Google Invites Students To Submit Homepage Logo Designs

05 February 2009

This has always been one of my favorite campaigns.  It’s a simple one (which makes it even more of a favorite).  Each year Google simply invites students (from grades K – 12) to submit variations of its logo that may make their way to the Google home page – where millions of people could have a chance to see it.

Now in its 4th year the Doodle4Google campaign is a unique example of an obvious corporate campaign (you can’t hide the fact that you are designing a logo for a company) that doesn’t send red flags to teachers or parents (who normally may be a bit fearful of brands coming into schools). Google even does an incredible job of tying back the “why” of conducting this campaign, providing a historical look at the google doodle phenomenon and how it started.

I’ve seen other campaigns for brands that have a prize of someone submitting a photo that will be used in an ad campaign (yawn), or on a company brochure (double yawn) – consumers want and deserve something truly special, something they can tell their friends and they’ll say “wow.”  Normally that’s cash and some product (which is another big “wow” deliverer if the amount is right), but for Google being a student who can say their imagination dreamed up an amazing new look for Google that it was selected to greet millions of people surfing the web one day – that is awesome. And just to be safe, Google is throwing in a $15,000 college scholarship for the winner and a $10,000 cash prize for the school district who submits the most high-quality entries.

So, word to anyone putting together a consumer campaign, spend equal amount of time asking yourself “is the incentive enough for people to do what I want them to do to participate” as you do on the actual idea itself.  The prize has to be worthy of the effort.  Can your prize create a “wow, i want to win that” with your audience?  If not, keep thinking (and testing) until you get the WOW.

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