent consumers who are searching for pre-owned vehicles via a digital tool that is mobile-compatible and gives availability updates via SMS and email (see story).

Meanwhile, some luxury marketers are using SMS to enhance contests similar to Michael C. Fina and Tacori.

One recent example is department store chain Bloomingdale’s SMS contest with Microsoft that took place each day of the semi-annual “Hot” event Sept. 6-16.

Consumers could text “ITSON” to 51515 for the chance to win a Microsoft prize pack that included a Windows tablet, Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse and Keyboard, and Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 featuring OneNote (see story).

"Mobile brings more immediacy and interaction for a charitable event like a dash than was previously possible,” Mr. Hasen said. “The cause is worthwhile and the prize is large enough to draw participation.

“It is interesting that you must have a mobile phone with a camera to take part,” he said. “That is not the most inclusive strategy, but it will probably work out here because mobile use is certainly high for those who interact with luxury brands.”

Final Take

Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York