I have decided. If I am not passionate about doing something, I am simply not going to do it. For a recent experience, Lovin’ the Lou, I was able to let my passion flag fly and find others flying theirs proudly as well…it was magical!
First things first, we have a fabulous new development/rehab called The Laurel Apartments located in Downtown St. Louis in the Mercantile Exchange District. This is an up and coming neighborhood with incredible potential to really help rejuvenate Downtown – and we are right in the middle of it. So we needed to get the word out. In comes Lovin’ the Lou! In order to enter, we asked Lovin’ the Louers to create a 2 minute video capturing their love for St. Louis.
This is not just a contest with a fabulous prize (Free Rent for a Year at The Laurel), it is much bigger. It is about reminding an entire region how alive and exciting downtown St. Louis really is. We originally wanted to use all the traditional media outlets like television and newspapers but as it turned out, that is not where you find people for passion projects. So you ask yourself…how can we find this targeted audience of people passionate about St. Louis? The internet of course! This project was run completely through social media – twitter, facebook, website, and blog posts. And maybe we sacrificed some volume (maybe) by avoiding traditional media, but I think we gained a ton more in passion.
We received 18 passionate, creative, and fun videos showcasing St. Louis for this project! Every entry had a great story to tell and it was clear that this was not really about winning free rent. BAM! Exactly what we were looking for…our prize was secondary to real passion for the city! Not only were people loving the videos, they were also commenting and sharing the information with their friends. Our broader goal of helping revitalize downtown was really coming to fruition. We have 18 mini-commercials from real St. Louisans that are much more intriguing than any ad I have ever seen. This is only the beginning. It’s funny (and maybe this is a precaution), when you start a passion project you find it will never be complete – you will feel internally compelled to do more. So I guess we will see what the next chapters bring!
But for this chapter, we are in the final stages of judging to announce the winner later this month – check out all the entries at Lovinthelou.com.
Broader reminder to marketers: Don’t push your content (especially with passion projects). Passionate people who really buy-in are much more inspiring than fancy ad campaigns with fake passion. Passionate people truly believe in what you are trying to accomplish and they will find you. It’s like a social media flash mob for your project! Ok-ok. Here are some stats… (over 5 month period).5,058 Visits 3,231 Unique visitors 16,951 Pageviews 280 Comments 166 Lovin the Lou fan page likers 554 Facebook individual webpage likes 63 Tweets 11 +1’s
We are nearing the first chapter finale for this passion project and I can’t wait to continue! What will your next passion project be?