Monthly Archives: February 2013

Valentine’s Day Facebook Contests in India

In my last blogpost “How to Organize Social Media Contests?”, I discussed about few tips that brands should consider while organizing contests on social media channels. And as promised in that blogpost, here I am going to discuss about few Valentine’s Day contests that brands organized. I selected four brands at random – Bluo, Durex, Tata Housing Development & Pizza Hut. Deliberately I chose brands from diverse product categories to have a wider understanding.

 1)      BluO

What Impressed Me:

  • The contest theme was well synced with the service offering. The idea was to make contestants ‘relive’ their past enjoyable experience at the PVR BluO. This would help contestants recall their past visit to the place and may get them motivated to visit it again on the Valentine’s Day.
  • Images are very effective part of a contest strategy and they leveraged it well.
  • Give-away was very relevant and that matched the need of the occasion – ‘a couple dinner’.


How better it could have been:

  • Contest tab wasn’t created which is a basic requirement according to the Facebook guidelines and this contest has violated it.
  • The contest image could have been better with the bowling space. It seems the agency was in a hurry to go live with this contest.
  • The email address on which entries were sought seems to be of an agency that is handling the account, which is not a good practice. A contest specific or a brand name specific email address should have been announced.

2)      Durex

What Impressed Me:

  • Contest tab created as per the Facebook guidelines
  • Very attractive creative images used across the application
  • Message “go beyond words this valentine’s” catches the attention well
  • The entries of the contestants shown and further put to voting, which is a good idea as it generates lot of interest and motivates other people to participate.
  • Very relevant give-away – “Invite to Valentine’s night party”.


3)      Tata Housing Development

What Impressed Me:

  • It is not easy to conduct a contest for a category like real estate on an occasion like Valentine’s Day. But I feel Tata Housing Development did a decent job.
  • The give-away was highly attractive (gift vouchers worth Rs. 25,000/-) and would have drawn attention of many. Though the give-away wasn’t matching the occasion but the high value would have drawn participation.
  • The contest idea was very well connected with the product category as, owning a house is a great feeling for every individual.
  • Attractive and user-friendly contest tabs created adhering the Faceboook guidelines
  • Sufficient leads were collected as Name, Email address and contact numbers were compulsory data to be filled.
  • A combination of text + image contest really drew my attention. We have either seen a contest based on text (share a statement, share a message, etc.) or an image based contest (like we PVR BluO, Durex did), but Tata leveraged both, which is a laudable effort.

 Tata Housing Development Company

How it could have been better

The home and heart connection could have been well extended to the valentine/love also, making it more connected with the occasion

4)      Pizza Hut

 What Impressed Me:

  • The contest was well aligned with their new product launch ‘Heart Shaped Pizzas’. What could have been a better occasion for Pizza Hut to launch it!
  • A subtle way of popularizing their new product.
  • Simple and attractive contest tab was created and a simple image based contest was organized.
  • The entries were shown in the second stage of the application (as Durex also followed). This definitely establishes credibility of the contest and also motivates others to participate.
  • The entries were put to vote with the ‘Choose Your Favourite’ option and also Pizza Hut selected few entries that they thought were good and classified under the ‘Our Favorites’ section.


How better it could have been:

  • Well, I felt sharing a message along with the image would have created more interest in the contest (as Tata Housing Development did).

Key Insights:

As I highlighted in my last blogpost the key points required for a social media contest are:


It was very explicit in the case of PVR BluO and Pizza Hut, to promote their services and products respectively. Obviously the contests run by Durex & Tata Housing Development did have some implicit objectives. Contests should have a sound marketing objective.

Appropriate occasion: The occasion was well leveraged by all the above brands.

Relevant compensation: Compensation like A dinner date, night party, Rs. 25,000 gift voucher were absolutely bang on target.

Respect the social media platform’s guidelines: Three of the above brands did follow the Facebook guidelines. It is necessary to be always on the right side of the guidelines to avoid any future problems.

Did you come across any Valentine’s Day contest that impressed you? Share in the comment section in the interest of all readers!



How to Organize Social Media Contests?

Thanks to the numerous festivals and events or even otherwise, contests have been a major weapon for brands to ‘supposedly enhance customer engagement’ on social media platforms. Well, I am not completely opposing the usage of contests for social media however; the way they are implemented by few brands is definitely questionable. It is impossible to ascertain if they play around social media contest strategy knowingly or unknowingly, but if they are doing it knowingly then it is definitely a case of concern for the future.

I am writing this blogpost having participated in few social media contests and voila 2013 has been lucky for me as I won two contests back to back in a week. The first one was organized by NASSCOM events for their upcoming conference, wherein contestants had to identify the 11 tracks of conference from the given crossword and few lucky winners were to be given a goodies.

Second contest that I participated and won was conducted by afaqs, where their Digital Marketing predictions webpage had to be tweeted and the few lucky winners were given away a gift hamper.

As part of my job at @adglobal360, I had an opportunity to strategize and execute few social media contests. A few that I have blogged on AdGlobal360’s corporate blog are about contest for AOC India and Eco Lite. So, I have seen the nature of contests both from the participant’s perspective and from brand’s perspective. Based on my limited job experience and considerable research experience I feel a brand should keep in mind following points before organizing a social media contest:

1)      Objective / Purpose:

The objective behind a social media contest should be clearly identified. Whether the contest is to be used as a lever to increase awareness, launch a new product or spike temporary promotional campaign etc. The value proposition of the brand and the type of contest should be closely merged and not distant.

2)      Appropriate occasion:

Choose the right occasion. It’s not advisable that you organize a contest for any and every festival / occasion just because some brand is organizing a contest. Think of your brand. Question yourself if it would be wise to get associated with that festival or occasion and would the contest make any sense. For instance how does it matter for a luxury cosmetics brand to organize a Republic Day contest!

3)      Relevant and attractive compensation:

Map the effort by the potential contestants and the rewards they might earn at the end of contest. Their efforts need to be acknowledged substantially to entice them for participation.

4)      Respect the social media platform’s guidelines:

This is a key requirement. Every social media platform has its own guidelines. As a brand, don’t default on those guidelines and risk being reprimanded by the platforms. For. E.g. Facebook has clearly detailed guidelines for contests or sweepstakes. Do not include instructions in contest that are against the platform’s guidelines. Play a responsible game!

5)      Timing of contest:

Someone has rightly said, ‘A stitch in time saves nine’. Get your contest rolled out at right time. If you had to organize a summer season contest, when would you do that – a) few weeks before the peak summer season, b) during summer season, c) post summer season. Well, there is no right answer. It depends on your objective and the brand personality. So, just don’t follow the herd, make a calculative decision and time your contests well.

6)      Sustain the momentum in post contest period:

A lot of hard work goes in conceptualizing a contest, executing it (often with the help of complex applications) and so on. Do remember that contests are not just meant for temporary spike! Intelligence lies in leveraging the momentum and improving the customer engagement on your platform. The brand’s presence shouldn’t show the fatigue of having organized a contest, but on the contrary put in efforts to sustain the momentum and excitement to ensure the brand doesn’t lose out the hard earned traction.

Valentine day, one of the big occasions for brands is around the corner. Stay tuned for review of some contests that brands might organize in the week ahead.