UG corporate video contest

by David Spark on April 8, 2008

One of Spark Media Solutions‘ clients, iRise, makers of application simulation solutions, is conducting a contest to see who can create the best commercial about visualization and iRise. They’re awarding $15,000 to the winner and will dole out $2,500 each to the top two runners up.

The people who will probably be creating the videos will be customers of iRise because they’re so intimately connected with the product. You really have to use iRise and have it part of your environment to see the value in it. And who better to tell the story than customers, the ones most connected with it?

Sure, iRise could have hired a video producer to create a corporate video or commercial for them, and it would have looked professional and it would have cost them at least $20,000 if not more. They would have posted it on their site, sent out a press release, and maybe some people would have seen it. But they would never know if that was the best video for the audience.

Instead, iRise decided to use that same money as an incentive for others to create a video. Yes, their customers are passionate about their product, but creating video is a royal pain so the only way you’re going to get people to spend the time is to throw out some money in a contest.

By creating a user generated corporate video contest a whole slew of new benefits open up:

  • Lots of videos instead of one.
  • A little press simply by announcing the contest.
  • Uncover lots of customer stories and customer voices.
  • The best video will rise to the top and prove itself through audience response and company judges.
  • A little more press when you announce the winner of the contest.

But it isn’t all roses and daisies. Creating a user generated corporate video contest can open up your business to a slew of potential problems.

  • No quality control.
  • You might not get one good video.
  • You might not get ONE video.
  • The most popular one might be the one you hate.

And to clarify a fear that many in corporate America has. Don’t fear people creating a negative video about you. That potential problem existed the day you open your doors for business. You don’t need to announce a contest. This is a major misnomer in the corporate-sponsored world of UGC. A company doesn’t have to authorize the public to create content about them positive or negative. If people are passionate and they want to say something, they’ll do it on their own, contest or no contest. Still, if you want some quality content, you need to throw some money out there.

Yes, iRise is a client, but Spark Media Solutions had nothing to do with this project. I applaud iRise’s effort and I’m eager to see the results. Contest site and the press release.

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