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Short Attention Span Marketing

Public Voting, Lottery-Style Prizes and Viral Videos Preserve Buzz

— March 31, 2009 — Marketing
Name the newest Doritos flavor and win $25,000 + 1% of the flavor’s sales. Spend six month on a tropical island and get paid over $100,000 to blog about the experience. These are just some of the large promotional contests that companies and organizations are running to compete for the consumer’s limited attention span.

What originally makes this tactic stand out is the unprecedented large prize format. Furthermore, in many of these contests, contestants are required to do some sort of project (home videos in most cases) where, if chosen, the public votes on the winner online. This adds a new dynamic to experiential marketing.

Recent examples, as referred to above, include Doritos ‘Name the New Flavor’ and become the Doritos Guru contests, where contestants had to submit a new flavor name in a creative home video format. The idea was similar within Tourism Australia’s $100,000 island job contest.

Along with the experiential and interactive/voting aspect of these tactics, offering a large lottery grade cash prize creates a lot of media buzz, which of course is free publicity that's worth an inestimable sum.

Ultimately, if it were broken down into a return on investment standpoint, this new tactic produces unimaginable returns thanks to the power of the Internet and people's collective desire to try to and watch others win large prizes.
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