Kaplow had representation on the ground – literally, I was sitting on the ground – at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” in Washington, DC this past weekend. The highly anticipated event was nothing short of epic, attracting over 250,000 attendees and showcasing high-profile guests such as The Roots, John Legend, Ozzy Osbourne, Sam Waterson, Cat Stevens, and many more.
But just as impressive as the rally itself were the various inventive social media support promotions leading up to the event. According to Mashable, the rally website offered updates and charitable opportunities, as well as social media features, such as Twitter handles and a presence on Facebook, which continued straight through the broadcast of the event.
“Social media is too often an afterthought — a detail stapled onto traditional media,” the post reads. “The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear has taken the most traditional form there is — speaking to a large group of people in person — and made it a social media vehicle.”
Also lending to the social media efforts surrounding the rally was geo-location service (and new Kaplow client) Foursquare. Users who “checked in” to either side of the rally on Foursquare received a special badge:
(Image via GeekoSystem)
CNN.com’s Marquee Blog noted that while over 250,000 people attended the rally in D.C., nearly double that – 570,000 – viewed the rally online through a live stream on ComedyCentral.com, on an iPhone, iPad or Android.
PRNewser reported that during the post-rally press conference, both Stewart and Colbert discussed the impact of social media and the proper way to engage.
“It was a nice validation of what we were thinking,” Colbert said about the online activity. “Our fans see this as a natural extension of the work we’re already doing.”
Ironically, if you were within a few miles of the event, you couldn’t actually log on to Twitter or Facebook, text message, or call anyone. Cell phone towers in the area couldn’t handle the traffic volume, preventing people from meeting up with friends and frustrating live tweeters alike.