Video contests aimed at the younger set -- Chevy and Gourmet Station
Disclosure: my sources in both instances were women bloggers who were involved in the development of the respective projects, Nellie Lide for Chevy and Toby Bloomberg for Gourmet Station, and god bless them, they were asking for my opinion. Lucky for them, I've gotten my cranky post out of the way for today (see earlier "Forget Things Remembered"), so they don't have to be too worried about getting what they wished for.
So, here's the thing I find absolutely the most interesting thing about the two contests. Aimed at similiarly aged audiences -- Chevy directly at college student, Gourmet Station at 20- and early 30-somethings, the approaches are very different. Now, of course, some of this can be laid squarely at budget. Chevy has lotsa bucks, Gourmet Station, not so much. In fact, the need to stay to a tight budget was acknowledged by the folks who developed the Get out of the doghouse campaign for Gourmet Station.
Chevy's contest asks college students to develop a TV commercial to "to reignite the love affair between Americans and Chevrolet." It is supported by a standard format blog and a Web site. Chevy will produce the winning commercial and air it during the Super Bowl. Pretty cool idea. The PR effort used both the standard format press release, and a "social media press release," and you can read Nellie's thoughts about that on the New Persuasion blog. Net: this contest is a good execution of a creative idea using a combination of new and old techniques, but it's not revolutionary.
Still cool though and I'm very much looking forward to seeing the winning commercial since that's the only reason I watch the Super Bowl anyway. Yeah yeah, I know, un-American. Your point?
Gourmet Station's Get out of the doghouse campaign, on the other hand, is a grassroots marketing campaign. Folks are asked to create and submit YouTube videos talking about a time they were in the doghouse, and how they got out of it. The connection to Gourmet Station is the idea that a gift of a gourmet meal is one way to get yourself out. The contest site is on MySpace and they've worked with comedians active on MySpace to attract a younger audience. Props to the company: they are also contributing to Borzoi Rescue as part of the program. So we've got a real revolutionary "smash-up" -- YouTube, MySpace and Gourmet Station's Web site.
I give Toby and Marianne Richmond, her partner in the project, credit for trying something truly new and definitely understand the desire to reach out to the MySpace audience. I hope the MySpacers enter the contest. However, I find the site distracting and am not sure it does justice to the creative idea. The format is just too confining. Which is amusing, given how so many are using MySpace to express their individuality :-)
I wish Gourmet Station had the budget to do a Web site for the contest that communicated the idea more clearly and effectively. They could still have used MySpace to engage the community, but not to tell the whole story. The MySpace site just feels too jumbled.
Now, I will be honest. I do not get MySpace. At all. Am I old and cranky? Perhaps. But it just doesn't seem like an efficient way to convey information. It just reminds me of Web sites in the early days (94-ish) with or without <blink>.
My .02. YMMV. Possibly especially if you are younger :-)
Registration for the Chevy contest is closed, but the Gourmet Station contest is still open until early October. Check it out.
PS: Good Technology still hasn't contacted us about the phone number problem.
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