Which value do online competitions bring to a brand?
Online competitions are one of the trends of the moment in consumer marketing. Recently Iâ€™ve been posting a lot about online quizzes, sweepstakes, on-pack promotions connected to a Web site, advergames with prizes, contests, lotteries etc…
No matter whatâ€™s the target audience, it seems that giving away prizes is one of the only ways brands are able to find to engage their prospects. Creativity and originality in the game idea are not expressed at their best in most of these initiatives, which appear to be brilliant and trendy only in the prizes they are awarding: iPods. And this takes my analysis to the question in the title: whatâ€™s the value for a brand of setting up an online competition? In my opinion, if you give away iPods, the only brand which takes advantage of the fact is Apple.
Why consumer brands donâ€™t give away (mostly) their own products? Arenâ€™t they valued to be â€ścoolâ€ť enough as prizes? I donâ€™t think this is positiveâ€¦
No doubt that more and more consumers, who are affected by the â€śinstant-millionaire syndromeâ€ť (Belch & Belch, 2003), and therefore love contests and sweepstakes. But we need to ask ourselves why theyâ€™re so attracted by these initiatives.
What is so appealing? The prizes, or brand behind the promotion?
If the answer is â€śthe prizesâ€ť, than itâ€™s easy to realize contests donâ€™t bring much value to the brand. People are just exposed to the brand name for a given period of time (seconds? minutes?) but actually they are not engaged in a relationship with the brand or the product which presents the contest.
Donâ€™t give prize-hunters what they desire, give them what you want your target audience to consume. So if you sell cereals, donâ€™t award an iPod, rather assign a one year supply of your product. It will probably cost you less and winners will remember of you.
And if you really want to give away iPods make at least the gaming mechanism product relevant.