GoDaddy is Listening: Online-Video Contest Case Study

I’ve written many times about what separates a good online-video contest from the myriad of failures. I’d like to add an important attribute that has been demonstrated recently by GoDaddy: listening and adapting.

GoDaddy broke one of The Cardinal Rules of a good online-video contest by providing a meager first-place prize and even less for “runner’s up.” As I often remind marketers, my personal incentive to enter a contest is driven by the “runner’s up” prizes, since I’m a rare winner and serial runner’s up (Butterfingers, Oreos, Panasonic, etc).

Jared (the King of Online-Video Contests, rivaled by his queen, SlatersGarage and his court jester ZackScott) tells the story of how his note to GoDaddy helped prompt the Internet hosting leader to up its prize from a paltry $3K to $100,000.

Jared wrote GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons via the titan’s blog, and urged him to “up the ante.” The quick response from Parsons: “Dear Jared, I hear you. I’m on it. Bob”

Days later, Jared got a note from a GoDaddy employee:

the prizes were increased as follows:  First place = $100,000, Second place = $50,000, 3rd place =$25,000 — then some other great prizes (hardware, software, camcorders, etc.) for an additional 10 places.  Landing page changes at to reflect this update are forthcoming — which I expect later today.

So, Jared – thank you for your feedback!  I am anticipating your submission as along with your peers.  I am coordinating the contest — so please send additional comments my way.  If you are good with it, I’d like to brainstorm with you ways to announce the winners.

The change is non trivial ($175K in total prizes), but more impressive is a big company listening to a subject matter expert, and adapting quickly. This earns the company more equity (albeit unmeasurable) than any Superbowl commercial. Click image below to see that, indeed, the contest has raised the stakes as promised:

25 Replies to “GoDaddy is Listening: Online-Video Contest Case Study”

  1. Hey Nalts, thanks for blogging about this. We really have to give Bob Parsons (GoDaddy CEO) loads of credit here. There will be a myriad of prize-age for creatives in every skill level, with the crowning jewels going to the spots that will be required to represent GoDaddy on a national/www stage. I really am pleased with the reaction time and the proactive nature of the brand, but honestly, it is in keeping with the maverick business approach. GoDaddy makes decisions quickly. I imagine if Bob was going to buy a dog for the family he would know in a day or two which type he wanted and would get the damn thing…..sorry, I digress. According to my records (and they are comprehensive), this is the highest guaranteed payout for an online video contest in the history of the genre. Bigger even than Doritos.
    Everyone should go to the contest link and check it out.

  2. What a great (and rare) example of a corporation listening directly to the people, via social media. I’d be much more inclined to produce a professional spot here… and I’d do it not just for the money, but to support a company that actually LISTENS and ADAPTS.

  3. well, it looks like GoDaddy is doing it right. Now if only those idiots over at BarelyPolitical could get it right with their Weezer contest. What a joke that is.

    for that matter, Doritos also sort of hit the mark with their Superbowl contest. Even though the winners have consistently been the submissions that required a big budget, and a more than likely payed cast that certainly wasn’t “amateur” content, the consolation prizes were pretty incredible. I was going to, but forgot, to just submit a video of me saying “Eat Doritos” so I could get the free coupons, shirt and hat this year. That was such a pleasant surprise last year.

  4. @JimmerSD, hey Jim, go head and produce the thing in Florida, and then send the file to a brother in Texas to upload and enter. As long as you can trust him to give you the proceeds after cashing the check it’s doable. Just know that the producer of record will be that brother. So make sure you collaborate with someone you trust. There is no rule governing the location you use to shoot the thing.

  5. Yeah I can see that avenue. :o) It just pisses me off that my home state would put up such a boneheaded blockade. What horses**t. I’ve never heard of a contest that was closed in Florida.

    Thanks for looking out for my best interests Tallahassee!

  6. Problem is I wouldn’t trust my brother with a pack of cigarettes no less a hundred grand. Hey James can you ask you sister if we can submit it under her name?

    @Jared Without humidity I couldn’t breath.

  7. @ Mark,
    Thanks for the comment. I hadn’t seen you on the VCK blog for quite a while. Thought maybe you were afraid I would clean the cobwebs out of the North Tower upon your arrival. Only love for you brother. You know I think you guys do a great work over there at PopTent. Together we can continue to encourage more brands to be as proactive as Bob parsons(GoDaddy), in appealing to and utilizing the freelance creative community.

  8. @Jared,

    You know I always read the VCK! 😉 Just haven’t had time to flesh out the thoughtful commentary and feedback your posts deserve. Rest assured, I always pass your work around the office!

    Aside – I saw your TaxSlayer ad on TV at the bowling alley at our company Christmas party and was jumping up and down and pointing… hahah

  9. Good to hear you visit often. As you’ve personally experienced I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve, and yes the VCK blogs are an extension of that, but my bark is always much larger than my bite. You will always hold a cool spot in the cockles of my heart for being the first agent ever to option a short film of mine. I will appreciate that in perpetuity.

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