Microsoft's Twelve Days Of Diddy

Diddy

Microsoft and Sean P. Diddy Combs launched a social media holiday campaign this week to get fans involved with giving away thousands of dollars to charities by deciding the beneficiaries without costing them a dime.

For seven days, Sean Combs, also known as P. Diddy, will use Tag to share exclusive content with fans through a link via Twitter and Facebook. More than 3 million Twitter followers and oodles of Facebook Fans also will participate in the giveaway of $10,000 per day for five days. Proceeds will go to five charities.

Diddy uses Twitter to promote the exclusive giveaway, tweeting to followers how to find the content, scan the Tag, and unlock the gift via smartphone, either iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Windows.

The campaign -- created for Microsoft by Izea, a social media marketing company -- gives $50,000 to charity for twelve days. During the remaining five days, those scanning tags have an opportunity to vote on how thousands of dollars are divvied up to charities.

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Izea CEO Ted Murphy, who is responsible for getting Diddy on board, says Tag can more accurately read results and gather backend data compared with a QR code. He calls it the "biggest campaign of its kind" where tweets are sent through a sponsorship in a social media platform.

Marketers can build rules into the platform that only allow each individual to phone scan a tag once hourly to vote for a charity. For each day during the five, site visitors will see a list of three charities to choose from. At the end of the day, Diddy announces the winner. "We're happy to support charitable giving," says Jeff Somers, director of marketing at Microsoft.

Microsoft Tag -- a slightly different technology than QR codes, another 2D barcode -- works in color or custom code images. The technology, which lives within Microsoft's startup and incubator business group, lets marketers continually change the code on the fly to point the URL in another direction, so designers need not hardcode the URL into the campaign. That flexibility aims to encourage testing and increase the lure for marketers.

As for metrics, Tag's backend platform tracks device IDs, so it recognizes the phone type and when the user engages with the tag. This lets marketers create campaigns targeting specific phones. The backend infrastructure, designed as an end-to-end solution, allows marketers to collect data every time a phone engages with a tag. On the backend, a heat map identifies the location of the scans, as more location-based data is built and pulled into platforms.

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