I’ve made my career never winning a contest, but placing as a finalist in many. So I believe I can speak with some authority in saying that most contest sites suck. That can be for a number of reasons: the prizes aren’t right, the theme is too rescrictive, the site is easy to forget about, it’s too commercial, competitive or cumbersome (I just had to force myself not to make a “6 C’s of bad contest” post).
Here’s an exception. Metacafe and American Apparel are holding a “Cafe Confidential” contest inviting video creators to tell short stories and win these prizes:
- First Prize: $1500 American Apparel Shopping Spree
- Second Prize: $1000 American Apparel Shopping Spree
- Third Prize: $500 American Apparel Shopping Spree
- 20 Fourth Prizes: $100 American Apparel gift certificates
To enter you can make up a story about any of the following: My Craziest Day at Work, My First Time (for the internationl kids, this means sex), My Most Embarrassing Moment, My Weird Family, My Wildest Drinking Story, My Worst Date or Miscellaneous. If you really want to score, trying to think of an embarassing story about a crazy time having sex with someone in your family while drunk at work.
Here’s why this contest site is better than most:
- There’s not just one prize. Borat is running a contest now withe one grand prize winner. The odds are much better on this one.
- The advertiser partnered with one site, instead of building a desert island flash site that will be trashed when the contest is over.
- There’s consistency between the brand (American Apparel), the theme and the online video site. Metacafe tends to lean edgy (without going as far as Break.com), and the topics fit the site.
- This should attract anyone with a camera. You don’t need to be a great editor to win this. Just a good story teller.
- The user interface on the contest site is nice. Your typical contest site is usually designed as an exercize in flashterbation. WOAH- Did I coin a word there? Damn I like that. I’m changing the headline.
- The site is prepopulated with videos. So I can be entertained the first time I arrive at the contest site. This is risky, however. If the sample videos are too good, the contest site can scare off hopefuls.