If you recall, last Friday and Saturday we helped with a Super Bowl ticket giveaway by the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The objective of the contest for participants was to find a mystery man roaming the streets of Green Bay. The winner received two tickets to see the Green Bay Packers face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, some money for travel and hotel accommodations.
Someone found the mystery man on Saturday and afterward I asked the people in Dallas for a photo so we could post about the winners. I didn’t receive a reply.
Whether that was on purpose or not, I can’t say.
What I can say is this. The people who won the contest are homeless.
Their names are Ouida Wright and Aaron Hermes and they live in a homeless shelter in Green Bay.
Since the marketing for the contest was done almost entirely online — clues to the mystery man’s whereabouts were distributed here and through various Twitter accounts, and people had to use Facebook to retrieve the secret phrase to to ask him — I wondered how the hell a homeless couple would even know about the contest.
I mean, the whole thing was obviously designed to utilize and show the power of social media. Well, one little factor was overlooked, I guess.
People were running around Green Bay asking random strangers the secret phrase, “Have you been to Dallas lately?” Some of those random strangers, including Wright and Hermes, asked their questioners what the hell they were talking about. I would just have said never mind, but some participants told random people on the street about the contest.
In a certain sense, the contest went viral, but certainly not in the way the organizers intended. There were people participating, including the winners, who didn’t even know the contest was being put on by the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau, much less that we were involved.
In fact, had they not won this contest, Wright and Hermes certainly wouldn’t be thinking about visiting Dallas, which presumably, is one of the reason’s the convention and visitors bureau put it together. That is, to get people thinking about visiting and/or doing business in Dallas.
It’s some form or irony, I suppose.
“We had 90 cents in our pockets and we have won a package that people have offered thousands and thousands of dollars for,” Wright said. “And all I could think of is, oh my gosh, these corporations that put this on. They must be thinking ‘Yes, finally a contest that we put it on and the parameters were so that somebody who never in a million years afford to go, can go.’
“And what better than a couple in a homeless shelter? Not that we’re more deserving, but a homeless shelter. We’re lucky to get a can of soda or a movie and we’re going to the Super Bowl!”
It’s a great story and I’m happy Wright and Hermes are getting this opportunity. However, I don’t think the creative minds behind the contest really had this outcome in mind.
Then again, what the hell? We’re still talking about it, aren’t we?