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Acura’s Bad Idea Facebook Contest

January 27th, 2011 · 3 Comments

AcuraDo you want to win a brand new Acura TSX Sport Wagon?  Great all you have to do is be more popular than anyone else in the country who also wants to win a free $31,000+ car.  Here’s the link to the contest on Facebook.

Here is the basic premise:

All you have to do is work your social network as hard as your quads to earn the most votes. Spread the word on your wall, send friends an email – do whatever it takes to let people know how serious you are about your action sport. The person who scores the most votes will compete like a pro in an all-new TSX Sport Wagon.

Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t that a popularity contest?  And again correct if I’m wrong here but don’t just the pretty people, the 1% win these contests?  So isn’t Acura saying to 99% of the rest of the country screw you?

I’ve never been the most popular guy, and frankly I hold a little bit of a grudge against the really popular kids from school.  And I think many people feel that same way.  We’re jealous and envious of them.  It seemed that they always won the prizes and got the gifts anyway.

Is it a great idea to base your marketing campaign on the idea that you can help the most popular kids win a new car? It seems to me that Average Joe, and Plain Jane will look at this for about 3 seconds and decide I’ve never got a chance.  At least with a random contest of some sort there’s a slim chance I’ll win.  But with this I’ve no chance whatsoever.

Eliminate the bottom feeders

Now, we’ve eliminated the common rabble from this contest.  Let’s look at what we’ve got left.  The social elite, the most popular- in social media parlance it’s the INFLUENCERS.

What’s going to happen during the month long contest?  A lot of influencers are going to be Tweeting, Facebooking, and emailing their friends to vote- every day!

Frankly I can’t think of a better way to alienate people to your brand, than to generate a bunch of spam messages across the social media landscape of popular people pleading for my vote so they can win a new car!

Shades of Fast Company’s Influencer Project

So who will win?  I’m thinking the guy with $5,000 to spend on Mechanical Turk or who hires a bunch of people to click in India.  But all of this seems to remind me of something- oh yea!  The Fast Company Influencer Project.  They initially billed it as the best way to determine who had the most influence on the web.  And it was soundly attacked across the blogosphere because it was in reality a popularity contest.  Read Danny Sullivan’s wrap up the results.

After reading Danny’s article I hope that iJustine wins a new car!  She’s a great person and she’s pretty, and an influencer. Which is exactly what the great advertising minds who dreamed up this foolish contest were thinking of, a pretty popular kid.

What Could Acura Do Instead?

They could have a contest where people nominate those who deserve to win cars.  People who run charities and who do good works who deserve to win a new car.  They could ask people to nominate those who work very hard for very little in return, or those who have lost their jobs, their homes and their livelihoods in these tough times.  That would be a contest which would tap into these troublesome times and lift everyone up, instead of rewarding those who are self promoters.

Give me your 1 good reason for a different kind of contest that Acura could run on Facebook.

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tweets that mention Acura’s Bad Idea Facebook Contest -- Topsy.com // Jan 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chris Kieff, Dave Colson. Dave Colson said: RT @ckieff: Acura’s Bad Idea Facebook Contest http://goo.gl/fb/rRBVz New via @ckieff [...]

  • 2 Nancy Passow // Jan 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I’m suspicious of any of the contests run on Facebook. I was going to enter one from a company I do business with until I found that in order to enter I had to give them access to my Facebook account. Not likely! So I’ll just keep on annoying my Twitter followers by retweeting contest entries over there.

  • 3 Tara O'Brien // Mar 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Well, I must say I disagree with what you are saying here because I am a contestant in this contest and I am far from being miss popularity :) I am a volunteer for AmpSurf.org, and travel up and down the California coast on my time and my dime to help teach people with disabilities how to surf. I have always been an athlete and know how beneficial physical acitivity can be so I felt that I met the contest qualifications to enter. I hope that everyone else who is competing against me can say the same thing.

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