So yeah, I didn’t win anything in the recent GoPro contest, I was going to post this much earlier but the previous month was crazy-busy including a business trip to Prague for an administration course.
Not winning is of course a disappointment, but as I participate in plenty of contests I’m kind of getting used to it :P One thing that annoys me though is when the hosts of a contest ignore their own rules, and I have experienced this multiple times, and it happened again with this contest.
As I mentioned in the previous post a very big majority of the submissions lacked the required caption to be valid entries. After the public vote they announced the finalists and out of the 50 only 14 had a valid caption and another 5 had an almost valid caption. It does step on the toes of the people who expected the rules to be honored, like me, it feels like the people who wrote the rules would also follow them!
Again, this has happened to me before. It seems like when you host a contest it’s easy to make up rules but hard to get participants to follow them or to remember them yourself during judging. One time I participated in a Christmas rhyme contest to promote a brand and their hint for what to send in was “Longer is not always better!”, this while the winner ended up being a quite long poem that did not communicate what was sought after and did not even rhyme. Definitely not what was asked for, things like this puts me off.
I will also bring up a good example of how contests should be run, in my opinion. For a couple of years (during University studies) I was an active member of HBO. When they hosted a contest there were often strict rules and it was very clearly stated that if you did not follow those rules your entry would be tossed. If it was a creative contest it would be rules about what to make, what kind of files to submit, what information to include and how to submit it. Get one detail wrong and you were out. Very easy and very fair!
For this contest GoPro completely skipped specific things in their own rules, especially that both photo and creative entries “must be captioned”. I can see why they decided to do this as many of the nice looking pictures would otherwise be disqualified, among those the grand prize pictures. In a response to me on Facebook they did say that this contest was a learning experience and that more contests will come in the future. I do hope that they either make sure people read and follow the rules, that they themselves enforce the rules or that the rules are more relaxed to start out with.
I still love the GoPro brand, just not as much as before, they lost a chunk of goodwill for me. At least I still want to buy their products ;)
As a reflection, the nicest thing about this contest was to talk to people on Facebook whom I had not talked to in a while. And the most annoying part was the same, to have to hunt for votes, I really hope they skip this in upcoming events. Some people I contacted clearly stated that they wanted nothing to do with voting on Facebook due to privacy issues, and I fully understood that as I myself use very few apps on there.
As a last note, this was a very timely comic. Oh, and happy new year! Lets hope this year will bring less stress, I’m not so sure about that though.