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How a popular local pub transformed the town into a poster scavenger hunt frenzy using Deckle and AI: a case study for small and medium size businesses

Aug 14, 2023

When a historic watering hole meets modern technology, what do you get? A good success! The Old State Saloon, a popular bar housed in a heritage building in downtown Eagle, Idaho, created a month-long scavenger hunt campaign. The numbers speak for themselves: over a hundred participants and an overwhelmingly positive response from both locals and visitors. The cost? Minimum! It was all made possible via a collaboration with a Melbourne-based startup – Deckle.


Celebration meets history and technology

Nestled in the picturesque state of Idaho, the town of Eagle is more than just a name on a map. Every year, Eagle comes alive during its 'Eagle Fun Days', a two-day celebration designed to foster community spirit. This year, the festival took place on July 7th and 8th, drawing residents and visitors alike to enjoy parades, fireworks, and toe-tapping live music. Wait a moment, there’s something new and… brilliant this time. It’s Old State Saloon using technology to bring digital heat to the town! 

Located in the historic Orville Jackson Drug Store building that dates back to 1906. Old State Saloon is a nod to the town's storied past, offering patrons a taste of history with their choice of drink. To celebrate Eagle Fun Days, Old State Saloon joined hands with Deckle, an innovative icebreaker app from Australia, and created an amazing scavenger hunt for everyone.


Joining the Hunt: Where Every Poster Tells a Story

So, here’s the fun part. Picture wandering around Eagle, a Deckle app in hand, on a mission to find these super cool posters of legendary outlaws. Old State Saloon had this brilliant idea to scatter them around town. Each poster wasn’t just a piece of art; it was a clue, a piece of a puzzle. And every time you'd find one with the help of the app’s hints, boom, you're on to the next. But it wasn't just about chasing posters; it was a fun twist on a history lesson, taking you on a mini-tour of Eagle, making every step of the hunt feel like a mini-adventure.


A Town Re-Discovered: The People's Verdict

The buzz around town was palpable. For many, the scavenger hunt wasn't just a game; it was an experience. Players found Deckle intuitive and user-friendly, making the hunt both fun and easy. The real surprise? The interactive AI figures that came to life when they scanned the QR codes. Many were charmed and delighted by the animated outlaws who shared clues, their voices ringing with tales and hints. Among the sea of excited participants was a real-estate professional who clinched the coveted first prize—a giant teddy bear. Despite having lived in Eagle for years, he shared how the game opened his eyes to new facets of the town.



Behind the Magic: AI Technology Brings the Past to Life

So, how did static posters transform into animated, talking outlaws? The genius lies in the innovative use of AI technology. Cana Sharai, the operations manager at Old State Saloon, harnessed the power of 'Midjourney' to generate captivating AI images of the outlaw figures. Once these images were ready, they were sent over to Studio D-ID, which animated them, giving them voices and personalities. Scripted dialogues breathed life into the characters, making them more than just digital animations. When participants scanned a poster's QR code using the Deckle app, they were greeted by these lively outlaws. Each character had its own voice and shared clues in a playful, engaging manner. It wasn't just about chasing a hint; it was about interacting with a piece of history, making the past feel very much alive in the present.

Crafting the Perfect Hunt: Cana’s Deckle Experience

Cana Sharai's dive into the world of scavenger hunts was made seamless with Deckle. Signing up on the platform? A breeze, requiring just an email and name. But what truly stood out was the degree of customization Deckle offered. Cana could shape her hunt precisely the way she envisioned. Whether it was tailoring clues or embedding rich historical narratives, she had the reins. And as participants delved into the hunt, she wasn't just a passive observer. Deckle's host features granted her real-time insights into each player's journey. She could track their progress, see their completion times, and even identify where some might have hit a roadblock or stopped playing. It was a goldmine of feedback, offering Cana unique perspectives on player engagement and areas of improvement.



A Cost-Effective Adventure: Funding the Fun

One might imagine a campaign of this scale burning a hole in the pocket, but Cana's strategic approach ensured otherwise. Instead of shouldering the costs alone, she reached out to the Eagle History Museum and the broader community, pitching her innovative idea. The response? Overwhelmingly positive. Donations poured in, covering virtually all expenses, save for the printing costs of those intriguing posters. And Deckle? They were on board for the collaboration, ensuring Cana didn’t have to stress about software-related expenditures. The result was a high-impact campaign executed on a shoestring budget.



