Watching ESPN tonight I saw the stupidest contest that I have ever seen any professional sports league run. For those of you who are unaware Actober is a contest where entrants create an original reenactment of any memorable play from the baseball playoff. Winners of this contest are given tickets to a game during this years World Series.
There are several things which bother me about this contest, not the least of which is that it is derivative. This campaign is a clearly a rip-off of the NFL Network’s contest to make a commercial that would run at the end of the Super Bowl. Obviously the goal is to then put all of the entries on youtube and hope that anyone with a blog will talk about them, thus generating a serious amount of viral content. While I do believe that viral marketing is a very important new way for companies to generate interest, I’m getting really tired of adverting which is based around the consumer generating the content. I’d love to be in the room while the advertising agency pitched this winner idea.
Advertising Exec: “Uhhhh.. so what we’re going to do is let the fan create a better version of a great play then we can, and then we’re going to use that as our commerical.”
MLB Official: “That’s brilliant!! But how are we going to let the fans know about this contest?”
Advertising Exec: “Two Words: Dane Cook”
MLB Official: “Brilliant everybody likes him!!”
This is where I feel I have to end this post; I don’t even want to get into Dane Cook. I need to dedicate more time to making fun of him then I am willing to give at this point.