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ANKENY, Iowa -- Casey's General Stores named Justin VanLaere of Byron, Minn., the "Casey's Madness" champion. The social marketing campaign was a competitive, interactive, bracket-style contest built around creative, user-generated content submitted through social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It focused on growing the brand's online presence by engaging customers online.
"We are honored by all the support our customers have shown us throughout this campaign," stated Cory Hart, Casey's brand manager. "We have always been aware of our consumers' loyalty and passion, but the entries submitted in this social media contest bring it to a whole new level -- we've encountered the strongest brand advocates through this social and digital interaction."
VanLaere began his championship journey with the video, "Like Taking Pizza from a Baby," which starred his son, Paxson. He advanced through each round by submitting new videos such as "The Pizza Pirate" and "The Casey's Kid." His final submission, "The Race," edged out runner-up BJ Hoffman of Windsor Heights, Iowa, and ultimately crowned him champion.
With the help of more than 25,000 public votes cast throughout the contest, VanLaere won prizes in every round including Casey's pizza, doughnuts, gift cards and the final prize of a $1,500 Best Buy gift card to buy a big screen television for March Madness basketball viewing.
"We are thankful for everyone who entered our Casey's Madness contest, and Justin's victory is well-deserved," Hart said in a statement released today by Casey's. "We plan to continue growing and engaging Casey's social community over the months to come."
To view VanLaere's videos and other top Casey's Madness tournament submissions, visit www.caseysmadness.com.