HELP: Advice For Commercial Contest

by Solag
11 replies
I am working for a startup E-commerce company and one of the tasks they gave me was to do a commercial contest for their best selling product.

Here is the break down of the contest:
1. Create a 2-3 minute commercial of the product showing it in use and its benefits.
2. First place winner will get $500 cash + 2 product
3. Second place winner will get $150 cash + 2 product
4. Third place winner will get 2 product

What is the best way to go about promote this to the masses? Our Facebook page has less than 7k likes. Our Youtube channel is irrelevant in terms of traffic.

Should I reach out to popular Youtube channels and ask them to participate? I am not sure what would be the best way to get people to make a video for us.
#advice #commercial #contest
  • Profile picture of the author icemonkey9
    I've seen people promote this on FB with a specific FB Page dedicated to the contest. So the idea is that you run some ads on FB that opts people in to like your FB Page dedicated toward the contest and from there you funnel information for people to participate. You can do the same on twitter. There's also a ton of marketing companies out there that will help you promote your contest.

    One warning - typically user-initiated content gets very low turnout, especially for that amount of prize money. TBH you are WAY better off just taking $250 and heading to a freelancer site and hiring a really talented After Effects guru and making the commercial yourself.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8072344].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author salegurus
    What is the "Product"?
    I may be wrong but you are probably going to end up spending way more than
    the combined prize money to get any significant traction, especially since you
    have no viable assets to get the word out...
    Signature
    Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

    ― George Carlin
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8072460].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Tim Franklin
    Yes, I agree with some of the other posters and likely others still to come, ecommerce is not an easy thing to create, it is subject to regulation, requires serious investment and even promoting it could become an issue if the product is in some way flawed or worse a method of creating fraud.

    A while back there was a guy on here that was promoting a big time eCommerce platform but when questioned about where his offices were and if he was incorporated he did not pass the test.

    I think a lot of people here lost a lot of money supporting this guy...

    The first thing I would do before even considering promoting this would be to vet the service the company the product.

    If they say they are beyond inspection run away very fast.
    Signature
    Software Development | Applications | OSX | iOS | Android | Cloud Software Engineering |
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8072491].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
      So there are a few questions to answer but really, you can run a fairly successful promotion of this type on Facebook (and twitter). How is the winner decided? Are their peers voting or is it your company voting. Either way it looks like your company is trying to get viral awareness of their product.

      Go check out OfferPop. They have a video contest app that allows folks to upload a video, share it with their friends and allow them to vote on it. There is a viral element to it and will help you grow your Facebook page as well as extract emails to use in email marketing. They can also share on Twitter. I would not recommend it as a stand alone page but in addition to the current page.

      Budget another 250 to 300 bucks for Facebook ads to drive traffic to your fan page at first and hope that the traction gains as people find out about it. You will have a better turn out if you allow the voting to be done by their peers versus the company since they will share it with their friends to get them to vote.

      Make sure you have T&C's built out saying you own the right to those videos and make sure you extract as much information from the event as possible.

      Hope this helps.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8072529].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    Use your facebook, you already have a following.

    I also just twitter to drive traffic to contests...

    In a nutshell, anything social would work wonders.

    Cheers,

    Gary
    Signature
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8072568].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Duvallmarketers
    User generated content works best when your customers are raving fans of your product. For example: I used to run Dirtsurfer USA... an extreme sports product company. We had fans all over the globe who made tons of videos of themselves riding the product. It was all FREE. No contest, no prizes, just super excited fans creating great content. To see what I mean just go on Youtube and search on Dirtsurfer.

    As mentioned before, you would be better served to invest your money into creating engaging content with a semi-pro videographer. Not commercials... but informative videos between 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length. You should be able to get a decent videographer in your area to shoot for a half day at about $300-$400. Interview format works great when creating testimonials. Get your product into the hands of influencers so they can demo it and give feedback on camera.

