#DZ_casting:Donau Zentrum Wien is taking Model Casting Online

Donau Zentrum Wien, a major shopping centre in Vienna, is using Walls.io to run a combined Instagram and Facebook hashtag campaign for a big scale model casting competition. In the first phase (February 1 to 15) anyone could enter the competition by posting a photo of themselves to Instagram using the hashtag #DZ_casting. Or they could post the photo and hashtag to the Donau Zentrum Facebook wall instead.

A print ad for the #dz_casting hashtag campaign running on Walls.io. The ad shows a woman in a pale green blouse and a pale green skirt, and the copy reads “Unexpected Casting: donauzentrum.at”. Below the copy there are four colourful pots of eyeshadow.
Print ad for #DZ_casting. With a hashtag campaign crossmedia content is important.

Out of all the entries the shopping centre initially selects 25 photos and presents them on Facebook. Starting today, the community can vote for their favourites right there on the Facebook page. The five people who garner the most likes from the community will automatically advance into the finale. Five more finalists will get handpicked by the Donau Zentrum Jury.

We’re talking to Lisa-Maria Neuhofer, Marketing Manager of Donau Zentrum, about how to pull off such a massive campaign.

Lisa-Maria, how many entries have you had on Instagram and Facebook?

In total we received around 1.500 applications: 1.200 entries on Instagram and 300 entries on Facebook. 

Which criteria are you using to pick the semi-finalists from all the entries?

We’ve assembled a professional jury who will be evaluating the models on the day of the finale. They are also the ones making the first selections. For the Top 25 we’re looking for exceptional models that fit our new magazine “Fashion 20TWO”, which is launching in April.

How and where did you promote the competition, and do you feel like people easily understood the casting process using a hashtag?

We orchestrated a big campaign including billboards, print ads and online banners. Additionally, we sent out newsletters, push messages via the app and a press release. On our digital channels, we communicated the casting on the Website, on Facebook and on Instagram. In our shopping centre, the competition was promoted via digital screens and displays, flyers and by our model scouts who actively searched for and approached suitable candidates. The use of the hashtag was easily understood by all participants, and we received the first entries only a few minutes after the launch of the first Facebook posting.

A photo of two model scouts, a man and a woman, both dressed in jeans and a white shirt branded according to the campaign. They are looking for potential models for the #dz_casting campaign at Donau Zentrum Wien.
The model scouts were an important part of the 360° campaign for #DZ_casting.

What are the advantages and the challenges of doing a hashtag campaign?

What we love is the possibility of the specific search for hashtags. It’s a challenge to keep track of all these great applications, and Walls.io is making it a lot easier. Thanks to the hashtag campaign it is fairly simple to collect and evaluate all postings via Facebook and Instagram. However, it is crucial to place the hashtag across all types of media to ensure the viral distribution in different channels.

 How are you planning to use Walls.io at your casting finale at the end of February?

We want to integrate the Social Media Wall as a live stream on a screen during the finale at the shopping centre. The members of our jury, especially the juror who is a blogger, will post their very own impressions of the day as well. In addition, we will encourage the audience at the finale to post their own photos on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #DZ_casting. As a reward, we will be raffling off shopping vouchers among all the posters.

The #DZ_casting campaign again shows that in order for a hashtag campaign to be successful it is essential to communicate the hashtag crossmedia. It also helps to offer little incentives for posters, in order to encourage participation, the way Donau Zentrum Wien is doing with the shopping voucher raffle.

Starting February 18 you can cast your own vote for the finalists on the Donau Zentrum Wien Facebook page and you can head to Donau Zentrum Wien on February 28 to follow the #DZ_casting finale live. Just make sure you post a pic for us using the hashtag 😉