Contact, JWT hunt new audience among Fringe Festival tweeps

Contact Energy is branching out from its traditional media audience with a Twitter contest to help decide the People’s Choice winner at this year’s Fringe Festival in Wellington.

Those entering the competition are likely a much younger demographic than Contact has targeted in the past, says corporate communications manager Shaun Jones. “If you think about the channels people are using, those who are big on Twitter are younger and with the Fringe being the gateway to bigger New Zealand festival events the audience is at the youth end,” says Jones.

JWT, appointed as Contact’s brand, digital and retail agency at the end of 2012, collaborated with the electricity company on the promotion as well as its sponsorship of Power Plant, part of the New Zealand Festival.

Designworks, which gave Contact’s brand a revamp last September, continues to work on the company’s brand strategy and annual report.

The Fringe Festival competition lets Twitter users vote for their favourite festival act using the hashtag #fringefave. The winning act receives a $5000 grant and there are spot prizes for Twitter entrants and website voters.

Tweets to the hashtag are turned into a vote on the leaderboard at fringefave.co.nz, the site built by JWT. The leading act, Miss Fletcher Sings The Blues, has more than 4000 votes.

A Twitter user in France setting up automatic voting was a sign of strong interest in the contest, says Jones, saying it’s only had a couple of instances of spam.

He says it’s kept an eye on the voting and it’s easy to weed out votes that grow at a compound rate every minute.

Contact added an experiential element to the competition with lycra-clad performers acting out the leaderboard numbers at the festival bar, The Rogue and Vagabond. 

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