This week an article appeared on Squidoo entitled Twitter Competitions & Give-aways : Be Fair, Be Ethical it’s nice to see that Orange have come up with a clever way to get people talking with their new Phone Fund competition. To take part in their Phone Fund Game you need to login with Twitter or Facebook – this gets you entry into the next race. You can then sit back, relax and watch as some gnashing teeth races round the track.
If the gnashing teeth land on a winning square the entrant who appears on screen will win a prize. Prizes include 2 Blackberry 9300s daily as well as iTunes vouchers. If you don’t win then there’s another race to take part in straight away – so off you go to Tweet and Facebook your entry again. This continues ad nauseum until whenever the competition ends.
Anyone see the problem here?
Orange may well hope that their Phone Fund competitions gets people talking (well it has worked as we’re talking about it) but take away the nice prizes and chattering teeth and it’s just going to result in people spamming Twitter! Already you can see a mass of #PhoneFundPrizes tweets appearing and as this thing goes viral the numbers will increase.
In fact it will probably reach trend level until someone at Twitter HQ spots it. Twitter don’t like this kind of thing as they say in their contest guidelines that promotions should “discourage posting the same Tweet repeatedly”.
The guidelines also say that if there are lots of repeated tweets that “your contest or sweepstakes could cause users to be automatically filtered out of Twitter search. Plus, instead of their followers seeing your cool contest or sweepstakes, their followers might start getting annoyed by your contest”. Well that could become a possibility in this case.
Even more so when you don’t actually have to be on the Phone Fund Game page to participate in the competition. As long as your tweet contains #PhoneFundPrizes (and we think you’ve logged in at least once) you seem to be included in the next race. Imagine the fun people with multiple Twitter accounts and automated set ups can have with this one. Not good!
Other entrants also risk getting themselves dropped into Twitter Jail. This is when Twitter decides your tweets are being a tad spammy . You can find out more about this and how to avoid it over on Competition Grapevine.
Mind you some people do like it… (but they did create it)
— Poke London (@pokelondon) April 20, 2012
Although some people hope all marketing was like this (imagine Twitter if it was!)
— Bounce Digital (@bouncedigital) April 20, 2012
It’s a shame really as in theory there’s quite a cool little game here and something potentially different for the usual inventiveness of RT to win, follow to win or anything else that usually pops up on Twitter. However, the execution is simply “spam Twitter” and that’s exactly what will happen. Is that good for Orange and good for their brand? Will Twitter like this kind of thing (quite possibly as #PhoneFundPrizes is actually a promoted tweet)? How long will it be before searches are filtered and users get fed up of the game, not winning or the spam on their timelines?
Hopefully, not all marketing will be like this – please!