Tackling Tech Hiccups: Collaboration at its Best

The partnership between Old State Saloon and Deckle was a match made in heaven. But like any venture, it wasn’t without its challenges. A technical hiccup arose when Android users found themselves unable to scan the QR codes through Deckle. With participants eager and the hunt in full swing, the pressure was on. Enter Lexon Li and his diligent team from Australia. Despite the vast time difference between Eagle and Melbourne, the team jumped into action. Working through the night, they ironed out the glitch in mere hours. It was a testament to Deckle's commitment to their partners and users, ensuring the hunt went on smoothly and participants were left with memories, not tech frustrations.


Discovering the Potential in Startups: Cana's Digital Marketing Journey in Eagle, Idaho

Navigating the challenging landscape of digital collaborative platforms was an endeavor for Cana. Amid the plethora of online tools and business partnerships available, she sifted through many, only to encounter hefty price tags or overwhelming complexities. Then, the game-changer emerged: Deckle. As an emerging startup, Deckle was a fusion of enthusiasm, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendly interfaces. Cana's dive into the world of startups sheds light on a vital business strategy: In the search for innovative marketing solutions, startups like Deckle shouldn't be overlooked. Their competitive pricing, combined with a fresh perspective and adaptive agility, positions them as invaluable allies in SMB marketing campaigns.


A Win-Win Digital Endeavor: The SEO-Rich Benefits of Innovative Collaborations

The brilliance of the AI-driven scavenger hunt campaign transcended its creative execution; it spotlighted the mutual rewards awaiting both Old State Saloon and Deckle. For Deckle, this interactive campaign served as a dynamic platform, amplifying its visibility to Eagle's local community and a broader digital audience. On the flip side, Old State Saloon reaped the dividends of enhanced customer loyalty. Patrons delved beyond a mere game; they embarked on an immersive journey, intertwining with the saloon's rich narrative and Eagle's historical tapestry. In today's digital age, where the efficacy of online brand promotions can set businesses apart, curating such holistic experiences can redefine success.



Takeaways for Small and Medium Businesses

The success story of Old State Saloon and Deckle not only boosts Eagle, Idaho's vibrant business scene but offers a plethora of actionable insights for SMBs (small and medium businesses) aiming to maximize their digital marketing reach and impact:

Innovative Partnerships: 
- Always be on the lookout for strategic collaborations with startups or online platforms that mirror your business ethos.
- Such business partnerships can offer new-age perspectives, cost-effective marketing solutions, and quicker go-to-market strategies.

Customer Engagement:

  - Move beyond traditional advertising; create immersive experiences. Activities like interactive scavenger hunts keep the modern customer hooked and invested.

  - Engaging campaigns foster deeper brand loyalty, transforming occasional patrons into true brand ambassadors.

Leveraging Technology:

  - Dive into the world of emerging technologies. Tools like AI, seen with the animated outlaw posters, can catapult your campaign into the future.

  - Opting for user-friendly apps or platforms, especially ones akin to Deckle, can de-complicate intricate processes, promising seamless customer journeys.


Feedback and Adaptation:

  - Monitor campaign analytics diligently to decode customer behavior and inclinations.

  - Exhibit agility, pivoting based on real-time feedback. A case in point being the swift QR scanning issue resolution.


Community Involvement:

  - Foster ties with local stakeholders, from community groups to heritage institutions like museums. This aids in building trust and garnering local support.

  - Collaborations like these can also be financially smart, as crowd-sourced funding or sponsorships often flow from groups that align with the campaign's ethos.


Value Proposition:

  - Spotlight what sets your campaign or offering apart. For Old State Saloon, it was a unique concoction of local history, modern technology, and interactive fun.

  - A well-articulated value proposition makes your business stand out, even in saturated markets.


In the dynamic world of small and medium business marketing, the journey of Old State Saloon's collaboration with Deckle provides a testament to the untapped potential of innovative partnerships. As businesses strive for increased online visibility in bustling digital marketplaces like Eagle, Idaho, the seamless integration of emerging AI technologies and user-friendly apps can carve a distinct niche.

By weaving together the local history of Eagle with the capabilities of startups like Deckle, brands can foster immersive customer experiences, transforming mere campaigns into memorable narratives. The symbiotic blend of history, technology, and interactive engagement not only bolsters brand visibility but deepens customer loyalty. In this age where digital brand promotions reign supreme, such initiatives exemplify the power of creativity coupled with strategic collaboration.

The key takeaway? Whether you're an SMB looking for innovative marketing solutions or a brand keen on leveraging AI-driven scavenger hunts, the blend of tradition with modern tech paves the way for unparalleled success. As we usher into a future dominated by digital narratives, may the story of the Old State Saloon and Deckle inspire and guide businesses worldwide.



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