AN AMUSING HISTORY OF CROWDSOURCING COMPETITIONS

With the new polar research vessel stealing the headlines after it received a whopping 124,109 votes to be named the thought provoking ‘Boaty McBoatface’, it has somewhat highlighted the positive and negatives of crowdsourcing competitions.

The most positive reviews most marketers will give is; EXPOSURE! Seen now by millions across the globe, there’s no doubt The Natural Environment Research Council will be thrilled with the amount of people they’ve now engaged with. Actually the only negatives of this campaign are being raised by those looking at it from a professional perspective, aka the Government – “boooo” them.

No doubt The Natural Environment Research Council will be thrilled with the amount of people they’ve now engaged with.

Throughout marketing history, we’ve seen many humorous crowdsourcing competitions drive awareness and exposure. In 2007, Greenpeace ran a campaign to stop a group of whales being hunted, by holding an online poll to name the animals. And what did the public vote…? ‘Mr Splashy Pants’! The outcome of this: global awareness and campaign/brand reinforcement.

 

However, these promoters are much less susceptible to damaging their brand, and it’s worth noting to the not so savvy marketers that crowdsourcing competitions will not always drive positive outcomes. Let’s look at some of these:

Mountain Dew’s ‘Dub the Dew’ campaign – “Hitler did nothing wrong”, “Diabeetus”, and “Gushing Granny” all topped the online rankings.

New Zealand’s ‘new flag’ campaign  – The bid to change the flag cost millions and resulted in nothing.

Justin Bieber ‘next tour’ competition – Half a million votes tried to send Bieber to North Korea.