Friday, November 24, 2006

There Is Many a True Word Spoken in Contests

If you're a long-time reader, you may remember my musings that networks will hold series-long contests with a $5 million grand prize to attract audiences in real-time (Aug 12, 2005). According to this press release, Sci Fi Channel is running a $5 million contest for its upcoming miniseries, "The Lost Room."

If you register to play the $5 Million Bounty Hunt, you are presented with 20 objects. You must select seven different objects from this list and arrange them in any order you like to create your personal Object Code. During the last 30 minutes of the finale (Dec 13, 2006), the winning Object Code will be announced. If a viewer has the winning code, the potential winner must notify Sci Fi Channel by 3:00AM on Dec 14, 2006.

Just a few thoughts on the contest.

Are you going to play? Hope you're feeling very lucky. Your chances of selecting the correct Object Code is one in ~391 million. I'm playing, but only because it's free.

Are you going to watch? I could care less about the series, but I'll tape or TiVO the finale and fast forward to the winning Object Code. Sci Fi got me to play the contest and advertise the miniseries here, but they didn't get me to watch the miniseries nor the commercials.

I'm surprised that Sci Fi Channel isn't unveiling the code over multiple nights. (To learn more about contests with slow reveals, read my patent review (Aug 17, 2006).) On the first night Sci Fi could unveil the first two items in the Object Code and require that you go online by 3:00AM the next morning if you match. Unveil two more objects on the second night and, again, require confirmation from the potential winners by 3:00AM. On the final night, unveil the last three items in the Object Code.

I have another prediction for future contests. Instead of using generic objects like matchbook and umbrella, contests will include consumer products. To unveil the objects, the network displays a splash screen across the bottom of the commercials for the winning objects. Or the viewer must see the product placement inside the show if the net presents the show without commercials. I could even see a company like Proctor & Gamble purchase exclusive rights to the game. My Object Code might look something like Duracell batteries, Iams cat food, Pampers, Pringles, Vicks, Febreze and Tide.

1 comment:

freshdipt said...

great post about the contest. I didn't know much about The Lost Room until I googled it and read the info at the Sci Fi page, but omg. What a cast! Really looking forward to this one.