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Retro icon launches Fly Buys Facebook frenzy

Fly Buys managed to increase its Facebook fan base ten-fold in December, thanks to an original 1974 Volkswagen Kombi van.

Fly Buys hit a total of 55,000 likes in three weeks (up from 5,500) through its  ‘Dream Machine’ promotion, a finalist in the 2012 CAANZ Media Awards.

Its Kombi van travelled around Auckland during December, giving out free rewards to Fly Buys members and spreading a little Christmas joy.

The Fly Buys Facebook page was used to post the Kombi’s location, photos of Aucklanders winning rewards and to promote a simple online game where fans in the digital space could ‘drive’ an artist’s rendition of the real Kombi van for a chance to win Fly Buys rewards.

“The unlikely combination of a well-loved retro icon and an addictive online game really created a lot of attention in both the real world and in the digital space,” says Fly Buys head of customer engagement, Chris Lamers.

“It was about extending our ‘dream a little’ campaign at the time of year people are dreaming most – Christmas and holiday time,” he says.

The promotion was a team effort by Touchcast, Clemenger BBDO, OMD and Fly Buys with Touchcast taking the lead on development of the online game.

“We’ve since had the ‘real’ Dream Machine travel up and down the country but at first it was based in Auckland. The online game allowed everyone a chance to interact with the Dream Machine and win rewards for Christmas even if they were in a different part of the country."

He adds: “We designed the game to be easy to play so we had the maximum chance of making it addictive – perfect for bored people sitting at their desks.”

The game apparently proved a welcome distraction from work – it was played more than 78,000 times during December with visitors spending an average of 8 minutes playing.

The company says its fan page page amassed an average of 1,631 new likes a day, the biggest day being on December 9 when it racked up 11,769 within 24 hours.