Contests May Be Big Now, But Just Wait!

Contests are a perfect platform for hitching user-generated content to the corporate-marketing harness. 

We’ve seen numerous examples in the past few months, reaching a zenith with February’s Super Bowl. Sponsors mounted contests to reward producers of usertising (user-generated advertising). The winning spots, aired during the big game, proved more effective than many conventionally produced commercials.

A new contest, from Mr. Clean, is the latest reminder that rewarding producers of Internet videos for creating clever usertising can help elevate a brand beyond the typical marketing static.

Given the success of these contests, I’m looking for more and bigger ahead. I also believe we’ll see further evolution in contests and some interesting twists as sponsors seek to differentiate themselves from an increasingly crowded field.

What will this evolution look like? The possibilities are limited only by the imaginations of ad agencies and marketers. One obvious step simply is more money — say, $1 million for best Internet video, as previously predicted at sister blog Usertainment Watch.

A prize that large will generate far more than $1 million in publicity. Wonder which company will step up?

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