This post and the details of the program are based on a Sears sponsorship via Izea. The opinions and accounts however, are mine.
Hot on the heels of the buzzworthy K-mart blogger program, comes a similar effort for parent, Sears. And this time, I'm involved. Perhaps I was a bit of a squeaky wheel, but to his credit Izea honcho, Ted Murphy was listening...and he invited me to participate in a new round/version of this novel idea.
So here was my "mission" (if I chose to accept it): In keeping with Sears' Don't Just Give a Gift, Grant a wish initiative, You will be provided with a $500 Sears gift card to spend at your local Sears on holiday gifts.We would like you to “Grant a Wish” either for yourself, a loved one or charity.
I chose to do all 3 and so on Sunday, December 13th, I took the family to our nearest Sears (some 20 miles away in Milford) and purchased a gift for myself, my family and Al's Angels, a local charity that "provides moments of joy and comfort to families that are challenged by childhood cancer, rare blood diseases, AIDS and domestic violence."
Incidentally, Al's Angels was started by Al DiGuido, who happens to be the founder & CEO of Zeta Interactive, which happens to be the former stomping ground of fellow-crayonsita, Jane Quigley. Talk about serendipity.
I purchased the DVD of the Dark Knight for myself, my wife bought a dress and mini-vacuum for the car, my daughter purchased a digital camera (a cheap one which didn't work), my son a game for the Wii and my other son chose Mighty Wheels (although at 18 months he might have been more interested in the box itself)
The rest (see photo) went to charity and included 6 pairs of Lands' End snow boots (very reasonably priced @ $25 on sale), Hot Wheels, Etch-a-Sketch, assorted Fisher Price toys, Mr Potato Head, Bath toys, Tea sets, Tools, Baby Dolls and Lego.
It was an incredible experience to know that we were shopping for others and we could literally visualize the 35 kids we would be able to touch during a Holiday season during a tough and challenging economic climate for those who have so many more worries that we could ever imagine.
The highest form of charity is to give anonymously, such that the givers don't know who the receivers are and the receivers don't know who the givers are. This is a far cry from that. It's not even our money per se, but given the equity that Jaffe Juice (blog + podcast) and their wonderful communities have been able to create, both I and you have had a hand (albeit indirect) in terms of making this possible.
...which is where I return the favor to you.
We live in a multimedia world and so in the spirit of technology, content creation, community, dialogue and partnership, I've created 2 3 packages which incorporate:
- Photography - so you can savor a lasting image of me or snap one at the next tweet-up :)
- Music - so you can listen to Jaffe Juice -the New Marketing Podcast in style
- Video - perhaps you'll just want to lean back on that next flight and watch one of my presentations
To win one of the two three packages, you need to blog comment, tweet or blog post. And I'm adding in a new way: send an audio comment to +1 206 203-3255. I'll make sure Ted treats your podcast comments equally :)
Blog Comment: Leave a comment on this post with the name of the wish package you would like to win.
Twitter Tweet: Simply tweet out the following message: “RT @jaffejuice - please grant my wish to win the #Sears (package name) - tweet to win your own wish (http://urlbrief.com/e007be)” In case you didn't already know, I'm jaffejuice on Twitter if you'd like to follow me. I'll be sure to follow you back.
Blog Post: If you're a blogger, you can enter by writing a post about the contest and linking back to your post. Be sure to leave a comment on this post on Jaffe Juice with the URL of your post.
Audio comment: Send in an audio comment to +1 206 203-3255 and also leave a comment on this post to indicate you've sent in something. I'll make sure I provide links subsequently to the audio comment.
Some other roolz (the full list is here):
- Whilst Sears sponsored the gift card and initial giveaway, Izea is the sponsor of the the reader contest
- Each tweet, comment or post counts as one registration.
- A person can register up to three times by tweeting, leaving a comment and doing a post on their own blog or sending in an audio comment. In other words, leave 3 comments instead of 1.
- The winner will be chosen at random by IZEA based on all entries.
- The contests are separate, each blogger participating in this promotion will have their own package to give away.
I suppose you'll want to know the packages now:
Package 1: The practical one - value: $494.95
- Luxentia 8" Black Leather Digital Photo Frame With Additional Brown Leather Frame
- Polaroid Digital Instant Mobile Photo Printer, PoGo™
- Apple 8GB iPod® Nano Digital Media Player - Black
- Iphone Clear case
- GPX Portable DVD Player w/ 8 in. Widescreen Display
Package 2: The fun one - value: $509.97
- Emerson Portable Karaoke CD+G System w/ 5.5 in. B&W Monitor
- Wii Fit & Wii Balance Board
- Apple 16GB iPod® Touch Digital Media Player – Black
- Belkin Remix Acrylic Case for iPod® touch
NEW: Package 3: The wii one - value $519.93
- Nintendo Wii - Fun Bundle
A few final thoughts/comments:
- The overall experience was a positive one. The family had a lot of fun. The staff seemed a little frazzled given the holiday festivities and apart from one item which didn't make its way home and one that was faulty, our overall assessment was that we would go back...
- I want to thank Sears for stepping up to the plate. I hope to continue to crow about both crayon clients and others who are investing in conversation.
- I'll do a post soon or a podcast to talk about the MARKETING implications of this program i.e. a proper commentary/debrief on my take as BOTH a participant and a marketer. There is already quite a bit of buzz on this with folks like Jeremiah and Chris.
- I want to thank you all for your support, feedback, comments and suggestions over the years. A big reason why I accepted this program was community - both to give back something to you and (in this case) children in need
- Finally, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays and given the challenging year we've had and the one that's to come, only health, happiness, success....and perhaps more appropriately, safety, security and stability
Update: Izea is offering a cash bonus of $2,500 to the participating blogger who garners the most legit comments by midnight 11.59pm on December 23rd (1 minute before my birthday). If I win, I'm donating 100% of this to Al's Angels. Spread the juice...