Contests We’re Not Fond Of – GAP Adventures

November 30, 2006 is currently promoting a contest for G.A.P Adventures, the “Win an adventure to Africa!” contest.

The entry form mentions the prize “… win a 9 day Masai Mara Experience in Kenya!…” Sounds exciting but after reading the official rules and regulations, the prize description is not at all appealing. What the winner actually receives is “…one G.A.P Adventures tour – Masai Mara Experience (DCM). Retail Value of prize package $870. The prize does not include airfare…This prize must be accepted as rewarded, it is non-transferable and has no cash value.”

I have a few issues with this description. What does the actual prize include? Hotel? Ground transportation? Can the winner take any travel partners with him/her? A winner really shouldn’t have to pay for airfare to another continent for a prize like this. You may find other contests that do not include transportation as a part of the prize but typically they offer prizes that are local, within province or within driving distance. It is good practice to include airfare when the winner must travel outside there country or continent. For a company that boasts $100 million in revenues, the least they could do if they are set against airfare or transportation, is to offer cash equivalent for the prize.

I doubt they’ll have a many people entering this contest…or at least a satisfied winner.


Contests We’re Not Fond Of –

November 24, 2006

Oh boy, this is not good. Last week, Intuit launched their ProFile In Paradise contest, promoting their ProFile tax software.


While the prize itself is appealing–a trip to the Bahamas (did someone say “Bahamas”?)–there are some fundamental problems with this particular contest.

The contest entry form asks the right kind of marketing research questions and we understand the reasons to ask those questions, we’d argue that making those fields mandatory on the entry form is perhaps not contest best practice.

That aside, this is the significant issue–when one develops a contest microsite, one might want to test it first:


There isn’t any evidence that this microsite is actually capturing contest entry data. Hopefully, this is remedied quickly.

Attention Marketers – Free UPCs At

November 13, 2006

Well, friends, I thought you would appreciate learning about the on-line repository of UPCs that contests enthusiasts are using.

It’s called UPC Machine and contains both US and Canadian UPCs. It’s actually a pretty slick set up for users. You can choose to either search for UPCs that you might need, say, for surreptitiously obtaining UPCs for, say, on-line contests perhaps. Users can also input as many UPCs as they like.

Interesting stuff.

Contests We’re Not Fond Of – Toyo Canada

November 7, 2006

This Toyo Canada contest is so bad that I actually thought about not commenting on it. Yes, we’ve seen much worse, but no matter how you slice it, this is not good work. Now, for a respected tire company, Toyo does make some great tires and, in fact, I’ve raced on some. Toyo is also the official tire supplier for Speed World Challenge, which is some of the most exciting road racing anywhere on the planet.

However. Deep breath.

Ignoring the childhood lesson I learned from Bambi, here’s why we’re not so fond of this contest:

– circa 1996 web technology

– entry form layout

– lack of an opt-in

– there are dead links to any sort of “prize package” description

– “um, where are the contest rules?”

– those colours!

– the dreadful copy (“please press once only”?)

The Régie

October 19, 2006

Not a day goes by that we do not discuss the Régie and Quebec’s unique contest requirements. The topic of the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux, as they are formally known, is long overdue in this blog.

The Régie is not a unsolvable mystery. And fear of the Régie is no reason not to conduct a contest in the province of Quebec. Their requirements are fairly straightforward and satisfying them is not that difficult. While it shouldn’t be taken lightly, dealing with the Régie is not that daunting of a task. Certainly, familiarity with the Régie’s requirements helps and that’s where an experienced contest parnter can help.

We’ll discuss the ins-and-outs of the Régie in upcoming posts, but for now, we’ll leave you with this tip direct from the Régie’s site:

These Rules do not apply to publicity contests where the total value of the prizes offered does not exceed 2 000 $, with the exception of sections 5 and 6 that apply to all publicity contests in which the total value of the prizes exceeds 100 $.

In other words, you do not have to register a contest with the Régie if the contest’s total prize value is less than $2,000.00 CAD.

Slick Survey, But Who Needs Contest Rules…

August 25, 2006

…if you’re Motorola.

We came across a survey contest at Motorola’s site, offering a chance to win a pair of their RAZRWIRES for completing their survey.

The survey itself is clever and seems to be concerned with mobile phone user manuals’ availability online. It’s a great idea–don’t waste the paper when you package the phone, just make the manual available online.

I completed the survey and, of course, was interested to see how the contest was governed so I clicked on the rules link and—oops–it’s a dead link.

Blatantly Illegal

August 22, 2006

In her Azerbic blog, The Toronto Star‘s Antonia Zerbisias, wrote that the Western Standard is running a writing contest. The prize is $1,000.00, plus getting to see your article published, however–and it’s a big however–there is an entry fee of $50.00. Sorry, that’s just blatantly against the law and any reasonable concept of best practice.

Given the politics of the Western Standard, it’s only a matter of time before someone points this out to the regulators.