Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Line's 'buzz-building' promotion for SoaP lacks bite

It just breaks your heart.

New Line has the great idea to create a promotion which was built around fans of SoaP winning prizes for building buzz on the internet for the film. It was timed perfectly to start 6 weeks before the premiere of the film. A great way to build buzz for the movie, and have it peak just as the movie opens.

But as is often the case, a great idea is sabotaged by shoddy execution.

Here's the link to their 'The #1 Fan Sweepstakes' promotion. The idea is, you have people vote for you as the 'best fan', up to once a day, and the person with the most votes by...whatever date the contest ends on, wins.

Now I'm sure that New Line is hoping that bloggers will post on their blogs, and message boards, and in chat rooms telling everyone to go back to the SoaP site and vote for them. So if sparking interest with social media was their aim, why didn't they tie the promotion into using blogs, podcasts, and videos?

To me, it makes much more sense to award weekly winners for 'Best Blog Post', 'Best Podcast', and 'Best Video', and let fans submit their posts/podcasts/videos, and then let visitors to the site rate each submission. That way you reward your fans for actions they are already engaging in. Community-empowerment anyone? Then the first 5 weekly winners could face off during the final week for all the marbles. I believe Chris blogged about Thank You For Not Smoking doing a very similar promotion a few months ago.

Again, 'The #1 Fan Sweepstakes' is a great concept, that doesn't have the execution necessary to make it a winner.

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