    Hope that helps.
    Signature

    Brian Duvall, CEO
    DuvallMedia.com
    We build market leaders!

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8072762].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author J Bold
      Originally Posted by Duvallmarketers View Post

      User generated content works best when your customers are raving fans of your product. For example: I used to run Dirtsurfer USA... an extreme sports product company. We had fans all over the globe who made tons of videos of themselves riding the product. It was all FREE. No contest, no prizes, just super excited fans creating great content. To see what I mean just go on Youtube and search on Dirtsurfer.

      As mentioned before, you would be better served to invest your money into creating engaging content with a semi-pro videographer. Not commercials... but informative videos between 30 seconds to 3 minutes in length. You should be able to get a decent videographer in your area to shoot for a half day at about $300-$400. Interview format works great when creating testimonials. Get your product into the hands of influencers so they can demo it and give feedback on camera.

      Hope that helps.


      I agree, this is a great contest idea for a product that already has at least a decent sized, but very passionate fanbase.

      People see that success and think they can do it with their company or product, but they are missing the main ingredient: a big enough group of raving fans.

      Huge brands can do this with great success. Products of superior quality with passionate fans can do this. I am not convinced it's really the greatest idea for a startup. Not every advertising campaign is right for everyone.

      One place you could try to reach out to, though, is colleges. Ask their students in the film departments to make videos and point out the prize money. Students can use such contests for class projects and assignments, and it gives them more practice. Plus, students would be more willing than the average person to go for a prize of such small relative value.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8073195].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Solag
    Thanks for the input guys. For obvious reasons I am not able to reveal to you the product, but here is what I can tell you.

    1. We have been in business for 13 years (I consider it to be a start up because it just recently gained traction and it is growing exponentially!)
    2. Our product is the #1 top seller on Amazon for a specific category
    3. Over 3000+ videos on youtube of people reviewing/testing the product
    4. 500k+ rev per month in total sales
    5. We have a small office in Canada, but our warehouse is in US
    6. We are a corporation

    I really like the idea of reaching out to colleges/film schools/university to get entries for the commercial contest.

    Facebook ads and twitter are interesting but I was looking for more creative ways to promote this contest if we were to do it.

    As for the finer details like how is the winner decided, I can work that out later. I am looking for a viable solution to market the contest to the masses, so that it would be worth my while.

    Thanks for all your input guys!

    Appreciate it
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8074982].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Duvallmarketers
      Ok... those details help. Being in Canada, you probably have seen the Kokani Sasquatch beer commercials, right? They held a content for user submitted ideas but they produced the finished spot so that the brand & quality was maintained. The consumers submitted ideas on how Big Foot escaped the mounties when he steals the beer. We were lucky enough to get Dirtsurver featured in one of the commercials. Sasquatch steals the beer and jumps on the Dirtsurfer to escape. One of our best Canadian riders got to play the part of Sasquatch. It was all very fun and cool.

      The biggest downside of your idea is that users can (and frequently do) hi-jack corporate brands with projects like this. Asking them to actually produce video content for you puts your brand at risk especially if you do it in a public place like Facebook or Twitter. Ideas submitted via the web in a social network can be disastrous. Haven't you ever noticed how a really offensive play on brands goes viral as people find it funny and then share it with their friends. I've seen it happen too often.

      Another tip... I know a company that is running a photo contest right now on Facebook. The prize is HUGE and expensive. The entries are weak and few. There is one entry that has more than 400 times the votes as the next closest competitor. This has several negative effects... other contestants are reluctant to join the contest because it looks hopeless to win. Fewer people joining means fewer people sharing and that's what the company wants... shares and likes. It's too easy to game the system because you can hire people to create fake accounts and likes to rack up votes which defeats the purpose of the contest.

      It's tricky business but it can be done if you keep close track of votes and keep it in-house. Good luck.
      Signature

      Brian Duvall, CEO
      DuvallMedia.com
      We build market leaders!

