Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bonus: Hidden Object Challenge

This year happens to be the 20th anniversary of the antique mall, so we decided that this year's windows should be really special (even more special than usual). We wanted the first window of the year to set the standard (and then we're gonna turn the volume to eleven for the one after this), so we went in an unconventional direction (again, don't we always?): a hidden object challenge.

We both love hidden object games. Our childhoods were spent circling things in Highlights magazine. Now we like computer games, especially the MCF line for anyone who's interested. So, why not a hidden object window display?

There are certain items that show up in hidden object games pretty often: a wrench, old boots, a clock, a fan, a canteen, some skis. Geometric shapes, letters, or numbers are stuck in strange places. And, of course, there are red herrings everywhere (not actual herrings, but objects that look like objects on the list, but won't actually get you anywhere in the game). That yellow bow might jump right out at you, but what you need is a blue one. Sorry. Try again. There are also usually some obscure items that you might not have seen before. Do you know what a glass cutter looks like? Are you sure?

So, we collected a hodgepodge of merchandise, and then scattered in a healthy dose of not-for-sale items. We put in our red herrings (again, not actual fish), and selected items for our challenge lists.

Every two weeks, we put a list of ten items on the window. People can get an entry form from inside the shop, and then write down the location of each of the ten items. It doesn't have to be complicated. You can say "it's on top of the clock" or "in front of the teapot". The entry form goes in a submission box, and when the next list goes up, you can try again. There will be five lists in all, and on March 8, after List #5 has been up for its run, we will draw three entries from the box.

The first winner (provided the object locations are correct) will get a $50 gift certificate to the shop. Second place wins a $25 gift certificate, and third place gets a $10 gift certificate.

We had a modest start--a little more than a dozen entries were turned in for List #1. But, the competition has really picked up. Last week, we ran out of entry forms. Twice. That submission box is full, which makes us happy. But what is even better? It is bringing people to the shop. They're having fun, and they're coming back with their friends. We have families that stand out on the sidewalk, each working on their own entry forms, and trash talking each other (in a fun way). The sense of community is palpable. It really makes us love our town. Plus, wouldn't you love a $50 gift certificate?

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