Saturday, April 3, 2010

#STH3...the ending of a social media experiment!

The 3rd Sac Treasure Hunt (#STH3) was a social media experiment galore; utilizing twitter, facebook and foursquare and a new special guest; @nataliedaily as the main clue person.

The hunt ended this past Thursday on April Fool's Day, in hopes of having the participants think that just maybe, maybe it was all a big joke; but the thrill of figuring out the clues and finding the secret location fooled no one in the end!

The secret location was Zelda's Gourmet Pizza restaurant on 21st Street in Sacramento and many were watiing for @nataliedaily and myself to come thru the door at 6 pm, as the first 12 people who found the secret location and had qualified with a picture would win a prize of at least $50 in value.

So how did all the clue's left via @nataliedaily's foursquare check-in's over four days lead to Zelda's Gourmet Pizza?

Before I explain the clues, this was the thought process of the very creative and fun Natalie Paulsen; aka @nataliedaily.

Natalie loves playing the classic Nintendo game "The Legend of Zelda" and therefore all the clues somehow pointed towards Zelda, Nintendo, pizza, etc.....with direct and indirect routes.

Check-in Clue #1: Luigi's Slice - It's in the name.(Thought it was funny that this pizza place also includes the name of one of the Super Mario Bros. It is basically a dual clue. It's a pizza place and it mentions Luigi, one of Nintendo's most popular characters, like Zelda.)

Check-in Clue #2: Target - CLUE is in the picture.(Thought this would be a good place to go with re: to the qualifying photo. Everyone should live close enough to a Target to be able to go in and take their pic with an employee. Also, a picture clue of a princess, as Zelda is a princess in the game.)

Check-in Clue #3: Jack's Urban Eats - Worth the wait.(Like Jack's, Zelda's is known for their long waits, both positively and negatively. Their loyal patrons don't mind the wait or know to call in ahead of time.)

Check-in Clue #4: Back Door Lounge - I heart a great hole-in-the-wall.(A favorite dive bar in Sacramento. It's a great hole-in-the-wall kind of place...which is how people talk about Zelda's Pizza as well.)

Check-in Clue #5: Nugget Market - Must. Have. Sausage Link.(Another common place that people can get a pic easily at. Was going to stop by and make a comment about the links...since link is the name of the main character in the Legend of Zelda. Oh, and I love sausage and it's in pizza too!)

Check-in Clue #6: Mikuni's Sushi - Getting a combo to-go.(This was a dual clue with Mikuni's being a Japanese style reataurant and the "Legend of Zelda" being inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto of Japan. Combo to-go sounds like a pizza order as well!)

Check-in Clue #7: Shady Lady Saloon - F. Scott Fitz. would love this.(A speakeasy style bar alluding to The Great Gatsby in some way since the book is set in the Roaring 20's, Jazz Age, during Prohibition, etc. The novel was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald who was married to Zelda Fitzgerald, which the game was named after, The Legend of Zelda.)

Several other random check-in's and clues were given after the 7th clue leading up to the 6pm meeting time on Thursday evening. Some took a chance and did leave Zelda's as Natalie checked-in via foursquare at other places heading towards Zelda's, which means they missed out being one of the top 12 people to get a shot at a prize, as they did not get back in time. It was very fun with a bit of trickery in the end!

Natalie and I arrived at 6pm to a warm reception from all the players who had figured out the secret locations and then we all sat down for a nice dinner, most of us meeting for the first time and chatted at Zelda's for a couple hours! Pictures of the 3rd Sac Treasure Hunt can be found in our STH Facebook album.

Everyone enjoyed the foursquare addition to the mix this time around and the social media experiment was successful in the end!

...and as always, real people win real prizes playing the Sac Treasure Hunt, so be sure to follow us on twitter, as a new hunt is just around the corner!

Thanks again to all who played and a big special thanks to Natalie for a wonderful week and making it the best STH yet!

STH Team