As we’re interested in all things competition, we did take the time to watch Tiger’s press conference and found a lesson in this whole situation for sponsors: One person, or one non-positive event, can have an outsized influence on an entire program, just as Tiger’s ordeal has cost all of golf, and many sponsors, a lot of money. In the world of UGC and video contests, your winner could turn out not to be who you thought they were; you could be tempted to change a date but someone picks up on it and complains…loudly; you might not catch the 500 votes by firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com…firstname.lastname@example.org. The lesson is, if you’re putting your brand out there by sponsoring a video contest, work with professionals and be sure you have your ducks in a row. Don’t copy official rules from another site or, worse, use some company’s “rules generator” to save a little money on legal. Scrutinize every detail so you won’t be second guessing yourself in the middle of the voting phase. Video contests are unbelievably effective marketing programs when they’re done right…but remember that it doesn’t take a Tiger to bring a program down, it just takes a little inexperience or a bit of bad advice.
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