Like Summer Mosquitoes, Video Contests Are Plentiful and Most Suck

I've Got a Few Thoughts on How to Make Yours Work

By Published on .

B.L. Ochman B.L. Ochman also writes the popular What's Next Blog.
Video contests by companies hoping for viral buzz and Google juice are as plentiful as mosquitoes on a humid summer night. And like their insect counterparts, most video contests suck.

While the rare video contest gets as many as 1,000 entries, many -- like Denny's recent disastrous effort -- get less than 10 entries. Apparently, 48 Denny's breakfasts over the next four years wasn't a big motivator.

Contests can backfire. Just ask Chevy. Why are you a Republican in 2008? got this horror show entry, this charming Gotta Fuck the Democrats video, and this one. And they're not going away. Because on the internet, content is forever. They may take them off YouTube, but they'll pop up on other sites. Count on it.

Needless to say, I've got some ideas on how to make a video contest succeed. Among them? Don't hire a big agency.

Update: Priceless. The Republicans and Democrats are accusing each other of copying their YouTube video contest idea.
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