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Do Competitions Work as Promotional Devices?

July 27, 2011

I was reading the recent Split Milk Diary over on Games Brief and noticed that they had tried a competition:

Do competitions work as a promotional tool?

In a more proactive effort to get coverage, I mentioned last time we launched a papercraft competition to win one of ten Hard Lines codes on iPhone. The aim was for people to print out the papercraft plan of my company logo, glue it together, and then take some funny or cool photos to send our way. It was a combination of apology for the crappy update we released, as well as an attempt to get a bit of fun out of the situation.

Ultimately, we’ve had very few entries. As of right now (with about 8 hours left in the competition) I can count 9 individuals have entered – so everyone who entered will be getting a code. Yay for them! The fact is that I have no idea why we failed to get more entries – though the fact that only one site mentioned it as news may have something to do with the limited entries. That said, between those 9 people we have had 25 photos sent in, which clearly shows those that did engage with the idea engaged in a pretty big way.

The code itself as a prize may not have been enough. It has a pretty low perceived value to the consumer, but then again that’s why we tried to make the competition itself quite fun. Also it didn’t take much effort on our part, so looking ahead I think I’m going to keep doing things like this!

Some good points raised there. I did a competition a while ago around the launch of Battle for Hoth Lite and the level of entries was not dissimilar, if I recall it was a little higher, but not amazing? However, like those who entered the Split Milk ones, the entries we did get were often good and showed an effort on the part of those taking part. It did get reported on a few sites too, which gave us a degree of visibility. Our prize was different too – some original action figures:

Which was a nostalgic and I feel fun prize. For us, overall, I feel it was worth it. If we’d done it again I’d have looked at a top prize being an AT-AT…

We’ve also considering competitions over at Red Wasp Design too for the Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land… possibly an all expenses trip to R’lyeh?

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