By now, every brand wants to create some buzz on social media. So naturally, they’ve been utilizing the tactics that have proven to be effective – contests and sweepstakes. But as larger brands apply greater shares of their marketing budgets (and creative talent) in this arena, the stakes have been raised.
The most recent example of this trend is the new ‘Project Imagin8tion’ from Canon. How’s this for a contest idea: People submit their photos, and Ron Howard selects eight of them as the basis for a short film. We estimate that the budget for just the TV spot to promote this contest was over $1.5 million. Add to that what it cost to get Ron Howard involved, plus the production of the film itself, and you can see that this was a major financial commitment.
So how does this affect your brand? Well, social media, and Facebook in particular is a pretty level playing field. All the promotions there have essentially the same opportunity for success – including yours. But as larger brands continue to commit more resources to social marketing, they’re making it more difficult for your promotion to stand out.
The bar has been raised. And it’s not going to be coming down any time soon. So today it’s not enough to have a contest with a nice prize – not if you’re expecting to really get noticed. Today you need more imaginative prizes, and more exciting promotions to back them up. And that requires both adequate funding and outside-the-box thinking, too.
The best concepts always have an ingredient of evangelist participation. In the case of the Canon contest – it’s asking for photos that provide the basis for the film to be made by Howard. When you can create a direct connection to your products – as in digital photos from a camera brand – that’s ideal.
It’s always been about ideas. And the big ideas, with proper funding, win.