The 20-year-old rock band Pearl Jam has fans all over the world. What better way to energize them than a worldwide social media scavenger hunt? The objective: be the first fan to discover the songs chosen for the soundtrack of an upcoming documentary film about the group.
On August 17th, Sony Music and Columbia Records launched the whimsical social media scavenger hunt promotion with a tweet from @PearlJam and a redirect from the PJ20.com website that provided hints to where fans could discover the song titles. It’s all part of the promotion for Cameron Crowe’s upcoming “Pearl Jam Twenty” documentary that will be released September 20th, along with a two-CD, 29-song soundtrack.
The clues led to locations where the track titles would be revealed. Those included a Google search page, a Facebook page, a billboard in New York’s Time Square (near where Pearl Jam played a set on MTV Unplugged in 1991), and a Seattle night club. Reflecting the band’s global fan base, the social media scavenger hunt also included locations such as Bologna, Italy; Auckland, New Zealand; Manila, The Philippines; and Taipei, Taiwan.
“The question was: how can we engage social media to get people finding and posting clues?” according to Scott Greer, Columbia Records Senior Vice President of Marketing, in a post about the scavenger hunt promotion on Billboard.biz. He knew it was important to include both physical and social media locations so that people all over the world could be included in the contest.
The results? Within 12 hours of its launch, the social media scavenger hunt promotion had quadrupled the number of Pearl Jam mentions on Twitter, reaching 5.9 million tweets globally, and drew over 65,000 views to the PJ20 website. The first fan to find a particular track name and tweet its name with the hashtag “#PJ20” received a numbered Pearl Jam Twenty poster.
Fans solved the puzzle quickly, but there’s more to come. Starting September 1, Pearl Jam’s website will begin the PJ20 “Twenty Days” countdown and unveil a new piece of content every day until the movie premieres on September 20.