It was a dark and stormy night, and the Smoking Loon was on the prowl…

PRESS RELEASE: The “Smoking Loon, that’s what they called him. Nobody quite knew who he worked for, or where his loyalties lie, but he was undeniably good at what he did. As the namesake of Don Sebastiani & Sons’ most popular wine, he represents the adventurous spirit in all of us.

The marketing effort: In honor of the Smoking Loon, Don Sebastiani & Sons are running a special Facebook promotion which is chronicling his adventures, as penned by their biggest fans. It’s a contest to craft the story with Facebook users contributing sentences that continue the tale from where it last left off.

This is a story game that I’ve been playing with children since my kids were big enough to sit around a campfire, while we were living in Maine… It’s a really fun idea to see where a story goes.

Each week the creators find their favorite new addition to the story and post it to the Smoking Loon Facebook page. The person with the winning entry wins a Smoking Loon T-shirt and a chance to win a grand prize of a $200 Visa Gift card at the conclusion of the contest.

The contest has been running since December 1, and continues through February 28, 2013.

So far… and my first time checking it out:

ENTRY 1: It was a dark and stormy night, and the Smoking Loon was on the prowl. He’d been tasked with a job for which he was eminently qualified, but one which wasn’t exactly within the bounds of what one might call ‘legal.’ His plan was a simple one… [Submitted by Jake from parts unknown on December 1, 2012]

ENTRY 2: Go someplace warm and sunny. Yes it was against his nature, but this life only sends us where we need to go. Ruby was waiting for the information he was carrying. Ruby of the silken hair and lips like cherries. The Smoking Loon always knew she would be his downfall but what could he do. She was also his destiny… [Submitted by Sandy from Hagaman on December 4, 2012]

ENTRY 3: She was just as he remembered. After a casual, yet meaningful kiss, the Smoking Loon stepped back, pulled out a well worn Manila envelope. “You knew I couldn’t say no” he said. But this was just the beginning of Ruby’s requests from the Smoking Loon….. [Submitted by Gerald from Saint Louis on December 10, 2012]

ENTRY 4: Ruby steadied her delicate trembling hands and took the envelope from the Smoking Loon’s grip. As Ruby tried desperately to calm her nerves, the Smoking Loon lit up a cigar deflecting anxiety built of years of tumultuous encounters. As the loon blew out a puff of sweet aromatic smoke into the humid evening air, time seemed to slow. Just then a flash of lights and a roaring noise passed from the bridge overhead. Ruby savagely ripped open the envelope and the sorted contents spilled out on to the ground below to reveal… [Submitted by Marc from Palo Alto on December 17, 2012]

Yup, this is exactly how we did it around the camp fire… Lead in with something salacious and leave it hanging for the next person to add to it…

Go check out the continuing saga, and add your own line or just watch it develop…

You can view the contest by visiting the page at:

This story has two more months to develop, and it’s a great idea, and a really fun way to draw people into a brand, in my humble opinion.

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