The Force is Strong with this Crowdsourcing Contest

Published Feb-02-14

Not so long ago in a galaxy quite near to home, two giant brands combined forces to launch a crowdsourcing video contest.

Pringles/Star Wars, United States

The Story:

The Force is Strong with this Crowdsourcing Contest When you have access to a source of creative external brainpower what do you do with it? Many companies have embraced open innovation and crowdsourcing to create new products, refine existing ones or get over some technical problem that has been impeding the development of a particular innovation.

Then there are those consumer facing companies that run crowdsourcing competitions among their communities of followers and perspective customers. There are several reasons why they engage in these initiatives:

• To design a new product/wrapper/flavor and so on
• To increase positive word of mouth
• To market to new and old audiences without paying for expensive advertising
• To solicit opinions on a logo or new product or service
• To ask consumers which products they would like to see more of
• To find out if there are any problems with the types of products they market
• To invite the crowd to test new ideas and vote on them, and then launch with
the most popular ones

The Force is Strong

In 2013, the popular snack food brand, Pringles entered a galactic alliance with iconic movie franchise Star Wars to launch a crowdsourced video contest “The Force For Fun”. There was a prize pool of $75,000, and for the winner a check for $25,000 and the chance to be used in an online advertising campaign.

The goal was to create a fun video that would promote both brands and target adults from the age of 18-49.

The contest had clearly defined parameters and was split into three stages: an idea stage, a pitch stage and a video stage. It caught the public’s imagination. More than 1,000 video entries were submitted, and the top seven posted on Pringles’ YouTube channel received more than one million views. You can watch them here:

A Day Long Remembered

The winning video was created by two filmmakers and imagined an office environment where Darth Vader was the boss. It included a hilarious scene of him giving an employee his annual appraisal.

Force for Fun was a very effective marketing tool. It gave the audience something fascinating to participate in, and even those who were unable to create their own videos, could enjoy the work of others. They did so in their thousands and they told their friends through social media channels. Word spread very quickly.

The $75,000 prize money was a drop in the ocean compared to the positive feedback the contest generated for both brands.

Crowdsourcing: A New Hope

When crowdsourcing contests are well designed, planned and executed the benefits to an organisation can be manifold.

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