On 3rd October, Auto Trader lowered a Seat Mii from a crane as part of their New Car Drop competition. Things kicked off at 12pm and by the power of tweets alone the car was gradually lowered until it returned back to the safety of the ground two hours later. Prizes were awarded randomly during the competition period to lucky tweeters – with the car winner being chosen by a judging panel.
Here’s the Youtube video where the winner of the Seat Mii is announced. It’s not the best quality winner announcement so in case you’re wondering the winner was David Hislop for the tweet shown below (based on comments on his own feed)…
— David Hyslop (@David_Hyslop) October 3, 2012
Well done to David for winning the Seat Mii!
Sadly, if you look at the AutoTrader_UK twitter feed after the winner was announced then you’ll see that questions were asked about the winner and their relationship to Promoveritas, the third party service that over saw the process (and were using the Auto Trader Twitter account according to this tweet). In short, the winner was found to work for a company called IMG who at some time have worked with Promoveritas.
That doesn’t disqualify the guy from taking part or winning though, does it?
It’s important to look at the rules in this case – “all eligible entries will be reviewed and judged under the supervision of PromoVeritas”. If this was done as we’d assume, all entries should have been given to the judges without any indication of who wrote the entry. PromoVeritas shouldn’t have chosen the winner but just made sure all was done fairly – after all that’s what they’re there for isn’t it?
Maybe AutoTrader can confirm that this was actually the case and perhaps reveal who the independent 3rd party was who chose the winner?
As a lot of high profile competitions end with the obligatory “is it fair” questions on Twitter or Facebook it does make us wonder if there must be a way to avoid these kind of problems!
For example, we’d like to see is a bit more information about the judging process – who’s involved, how they arrived at the choices etc. It also may well be time – especially with promotions like Drop The Car – for the winner picking process to be videoed/streamed so that things are transparent – just to try and remove any doubts that other entrants may have about how the results are derived.
That aside, it was a fun Twitter car competition that required a bit of creativity – infinitely better than the RT to enter comps that are the norm. We look forward to seeing similar promotions in the future.