Some competitions must start out as great ideas but it’s only until they become reality do that flaws in the great scheme of things start to appear. Kingsmill, for example, probably thought that their Baker’s Bonanza competition on Facebook was the perfect recipe for a clever competition. Basically they have a prize oven, when it’s time to open the oven they give a 10 minute warning, then once the prize is ready to be won it’s a case of fastest fingers first. What could go wrong?
This competition doesn’t do any of the silly things that Di talks about over on Facebook Wall Competition Problems so surely all will be well?
However, a quick look on the Kingsmill Wall and the competition has given rise to reams of posts from disgruntled potential players. They’re rolling up to express how they’re unhappy about the opening times, that they haven’t won and that it might be a fix. Yet it’s hard to understand why they’re disgruntled though. Kingsmill have set out the competition, given the instructions and all people have to do is follow them.
It’s meant to be fun!
Did the oven open today? Well yes it did and on Facebook you can check timelines to verify whether a promoter is doing as they claim.
At 10.50am Kingsmill announced “Stay alert people! The Baker’s Bonanza oven is warming up nicely and a fresh batch of prizes will be ready in the next 10 minutes”.
At 10.58am they wrote “A fresh batch of prizes is now ready over at the Baker’s Bonanza oven”
Then at 11.50am “All today’s Baker’s Bonanza prizes have now been won”.
As the oven only opens once per day, that’s it! The competition has ended for the day – exactly as it says in the instructions!
OK, it’s not the type of competition that we’re a fan of as it’s a bit like first to tweet back or first to reply on Facebook, but let’s face it it’s not a freebie and everyone can’t win. The whole point of the promotion is to be alert to Kingsmill’s wall posts, wait for the window of opportunity to open and then be fastest to the prize. Good timing, a bit of skill and a bit of luck and you could win! Kingsmill have even said they’ll move around the times so that different people have the opportunity to play.
If you missed, you missed it! Try again the next day!
However, some people don’t seem to take defeat or missing out graciously. In fact, there does seem to be a growing culture of “I should win give me the prize” on Facebook competitions. We saw something similar with Baileys when they gave away their cupcakes on a daily basis and also when Play.com gave a dozen iPad 2s over Christmas. Some of the comments to those promoters were out of order.
Constructive criticism (e.g. the opening times or wins not being registered) is useful to help the promoter tailor the promotion better, but saying a competition is a fix or a con because you haven’t one or missed out is nothing short of being a bitter loser – it doesn’t do any one any favours.
People need to remember that the number of entries to these promotions is often high (and getting higher) and that winning is not a given right. If you want guaranteed something for nothing then look for freebies not competitions. We think that it’s important to be gracious in defeat, and humble in victory (unless it happens to involve Southampton FC, then that’s a different story).
However, Kingsmill could use their loaf and make a very subtle change to help them and to help their users. At the moment when you go to Kingsmill it defaults to showing all posts by everyone. If they went into their “Edit Page” and changed “Wall Tab Shows” to “Only Posts By Page” the default becomes posts by Kingsmill.
That way, when a user visits the page they will see that the oven door is currently closed and that Kingsmill have indeed been running the competition as laid out in their instructions. Another suggestion would if they gave a rough opening time for the next day or two. A few subtle changes that might be useful?
Hopefully Kingsmill ride out the wave of criticism that they’re facing, but you do wonder whether they will do a similar promotion again. A Facebook Wall is an outlet for the brand and whilst all publicity may be seen as useful (good or bad), a wall full of abusive comments and negativity will reflect badly – especially when the brand doesn’t deserve it.