Is It A Photo Competition Or Most Clicks Wins?

Posted on: August 8th, 2011 by Jason 8 Comments

Recently Grand Marnier launched a competition on their Facebook page. There’s a prize draw to win a year of Grand Marnier and there’s also a photo competition called The Sunset Hour. Simply by uploading a photo, showing a sunset, to their site you could win a City Break to Paris or 1 of 200 goodie bags. The downside to all this – the photo with the most votes wins.

To give Grand Marnier UK a bit of slack, their competition isn’t advertised as a “photography competition”. It’s simply advertised as “upload a photo”. You can then vote for your favourite (most likely your own) but it’s one vote per day per person. If you can mobilise enough people to vote for you daily then you will win – simple as that – even if you upload a really terrible sunset related picture.

This however, doesn’t tell the full story. When this competition first launched you could click and vote for your entry, then reload the page and click and vote again. In other words the person who could stand clicking the most would win. Eventually Grand Marnier UK figured this out and reset the counter. Interestingly they could reset the counter but not change the competition to a judged one… even though it’s fairly obvious that votes are being accumulated by swapping means.

Grand Marnier aren’t the only culprits of the moment. Currys are running a Your Moments competition to win £5000. You upload your photo – and most votes wins – even if there are better photos capturing a Summer Moment. Doesn’t quite seem to make sense!

Now we all know about the issues surrounding Facebook “liking” or “voting” competitions. People will go and swap votes, buy votes and even offer prizes for votes. In other words these competitions are quite simply a “who can get the most clicks by whatever means will win”. They’re not skill competitions and most certainly they’re not photographic competitions.

You can’t blame people for using voting groups or offering bribes for votes – the services are there and they will be used. Asking people not to use them is like telling a looter in a London riot to take back their TV, there’s a good chap! So the responsibility lies with the promoter and if they’re going to run poor thought out competitions then that surely reflects on their brand?

We’d have thought that by now brands (or at least the agencies who put these competitions together) should know people cheat at Facebook liking and voting competitions and they should know that they rarely run smoothly.

What we’d like brands to do is make it quite clear what kind of competition they’re running.

Do they want decent photos for a photography competition or do they just want people clicking as many times as they can? If the latter why bother going to the effort of asking people to upload a photo of anything in particular? It’s a pointless element to the competition as ultimately it’s not the best photo that wins.

Of course, if there was a judged element to the competition the “best photo” is subjective, but at least those people making an effort to submit a decent photograph would feel that they’d have a fair crack at the top prize. So come on promoters, start to get your act together please!

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  • chocolatequark3

    I was going to recommend the Your Moments comp to my hubby, who recently got in to photography and then noticed it was a ‘Like’ competition. No matter how much I want to win something, I would never resort to cheating (which swapping votes is, in my opinion).

    There are quite a few like this at the moment – they may as well just run a prize draw!

    I drew Mikki’s attention to this for their Dog Top Model – it WAS judged, but only once you’d got enough votes to get in to the top ten. They weren’t interested so I don’t think I’m interested in buying their products any more (and with three dogs, that’s a lot of products)!

  • sunshine71

    I have just left this comment on a page on FB as am totally confused by it- its

    Hi just wanting to clarify something about your competition, so its not a lucky draw, to win the £1000 shopping spree, its who can invite the most friends? So those with not a lot of friends, no point them entering? Just wanting to not waste my friends time by inviting them to something they have no chance of winning, unless they get inviting loads, because it would be bad of me to invite my friends only to win this competition, when they would not have a chance themselves, hope I make sense! Your travels sound like good fun though x

    I don’t like to get friends to join under false pretences and sadly I think I have by inviting 20 of them before I realised its a popularity type, by how many friends you can invite, some people do not have hundreds of friends so its not fair on them x

  • Sunosan

    I really really dislike vote-swapping creative competitions. I am a GFX artist (hobbyist) and have entered a few (because im a glut for punishment) and even though mine have been the best entered (some of them were absolutely stupid) the person with the most votes won.

    I even got nasty posts/comments from other people entering telling me it was a wasted effort because they were going to win regardless and that I was stupid for trying.

    credit to the person that run the competition though, he did phone me personally and appologize saying “Even though yours was the better one, we have to follow our own rules, but next time we’ll know better.”

    It still makes a giant farce of it though.

  • ully

    not being in facebook, I suppose im an outsider to it all, but fwiw, here’s my thought;
    im thinking that the whole purpose of those companies who go on facebook, is to promote their goods and generate brand awareness, and because of that, to me at least, it seems like its ‘the whole wild west’ out there-anything goes, in other words.
    i dont think most of them, seems like, are in the least bothered who is cheating and who is playing it straight-and they seem to be like…the more fans the merrier etc…
    and that seems to be the name of the game?
    could be wrong, but as far as facebook goes, its a no thanks, youre not for me…
    maybe thats why ive stopped

  • tizliz

    No such thing as bad publicity. You are talking about the competition, that is what they want!

  • “You are talking about the competition, that is what they want!” – maybe.. but we’d rather raise the issue then just not say anything at all.

  • vicfry2000

    I will be honest and say up front that I do not like Facebook competitions – Having to like some product and then receiving loads of posts is totally useless.

    However, I would like to add one comment – What is the difference between this “style” of entering and those who join websites to enter competitions? Seems to me that any form of cheating is condoned by some companies because they believe that people are looking at the website.

  • @vicfry2000 – “those who join websites to enter competitions” – what do you mean?

    Do you mean people who join Loquax to find competitions to enter?

    Or people who sign up for an automated service and pay for entries by a third party?