With its twenty-four-karat gold rolling papers crafted from edible gold, standing apart from the crowd is something Shine Papers does very well. Which is exactly what you’d expect of a company whose flagship product was born on the heels of a night’s partying in Las Vegas. It comes as no surprise the company’s annual prize-packed Shine Day event started out big and is getting bolder and shinier every year, garnering the attention of fans and media across the United States. From its home town of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, to the sunny shores of California—and everywhere in between—Shine Papers is gaining momentum.
An inspired idea
Hosted annually on February 4 (aka 2/4, as in 24K) “Shine Day sends participants throughout their respective cities, in a scavenger-hunt-style race for the ultimate prize of a famed ‘gold briefcase’—filled to the brim with Shine, Pure Leaf, and Blaze By Shine swag,” Shine Papers Public Relations and Events Manager Camille Livesay said in a recent press release. “Participants must follow clues that are dispersed via email, social media, and in-person in order to win the contest.”
Shine Papers founder and Chief Executive Officer Dave Brown is the mind behind the event. He and the company’s creative team were inspired by Amazon Prime Day. Much like the e-tail giant, Brown wanted to create an event that essentially would “take over a day,” turning all thoughts and attention to Shine products rather than once-yearly deals on an Instant Pot.
A lot of planning goes into the event. “We begin planning the forthcoming Shine Day as soon as one is complete—sometimes before,” Livesay told mg. “We’re constantly working to grow, evolve, and improve, so the brainstorming never ends. We invest well over 1,000 man-hours into each Shine Day.”
As proof the team’s efforts are not in vain, Shine Day 2019 saw several thousand participants, a 300-percent increase over turnout for the 2018 event. “We had a lot of new competitors, which brought some fresh blood to the competition,” said Livesay. “We also had returning competitors, specifically from Canada’s Shine Day, who competed for the digital cases.”
For this year’s U.S.-based event, individual scavenger hunts took place in nineteen major cities: Atlanta, Austin (Texas), Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Each location awarded one grand prize with an additional four prizes available to digital participants via an online version of the hunt.
Grow and evolve
As the event grows year after year, new prizes and ideas are incorporated. Shine Day 2019 prize packs included a wide variety of products not only from Shine, but also from brand partners. “Our partners hooked us up with vitamins from Cannassist, cannabis greeting cards from Kush Kards, CBD sodas from Sprig, and CBD gummies from Sunday Scaries,” said Livesay. “In addition to multiple city-wide scavenger hunts, this year we hosted our first-ever Shine Day pop-up event. We took over famed Los Angeles dispensary LA Kush for the night and made it our own.”
Making an appearance at the pop-up event was Shine Jesus, a popular, selfie-worthy ambassador of the Shine Papers brand. With just over 14,000 Instagram followers in less than a year, the popularity of the fun figure is quickly on the rise—as are the number of fan photos in which he appears. “Shine Jesus is an influencer turned brand ambassador for Shine,” said Livesay. “He goes out to events on behalf of the company to ‘spread the good news.’ He has a really great presence and energy and has a knack for connecting with people. He’s scheduled for over twenty events this year all around the country, mostly outdoor festivals, to ‘bless’ the attendees with Shine products.”
Livesay said the future holds even more exciting changes. “Next year marks year five of Shine Day, wherein we will expand to an international Shine Day and expand our partnerships to make the prizes even more robust for our participants.”
Sharing the social media love
According to Livesay, Shine Day is about giving back to supporters of the Shine brand more than promotion of the brand itself. “Our number one goal with this event is to say thanks to our supporters,” she said. “Whether that’s prizes for the contestants or social media growth for our brand partners and stores, we are happy to give back to the people who give so much to us.”
With 278,000 Instagram followers, growth from this year’s event has been difficult to gauge. “We see growth to our page in 1,000 increments, so it is possible we gained some new followers, just not quite enough to make a large dent,” Livesay said. “Social media growth isn’t really the intention of Shine Day, which is why there isn’t much, and while we love social media love, what we really look to our social media platform for is engagement on that day.” Though, she continued, “The event increases website traffic each year. On the day of the event, we receive an incredible spike in webpage visits, which inevitably translates into sales.”
In addition to Instagram and ShineRollingPapers.com, the company utilizes Facebook, Twitter, email lists, and “face-to-face guerilla marketing tactics with [our] street team, [whose members] are dispersed in cities throughout the U.S.” in order to spread company news and expand the reach of Shine Day