SACRAMENTO, CA — When Jet Blue offered unlimited travel for 30 days for $599, two enterprising young men, Clark Dever and Joe DiNardo, devised a scheme to get the most out their investment in the Jet Blue ticket. They created “12 hours in a City.”
Essentially, they would travel across the United States never hanging their hats more than 12 hours and only spending $30 per day. They would use the good will of others (mostly strangers) to help carry them through their trip exchanging some PR for freebies along the way. They used social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and their Web site to promote the journey. They have about 2,300 fans on Facebook.
The media latched on to their antics and they quickly became a press favorite in every city they visited. Reporters met them as they left the airport to hear of their journey. They were interviewed on morning shows and by the likes of all of the national media — ABC, NBC and CBS plus CNN. Time and USA Today featured them along with countless local newspapers.
Chris Quinn, owner of Corporate Transportation Solutions in Sacramento, had no idea who the guys from 12 Hours In A City were. He got a call from his local convention and visitor’s bureau. The CVB had managed to get the two to visit Sacramento. Channel 31 and “Good Day Sacramento” would be interviewing the pair. They asked Quinn if he would like to participate in a promotion taking these young men from the airport to their interviews and back to gain some free exposure for CTS. Quinn jumped on the opportunity which started the relationship between 12 hours and the limousine industry.
Quinn provided a new limo bus to pick up the pair and transport them for their 12 hours in Sacramento. “We got lots of exposure by doing this from the local media. We took them to an amusement park at one point during the day. While they were on a ride being filmed by the news crew, they pointed out our limo bus from their perch on the ride. We spent about four hours with them,” Quinn said. “This exposure cost us very little for the amount of air time we got.”
For Quinn, the relationship with DiNardo and Dever didn’t end with the trip to Sacramento. He looked at the other cities they were planning to visit and reached out to his affiliates in those cities so that they too could capitalize on the exposure from the trip. Rick Brown, owner of LaCosta Limousine, became a transportation provider for the pair in San Diego and he too benefitted from the mainstream and social media exposure. Next to jump on the bandwagon were Brandon and Ron Stein, owners of Exclusive Sedan in Los Angeles.
On their Facebook page, the pair wrote:
“Big thanks to Exclusive Sedans for the car service last night and this morning.” September 27, 2009
“San Diego was amazing. Thanks sidebar, Sarno, our fans who told us where to go and LaCosta Limo who got us there in amazing style.” September 24, 2009
Rick Brown responded “Glad we could help!”
Also posted, “LaCosta Limo is really taking care of us. They went back for a bigger car for tonight.”
Quinn believes that the relationship with the pair could have a longer reach than this 30-day jaunt. “These guys are visionary. I can see this perhaps leading to a reality television program. The whole concept was so innovative that I think others will see it and continue to carry it along.” Quinn continues to stay in touch with the pair.
CTS is listed as a sponsor on the 12 hours website in a lead position. LaCosta and Exclusive Sedan are also listed in a different category. According to Quinn, a number of customers called saying that they saw his company featured on the morning show. Additionally, it has increased his click-thru traffic on his own website as a result of being list on the 12 hour website.
An added perk came to Quinn as a result of participating in the 12-hour promotion. The television producers who worked with him on the morning program contacted him the following week asking if he would like to provide a motorcade for a look alike Barak Obama that the show was bringing in. Coming off the success of the previous promotion, Quinn again jumped on board and capitalized on the added exposure for his company.
Source: Linda Jagiela, LCT Magazine