The Wonderful World of Contests

As a consumer, I rarely participate in contests, unless it is completing a simple form, because I just don’t have the time.  However, my husband and I were recently watching TV and we saw an ad for the “Fan vs. Wild Degree Men Adventure Challenge”.  The grand prize is being on a Fan vs. Wild Challenge with Bear Grylls starting in August.  How cool is that.?! This is definitely a contest that will get the attention of many adventurers (aka Degree’s target audience).

Just this morning, I saw another contest that caught my attention, the Spic and Span “Unleash Your Clean” photo contest.  You can win by uploading a photo of your pet’s dirty mess.

No thanks.  All I can envision is cleaning up my boxer’s vomit and other bodily fluids. I’m sure that the contest is intended for more exciting pet messes, like the time that my boxer ate an entire cherry strudel.  There was cherry filling all over the family room rug.  However, those photo opportunities only come along once in a great while.

While not all brands have the marketing dollars to coordinate such a promotion as Degree’s Fan vs. Wild Challenge, that doesn’t mean contests should be ruled out as a strategy to increase brand awareness, develop user generated content, engage consumers and develop an email/mailing database.  In fact, social media has certainly made it easier (and provided a cheaper alternative to print and broadcast advertising) for brands to spread the news through consumers on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.

But as you can clearly see with these two examples, if you are launching a contest be sure it something your target audience will get excited about and can easily engage in.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.