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Procter & Gamble's Downy hosts mobile scavenger hunt to promote new product

Procter & Gamble fabric softener brand Downy will hold a smartphone-based scavenger hunt in Las Vegas next month to introduce a new product to a young, mobile audience. 

Downy Unstopables is a new line of scent beads that can be added to the wash to make clothes smell nice. On Dec. 3, smartphone owners in Las Vegas will be able to use their mobile devices to play the Downy Unstopables scavenger hunt for a chance to win a prize.

?With this promotion, Downy would like to dramatize the amplified sensorial experience that Unstopables delivers and leverage the city of Las Vegas because it is often seen as ?the sensorial capital of the world,?? said Sherilena Strub, a spokeswoman at Procter & Gamble, Cincinatti, OH. 

?So we are aiming to use it as a torture test with Downy Unstopables taking over Las Vegas and saying that if the product can stand out there, it can stand out anywhere," she said. ?With this new product, Downy is looking to tap into a new, younger audience?one that is tech-savvy, using mobile, and is always on the forefront of social media innovations.?

Scent of a city
Scvngr is a mobile gaming app that lets users complete challenges from their mobile phones at different locations to earn points that can be redeemed for real-world rewards.

With the promotion, P&G wants to prove that the Downy Unstopables scent can stand out against all of the best scent experiences in Las Vegas.

On the day of the event, participants will be tasked with finding a number of cultural landmarks and local venues around Las Vegas based on clues supplied by the Scvngr application. 

Once there, users will complete a specific challenge that will help them gain points and move on to the next task.

The team that completes the most challenges and collects the most points will win a prize.

P&G hopes to break the Guiness World Record for ?Largest Digital Scavenger Hunt? with the Downy Unstopables scavenger hunt in Las Vegas.

?We worked with Scvngr to create an experience that demonstrates how Downy Unstopables can stand out even in the highly sensorial Las Vegas, because it seamlessly blends online and offline events and encourages sharing in order to amplify the user experience,? Ms. Strub said.

?We feel this is essential because we need the live activation to really showcase the benefit, but the online components to share the experiences virally,? she said. ?This audience also appreciates this type of interaction in terms of engaging with brands, making Scvngr the ideal platform to catch the attention of Downy?s target audience.?

Teams can sign up for the promotion until Dec. 2 by visiting and the first 750 teams will be chosen for participation on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Each team must have an iPhone or Android smartphone to play.

The winning team will split $20,000 and the second place winning team will be given the opportunity to spend the night of Dec. 3 in a suite at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.

P&G is promoting the scavenger hunt using traditional and social media, including local radio, Facebook and Twitter.

An online version of the scavenger hunt will also take place on the Downy Web site.

From Nov. 29-Dec. 5, consumers will be given clues on that they can use to search for hidden Unstopables "scent beads" throughout the site. Once they find the beads, they're entered for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas.

?We chose to partner with Scvngr on the launch of a new Downy product because they continue to work with large brands to push the envelope in social media and they offer the exact type of contact experience through mobile devices and social media that our target audience for the product reacts to and engages with,? Ms. Strub said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York