At work earlier this week, i was catching up on reading when i stumbled across an article about Travelocity’s $65,000 Round-the-World contest.
At first blush, this sounds amazing. There are, of course, some caveats. For example, you have to be adventurous. You also have to have a companion who is equally adventurous. Right away, i am out. I have no friends who would willingly go away with me without having a clue what the travel itinerary is. But, i still think the concept behind the contest is a good one.
Until i got to this part: “to enter you need to create a video, no more than 60 seconds in length, basically describing why you deserve to be nabbed and whisked away on this $65K trip.”
And, just like that –BOOM– my day job and my passion have collided. Allow me to explain.
I work in marketing and communications. Over the years, many clients have done consumer contests. Contests are expensive, people. It’s not just the prize. You have to draft rules, you have to promote the contest, you to review the entries, you almost always have to justify the winning entry… the list of what goes into a contest is pretty long.
When you work in this industry, contests end up being frustrating for two reasons. Clients pay a TON of money to put a contest together, Inevitably, they are disappointed with either the low participation rate or low media coverage promoting the contest. I know this frustration stems beyond clients at associations or organizations. A few of the bloggers i follow have recently commented on low participation rates for contests they’ve held.
Here’s the deal. Contests have to be constructed to be outrageously simple if you want people to participate. I understand why Travelocity wants videos. They are getting tons of free digital content. But the thing is, you are asking too much from me. I work 60+ hours. When i am not working, I take care of a household, try to exercise and try desperately to stay engaged with four nieces and nephew when i’m not working. (oh, yeah, and i TRY to sneak in some blogging about my love of traveling.) I’m sorry, as much as i am DYING to enter this contest, the bar is just too high. I’m not giving up more in life than i already have.
If you are ever in a position to create a contest, please take this advice seriously. It’s not meant to be mean-spirited. It comes from 15+ years of marketing experience. If you want participation, keep it simple!
I’m confident that some would argue, i’m just not interested enough. That’s a fair point of view, certainly. Maybe i am not. But i do know that i have mistakenly thought i could conquer the world. The result is a disaster and i wind up feeling like a failure. I just can’t do that to myself. over a contest.
So, if you are more creative, inspired and motivated than i am good luck! In fact, i would love to see your video submissions. Feel free to send them my way!
FYI: http://gnomenabbed.travelocity.com/ For more contest details. Good luck!
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Travelocity or this contest. These thoughts are my own. (Since i mentioned a career in marketing, i figured i better through this in)