Michael Schuster of Knallgrau New Media Solutions (Vienna, Austria) presented a case study today called Antarctica 2005. His agency worked with an Austrian bank to sponsor one Dr. Melchior, who was traveling to the South Pole to break a world record for the fastest unsupported trek on the Admunson route (which he did). They decided to do a combination blog/podcast. Given the low temperatures of area, batteries and lens don't work. So no laptop, no cell phone, no digital camera. So how to blog? They decided to record the phone calls Dr. Melchior made via his satellite phone and turn them into podcasts. They transcribed the calls and turned that into the posts. When Dr. Melchior called in, they read the comments to him, and he responded to them via the phone call.
One interesting result was a local newspaper, who did a weekly news report on the expedition, pulling quotes from the blog. A radio station used the podcasts in their broadcasts. Nice cross-media pollination! The sponsor got mentioned by name both in the print media and the radio broadcasts. They averaged 500 hits a day and the 44 posts received 186 comments.
I thought this was a great success story for a sponsored blog.