May 20, 2008

Lame Boss!

I always have mixed feelings about open "creativity competitions" when it comes to advertising. On one hand is a way to expand possibilities: more people involved means more ideas and that is never a bad thing.

BUT (yes, there is always a but) there are aspects to these competitions that I really don't like. I don't like that most of the time companies go live with them without giving the competitors a basic brief so the participants are in fact shooting in the dark (what translates in a LOT of garbage to go through)..., but most of the time what I really hate is the fact that the companies behind the contest are just being cheap.

Hugo Boss is now one of those cases and the worst one I have seen so far! They have a competition online that is about creating a billboard with a slogan for them.

The prize? "The winning slogan will appear on a billboard in New York City as part of a HUGO Fragrances advertisement. The Sponsor may also choose to use the winning slogan in additional future advertising. There will be no compensation of any kind given for Sponsor's use of winning slogan on a billboard or in future advertising." Can you believe it?

As one of the submissions says....,

I don't see how such a lame prize can give them anything good. It is not what you would expect from Hugo Boss or Procter and Gamble. Basically, your prize is the fact that you can say "I wrote that". That's it and they can use your slogan anywhere else they want. No money, no trip to NYC to be able to be there when the billboard goes up, not EVEN a bottle of their new fragrance!

I am pretty sure they could do better. Is that minute of fame -just the possibility to claim "I wrote that"- enough? I don't believe so.

And my guess is that the girl from California that submitted the "Go Spray Yourself" sentence wasn't really trying to participate in the contest but sending a message to the brand... What do you think?

If you are nevertheless interested in the contest, here is the link.

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