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Why is KD's "Battle Zone" Facebook Contest Failing?

posted Mar 11, 2012, 6:06 PM by Alyshia B   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 7:38 AM ]
Have you seen this?  Am I missing something or is this Facebook contest an "epic fail"?KD's Battle

So KD is running a Facebook contest called "Battle Zone."  ( http://www.facebook.com/kraftdinner ) The basic premise:  There are 5 battles. People submit an entry and people vote on the entries.  The entry with the most votes at the end of the battle is the "winner."

Here is what's awesome about this contest idea IMO:
1.  Concept: The concept is fun and *should* appeal to a younger and older crowd.  It asks customers to interact with their brand in unique ways and entering the contest is easy.
2.  Facebook Design: It's very well designed.  The graphics are high-quality and appealing.  They have their own Facebook "app" and it's completely branded.  All round, it's very solid.
3.  YouTube: The "Battle Zone" YouTube videos are funny and snappy.  They represent and explain the contest well.  The "two guys" are on point throughout. Again, high quality. See their YouTube channel.
4.  Battles:  The battles themselves are relevent and pick up on popular viral campaigns.  For example, "KD bombing" (photo bombing) and a caption contest. This *should* appeal a wide range of Facebook users.
5.  TV:  They have TV commercials to support their contest; yes, you heard me correct.  TV commercials; that can't be cheap. While watching TV (in Canada anyway) you will likely see commercials that promote the contest with the two same guys as the YouTube vids. The commercials are short, funny, and snappy and tell you to "join the battle" on their Facebook page.

So with all these great things going on... why is this campaign failing?
There is one reason why I consider this contest an "epic fail" (as the yougins say these days). And that reason is: shockingly low participation rates!  Let's look more closely at this.
Battle 1 - "KD Bombing" - The "winning" photo bomb had 258 votes (258!!!).  The top three entries had a total of 619 votes between them (total!).  (Okay, it's the first battle, things will improve, right?)
Battle 2 - "Get Gify With It" - The "winning" GIF 133 votes (less than battle 1, what??!!?).  The top three entries had a total of 355 votes between them (oh man, half as many as battle #1, things are getting worse).  Maybe people don't remember what animated GIFs are?
Battle 3 - "Caption Clash" -   The "winning" caption had... wait for it.... 81 votes (yes, for real).  (185 total votes between the top three entries).  What is happeing here?
Battle 4 - "Make it Epic" - This is the current battle (at the time of writing this) and the first place leader entry has 142 votes thus far.  I've been "watching" this contest for a couple of weeks now so it is likely that this battle will end shortly; with little hope of much more success.
Battle 5 " ???" - (coming soon....) I can't wait to see how they manage to fail, again, with battle 5.

This makes no sense...
Why are the low participation rates SHOCKINGLY LOW?  The KD page has 257,998 "likes" (fans) (at time of writing this).  You would think with an audience *this huge* this campaign would be doing better.  You would think that if you had a facebook contest that was being supported through commercials on television (which has an audience of MILLIONS), it would be doing better.
What was their campaign goal?
Sure, we do not know KD's campaign goal.  Was it to increase Facebook likes?  Was it to introduce two new "faces" of their brand?  Was it to test a new facebook app?  While, we do not know their specific goal, we can certainly assume that when they pump *this much* money into a campaign (2 actors, videographers, video editors, app developers, marketing folk, tv commercial production costs, etc.etc.etc.etc.) they very likely expected it to be more successful (in terms of 'fan' participation and virility).
 
"Bragging Rights" WTF?
I searched high and low to find out what the prizes were for "winning" in the Battle Zone.  I couldn't find the answer, so I asked....

facebook post

Lame! Well, maybe we have our answer here.  I think one reason this campaign is failing is because there are NO PRIZES.  What kind of contest has no prize?  Perhaps participation rates are so low because there is no incentive (besides 'for the fun of it') to participate?  I mean, you're KD, you've just pumped thousands of dollars into this campaign, why not at least have a "year's supply of KD" (and give each winner 365 boxes of KD)? That would cost the company pretty much nothing compared to what they've already spent.  Again, why have a contest with no prize? 

As social media marketers, what can we learn from this "epic fail"?
How about, offer prizes when you run a contest (this seems like a no-brainer to most of us social media marketing people).  I just can't believe such a social media failure from such a large brand.  Who is their social media marketing manager?  I need to get in there and replace that person because something is wrong here....

Are there other lessons to be learned here?  Does anyone have any other ideas why this campaign is failing?  I'd LOVE to hear your ideas and discuss this more...
Let's discuss this on Linked-In: click here.
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