No I’m not going to visit your Facebook page to “find out more” about your stupid contest

28 Jul

It doesn’t matter what kind of product or service is being advertised, there has to be a contest attached now where you’re encouraged to go to Facebook to win the big prize.

Typically – and you’ve seen them so you know – the contest involves submitting photos or videos or stories. People Like the entries. You win or lose based on Likes.

That’s the worst thing about the collision of social media and advertising. The knee-jerking. There have no doubt been massively successful contests using this tried and true method. But for how much longer?

A typical Facebook Contest

What was exciting about Facebook 3 years ago was all the unexplored territory for smart marketing ideas. The same opportunities still exist, although you would guess that every idea has already been done, given the uniformity of most major contests.

An example of a killer Facebook contest is Burger King’s Sacrifice a Friend.

Operating under the campaign banner Friendship is strong, but the Whopper is stronger, un-Friending 10 people through a Facebook application earned you a free Whopper. Even more diabolical, your friends were notified.

“Tom Hammarberg just sacrificed Doug Brown for a Whopper.” (Man, I immediately wanted it to say one-tenth of  a Whopper. Much more fun.)

Burger King shut down the campaign just ten days after it launched, pressured by Facebook to do so.

But in its brief, glorious dash to immortality, 233,000 Friends had been sacrificed.

Let’s continue to strive to be original with these things. Or else stick a fork in them.


5 Responses to “No I’m not going to visit your Facebook page to “find out more” about your stupid contest”

  1. Jack Steinmann July 28, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    The key point about the Whopper Sacrifice is that it exploited and subverted a feature unique to the Facebook platform. Just holding a contest on Facebook is lame.

  2. Doug Brown July 28, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    That was definitely the wicked insight that Crispin Porter + brought to the mix. Thanks for that addition Jack.

  3. Amy July 28, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    The problem with picking winners based on Likes is that a gazillion people enter, you can’t possibly read all the entries, so people only Like their friend’s/family’s entries. It’s more of a popularity contest than anything. It would be more fair to hold a random drawing.
    I thought that Burger King contest was awesome. I didn’t participate, but I would not have been upset if any of my friends did. I probably would have liked them more!

  4. Doug Brown July 28, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    You’re right Amy…popularity decides way too many current contests. Or not even popularity: just hustle. Whoever hustles the hardest and drives everyone crazy for votes tends to win. Huge Facebook-networked folks have the obvious advantage.


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