Creativity in Public Relations » competition Creativity, marketing, great ideas, smart thinking, public relations, insights, inspirations, innovations and more. (Formerly known as Ryan's View) Wed, 05 Aug 2009 00:52:54 +0000 en hourly 1 Canon Photo Competition Zooms In On Charities Wed, 03 Jun 2009 07:34:34 +0000 Ryan Peal We all know a “picture is worth a thousand words,” but thanks to a new campaign from Canon Australia and New Zealand, a picture could be tens of thousands of dollars for your favorite charity. The new “Canon, Creative For A Cause” campaign launched today, grounded in the notion that a single photograph can represent the hopes, dreams or concerns of an entire community or nation or race. (Full disclosure: Canon is a client of H&K)

The campaign is a simple one (the best kind) on multiple fronts. Here’s how it works: visit the site, register (name/email), upload a photo, provide a title and a short description, and now the twist, select a charity you believe is visually represented by your photo and submit. A photo of a homeless person connected to the Hutt Centre working with the homeless definitely grabs your heart strings. And a cute dog reminding us all dogs need a home that Doggie Rescue could provide is another great one. Each definitely showcases the power that one image can have to tell a deeper, broader story.

Once registered you can browse photos and read stories that will make you laugh or cry or anything in between. And the fun part, you can vote for ones that really grab you and stop you in your tracks. The votes go toward awarding the related charity to the winning photo with some big bucks – $60,000 to an Australia one and $25,000 to one in New Zealand. Public votes select the final 24 and a celebrity judging panel picks the winners.

You can share your participation via Facebook, invite friends to vote for your favorite charities/photos and nominate new charities to be included on the site.

What can we learn from this campaign? One thing is certain, simple campaigns work. Everyone has a camera, knows how to take a picture or already has one they probably love – so it’s easy for everyone to enter. Next up, the charity component isn’t just a bolt-on to the effort, it’s grounded in the overall foundation of the campaign – there are lots of photo competitions but Creative For A Cause and the charity connection to each photo definitely sets it apart. Third, it’s easy to share the story of the campaign with your friends, so driving word-of-mouth to increase participation is natural.

It’s also important to note that the campaign directly connects to Canon – a company grounded in photos and making/sharing memories/emotions. Some campaigns can come across as a bit disconnected to the brand or a bit too “try hard.” And of course, my favorite part of this effort, there’s no sales job, no “buy this” no “check out the latest Canon product.” We all know brands need to “sell” products. With that said, the smart and confident brands know they also need to entertain and engage too. Thankfully Canon knows how to balance both needed areas, and thus, brought to life one of my favorite campaigns this year (again, I’m biased, but I think its true).

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$1M versus $20K – Creative Industry Barely Gets Love From Doritos Tue, 24 Feb 2009 22:30:45 +0000 Ryan Peal Having consumers create advertisements for brands isn’t anything new.  It’s been happening for a while now, reminding us all that really anyone can do advertising.  The most recent competition that made headlines was in the US with Doritos and the Super Bowl, where two guys made a commercial for the snack chip that actually scored better than the ones made by “professionals” (according to consumer research after the game).  This netted the amateur guys a big $1,000,000 for making the commercial and for beating the big boys.

This week Doritos in Australia has brought the same campaign down under – but the winning prize is missing lots of O’s on it, only offering $20,000 to the winner.  The campaign has the predictable upload your own, get your friends/family to vote for it, weekly prizes, YouTube channel etc.  To me it seems like a cookie-cutter approach to this kind of promotion and for a brand like Doritos thought there would be some more crazier twist to the whole thing.

Where are the weekly video theme challenges – i.e., Doritos at the Beach, Doritos are for Lovers, Doritos and dancing, etc?  How about a “film your Doritos ad at the beach” day to get some more consumers in on the action and get Sony to provide cameras to loan out for the day?  And a celebrity category connected t o some charity donation for every celebrity created one?

And most importantly, $20,000?  I know times are tough and that obviously Australia has 20M people versus 300M in the US, but can’t believe there is this much of a financial difference.  We all know how expensive ads can cost to produce so the prize money could be pumped up to say $50,000 (just sounds better and would get more people to make the effort) and Doritos still should have a cost savings.

Or maybe this needs a “big money” challenge – the kind that drove the excitement and participation for Doritos in the US (the chance to win $1M).   How about something like placing the winning ad in a new Facebook group and if the Facebook group attracts 500,000 fans (that’s big for Australia) then the creator of the video wins $250,000.  Now we are talking some big bucks to pump up the buzz!

In any case, these competitions do encourage people to think and dream creatively (so that’s a plus) and get people to bond with a brand (another plus), and some cash is better than none.  And for Doritos it provides some invaluable insight into the audience they are reaching out to, so another bonus.  So get out there, grab some Doritos and have some fun with this campaign – or do all the above and hold off and enter your ad in the US contest next year for some major big bucks.

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Google Invites Students To Submit Homepage Logo Designs Thu, 05 Feb 2009 18:39:32 +0000 Ryan Peal 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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JetStar Easy Photo Competition For Free Flights Wed, 14 Jan 2009 15:12:00 +0000 Ryan Peal Can something be judged as “creative” if it’s simple.  YES!  Case in point: a new promotion from low-cost airline JetStar in Australia.  The company just announced a new campaign “Be a Star On Australia Day” that ensures its easy for consumers to enter and has enough of a prize to motivate them to do it.  JetStar uses in their marketing efforts a “Star Jump” – hands out, legs out like a star, but not legs up and hands up like Toyota – so you always see people doing a star jump because they love the price of fares on JetStar.

With that in mind, its easy to guess what the competition is – get some friends and family together, do the star jump at the same time, take a photo of it happening, send it in and you could win one of 150 JetStar flight vouchers for $300.  And, if you look like a star, you could be selected to be a part of a photo collage of people doing the JetStar Star Jump in a major Australia newspaper on “Australia Day” (like the 4th of July in the US).

So another example of something that doesn’t really rock the creative scale as far as a “WOW” factor, but i’m betting will get quite a few entries (nice database builder), has people doing the signature JetStar star jump (almost as good as a brand logo as a tattoo) and something people may tell a friends about (so nice word-of-mouth).  The key learning – sometimes something successful doesn’t have to be a huge “WOOHOO” creative idea.

Now excuse me, i totally have to do a star jump to enter this competition!

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