It is no big secret that the media plays an influential role in what we consume on a daily basis. When we watch a film or television show we are bombarded with brand names and logos, all of which are aimed at (hopefully) ensuring brand recognition. However, as the value of online and mobile interactivity continues to gain industry recognition it seems that PR and marketing professionals are taking a new immersive approach to product placement.

Following the success of Amazing Race Australia you may have noticed a number of large names such as Ford, Vodafone and 2dayFM jumping on The Amazing Race bandwagon, looking to create an ‘Amazing Race’ of their own where consumers MUST engage and expose their product in order to win. Ultimately, the campaign relies on a risky strategy that sees the consumer in control of how much exposure the product will receive.

A rather interesting campaign is Vodafone’s ‘Run Your Own Amazing Race’, which sees Vodafone customers (who have purchased the app of course) scurrying around the streets finding virtual markers in order to earn points. These markers are located at certain Vodafone stores around the country and codes are provided in Vodafone catalogues, in-store flyers and magazine advertisements.

The campaign also makes excellent use of Facebook and Twitter where the participant’s game activity is posted regularly throughout the day (not surprisingly this occurs with or without the players knowledge). This means that Vodafone is being exposed to an incredibly large number of potential clients simultaneously.

There is no doubt that this campaign will excite Vodafone users, and with a trip around the world on offer why shouldn’t it? Vodafone has effectively targeted the competitive streak in us all; we want to win not only the trip around the world, but we also want to beat our friends.

Though what about those who are not on Vodafone and must make the change in order to play? Obviously this campaign is an attempt to build a larger client base, though will it be able to attract an audience outside of current Vodafone customers? Time will tell. However it seems that new media is creating some new and exciting ways for PR Professionals to seek exposure for their client.

Sam Kilborn