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8075456].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Solag
        Originally Posted by Duvallmarketers View Post

        Ok... those details help. Being in Canada, you probably have seen the Kokani Sasquatch beer commercials, right? They held a content for user submitted ideas but they produced the finished spot so that the brand & quality was maintained. The consumers submitted ideas on how Big Foot escaped the mounties when he steals the beer. We were lucky enough to get Dirtsurver featured in one of the commercials. Sasquatch steals the beer and jumps on the Dirtsurfer to escape. One of our best Canadian riders got to play the part of Sasquatch. It was all very fun and cool.

        The biggest downside of your idea is that users can (and frequently do) hi-jack corporate brands with projects like this. Asking them to actually produce video content for you puts your brand at risk especially if you do it in a public place like Facebook or Twitter. Ideas submitted via the web in a social network can be disastrous. Haven't you ever noticed how a really offensive play on brands goes viral as people find it funny and then share it with their friends. I've seen it happen too often.

        Another tip... I know a company that is running a photo contest right now on Facebook. The prize is HUGE and expensive. The entries are weak and few. There is one entry that has more than 400 times the votes as the next closest competitor. This has several negative effects... other contestants are reluctant to join the contest because it looks hopeless to win. Fewer people joining means fewer people sharing and that's what the company wants... shares and likes. It's too easy to game the system because you can hire people to create fake accounts and likes to rack up votes which defeats the purpose of the contest.

        It's tricky business but it can be done if you keep close track of votes and keep it in-house. Good luck.
        Thanks for your help. I will keep that in mind!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8075880].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TonyNorton
    Hey, just thought I'd jump in here with some advice that's not related to your question but might still be of help.

    "Mind your P's and Q's" when it comes to the legalities of running a contest or giveaway like this.

    Quick Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and I'm not giving legal advice.

    However you should have a lawyer working with you on this, if you don't already.

    I know Jeff Johnson has used the "giveaway contest" many times to great effect in order to build large email lists in various markets. I also heard him speak publicly about the many things you have to do if you want to run those kind of campaigns in the U.S. Or is this contest limited to only another country?

    Either way you have to follow all the rules of every country whose citizens are allowed to participate. Assuming it's even legal in their country. And there are lots of other things that can all wind up with your company getting fined, sued, or both.

    Ever notice all the disclaimers and such that go along with a contest that McDonalds runs for example? "For complete rules and details go to ..." Then when you read the rules of the contest they're several pages long, it's like that for a reason.

    I suggest you contact local warrior (and attorney) Bob Silber for some legal advice in this area, even if you already have corporate attorneys on staff. If I remember correctly he's something of an expert in this area. Even if he can't help you himself perhaps he could give you a good referral or at least point you in the right direction.

    I also wanted to say something about the prize you're offering. It's about the PERCEIVED value, not so much the cash value. Going back to Jeff's example, he gave prizes like a new Wii, or XBox... things like that. Now at the time a new Wii was going for a couple hundred bucks if I remember correctly.

    So you buy 5 or 6 Wii's and stick em in your closet, now fast forward to around Christmas time and those Wii's are hard to find. If you start your campaign now what do you suppose the "perceived" value of that prize would be to that mom or dad who is freaking out because they can't find one (or cant afford one because of price gouging) for their kid?

    I can tell you that it's a LOT more than the couple hundred bucks would be if you gave it to them on a gift card for example. At least it would be to me anyway.

    Of course I'm not suggesting you wait till Christmas so you can use this strategy, I'm just using the example to show how the cash value and perceived value of an item or prize can differ greatly. So you shouldn't really worry about the "relatively small" amount of funding you have set aside for your prizes, just make sure what you have to give away is something a lot of people really, REALLY, want and they will respond.

    Anyway I don't mean for this post to be a novel so I'll go for now, contact Bob.

    Hope this helps in some way.

    Tony
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8076704].message }}

Trending Topics