Remember the good-old-days of promotions like “Show us your X” for 91X, San Diego?
Whatever happened to those days? That was a time we could activate our audience to get behind our brand because they actually WANTED to tell others about it. The chance to win something was a great bonus.
Nowadays all contests are aimed at motivating listening through manipulation. Instead of motivating listening through…well…motivation.
Here’s a great example of how using a contest to promote instead of manipulate works on the web. It’s a contest to plug something called the “iPod Lounge.”
Note that the winner is somebody who produced a TV spot which 10,000 web viewers saw!
And what will it cost iPod Lounge to get this exposure?
The incredible sum of…
A free pair of earphones.
Wake up, Radio.
The best things in life are (nearly) free.