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10 Tips for Crowdsourcing Advertising With a Video Contest

by Wil Merritt  |  
June 1, 2010

Conversation marketing. Engagement marketing. Social media. Earned media. Consumer-generated media. User-generated Content. Crowdsourcing. Outsourcing. Co-creation.

No matter what you call it, the evolution of the way brands reach and interact with consumers has led to mass experimentation with the alluring yet often hard-to-execute marketing tactic: the video contest.

Achieving success with a video contest is no easy feat. We at Zooppa, a provider of user-generated advertising, have run contests with brands such as Google, Nike, Mini Cooper, Hershey's, and Microsoft by crowdsourcing from more than 60,000 creative community members.

Based on our experiences with some 100 user-generated ad campaigns, I can share the following 10 tips for a successful video contest.

Tip No. 1: Define Your Objective

The most critical step in running a video contest is defining exactly what you want to achieve. Here are several reasons video contests are becoming a regular piece of the marketing mix:

  • Getting a higher return on investment (ROI) from creative production expenses
  • Increasing engagement and time spent with a brand
  • Generating viral buzz and word-of-mouth
  • Sourcing consumer insights and perception feedback

Tip No. 2: Select a Theme

When selecting a theme, keep it aspirational and open enough to let contest participants insert their personality. Even if you have an extremely technical product, look beyond specifications to the brand-platform level and consider these questions:

  • How does your brand fit into people's lives?
  • What would the world look like without your offering?
  • What conversations are people already having about your brand?
  • What user-generated content is already being posted? Do you have fan videos on Facebook that reveal a theme?

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Wil Merritt is CEO of Zooppa (, a provider of user-generated advertising. Contact Wil at or 206-623-1587.

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