CBS Outdoor’s #Lookforlonger competition is set to close this weekend and it’s safe to say the campaign has been a huge success with over 1 million game players.

For those of you London commuters who have been living in a cave the last month, CBS Outdoor have placed 50 #lookforlonger posters across the tube network and are asking commuters to guess the 75 featured underground stations hidden in the image.

Prizes for the social competition include; a Virgin Media home entertainment system, a iPad 2 and a Amazon Kindle Fire.

The idea is the brainchild of digital agency MCM Net, who also created a microsite for the campaign, which allows you to log-in via Facebook and Twitter, save your progress and ask friends for help on clues!

The extremely innovative competition aimed to “highlight how interactive advertising on the underground can be when people are using Wi-Fi while waiting for their trains”.

The facts

  1. 1.16 million Game players registering
  2. 176,032 site visits from 109,948 unique users
  3. A Global reach – people in over 150 countries have visited the site
  4. Over 2,500 tweets using #lookforlonger – giving a reach on Twitter of 1.7 million people
  5. Over 30,000 visits from Facebook

Why was it so successful?

There are a number of reasons why this campaign was so successful.

1.) The campaign is highly addictive: CBS Outdoor produced a fun, ‘sticky’ campaign that forces you to keep going back to their website until you have guessed all the clues. I have a number of friends that literally refused to stop until they had guessed all 75 stations.

2.) The contest is incredibly viral: The idea has the ‘word of mouth’ factor, driving you to tell your friends about it on social networks and ask them for help. What’s more the campaign even lets you set the #lookforlonger image as your Facebook cover photo.

3.) The campaign offered great prizes for winning: The prizes on offer force you not to give up on the game until you have completed it.

The ‘criptic image’ concept is a great, simple idea for a social media competition. Digital agency Syzygy ran a similar contest last year. They posted a visual image of ‘Twenty things that happend on the internet in 2011’ and asked followers to email them all 20 answers.

The campaign was a raging success. In the first 4 days alone, #20things got more than 2.4 million impressions on Twitter, and half a million on Facebook. Over 300 blogs covered it and it was discussed on more than 100 forums. Mashable, Gizmodo, Laughing Squid, Design Taxi, The Daily What and MSN Digital Life all wrote about it and tweeted it. (via Syzygy)

To add to this all Syzygy offered as the prize was a copy of the poster for your office wall! Which just shows, more often then not it’s the fun of participating in a competition that is the drive and the prizes are secondary.

Final thoughts

As you can see, when a ‘criptic image’ campaign is done correctly, with an innovative theme, a great image and a social strategy they can hit great viral heights. Not only does this concept have people engaging with your brand on social networks, but when hosted on your website it’s constantly driving traffic to you and boosting SEO.

This concept could be used for a variety of brands and could work in a number of ways. Instead of having a custom made graphic, the image could perhaps be of a real location and have an interactive ‘quiz’ element asking questions about different parts of image.

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