Monday, 31 October 2016

Stack that cheese

Ghost town competitions. There’s probably an official name for them in the comping community, but that’s what I like to call super-low entry comps - the ones where the number of entrants doesn’t even hit double figures. The comps that have flown under the radar.

I confess that I’ve never asked, but I’m pretty sure that promoters hate it when this happens. They’ve endeavoured to create buzz around their brand, but for whatever reason, it just hasn’t happened.
Understandably, some of these promoters aren’t in a hurry to announce their winners. They’re not exactly leaving the masses hanging, after all. They also have plenty of other, more pressing, demands on their time.

With notable exceptions, most people are only human, and it's all too easy for these demands to muscle their way to the top of their to-do list. Before you know it, that little job of picking a winner gets put off, postponed and sometimes even forgotten entirely.

For me, this period is even more excruciating than waiting for a big-prize announcement - at least with big prizes, I can be reasonably sure that the chance of winning is minimal and I might as well forget I entered in the first place. If, however, my odds of winning are better than one in ten, it just eats me. (I imagine it's even worse if it's a low-entry effort-based comp where the other entries are a matter of public record and you know - you just know - that that your entry was, objectively speaking, way more totally the awesomest!)

Anyway, back in May, Pilgrims Choice ran a competition to win a heap of cheese - which is to say, a heap of cheese vouchers (a year’s worth of cheddar delivered on a single pallet would be a bittersweet prize, to say the least). They asked to see Joe Public’s cheesy dance moves. Sadly for them, Joe Public was shy. Despite the company having many thousands of Facebook followers, only three were inclined to share a video.

(At this point, I should stress that my entry was categorically NOT as awesome as humanly possible; I was simply one of the three people to share a video.)

The competition closed, but no winner was announced. Folks kindly asked on my behalf whether the winner had been chosen - still there was silence. I followed up on Twitter - still nothing. One of the other entrants asked too. Nada.

And so the pursuit of cheddar fell down my to-do list, displaced by the obscene number of tedious chores associated with parenting, and by October, I’d largely forgotten the competition. Until, that is, on some hashtag day or other, I found an excuse to tweet the promoter about an altogether unrelated matter, and by way of a blag, sent them a link to my video. They liked it enough to send a few vouchers my way, blessing me with cheese and the warm sense of reassurance that, although it might not have been quite what I had in mind, at least it hadn’t all been in vain and, perhaps more importantly, I could draw a line under it.

But fate snatched that pencil from my greasy paw - a week later, the promoter contacted me on Facebook to let me know I’d won the May competition after all!

He's a cheesy brother...

I’d love to say it was my nudge that edged it, but the very next day, one of the other entrants contacted me to congratulate me - it turned out that she too been seeking closure, and just a couple of days prior had contacted the promoter to see if any winners had been announced.

Cheese aside, there are some key lessons takeaways here - and perseverance is just one of them. The most important of all, however: never underestimate the value of being part of a community!

How good are you at playing the waiting game? What’s the longest you’ve had to wait? Do you find yourself getting more impatient with low-entry comps, even if the prizes are smaller?

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