Feb 05 Crate & Barrel Ultimate Wedding Contest â€“ How it Could Be Better
A friend of mine asked me to Tweet about a contest his coworker had entered. The guy and his fiancÃ©e are vying for the “Ultimate Wedding” from Crate & Barrel. I was happy to vote, which I did, but during the process, I noticed a few things that C&B could do in order to make this contest a little more effective and “engaging.” (pun intended)
Personally, I am all in favor of contests that depend on user votes to determine a winner. It seems fairer, and it relies on entrants to utilize their own social networks to draw people to their entries. But here’s the thing that Crate & Barrel flubbed up: voting is a multistep process. In order to cast my vote, I not only had to enter my email address, but also create and verify a password, as well as click on a link in a confirmation email just to vote. As for the voting itself, there’s a big fat (& pink) “Vote for this Entry” button in the middle of the page, but the actual number of votes is not very prevalent for some reason.
The votes will only get you so far, as the top 50 vote earners will be advance to the final round, which is then judged, presumably by Crate & Barrel’s PR team. Voting will still weigh in, though, as the top 10 vote earners will receive some points, which count 20% toward the final score. (I think C&B left a digit out of their T’s&C’s, BTW: Entry’s Ranking in public voting (20%) as follows: 1stâ€“10th place in public voting will receive points; 10thâ€“20th place will receive 6 points; 20thâ€“30th place will receive 4 points; and the remaining 20 Finalists will receive 0 points.)
So there are a few things that could use improvement here. First, the entries themselves are a single shot of each couple along with 3 big blocks of information. These are “Our Love Story” “Three important details about our Ultimate Wedding.” and “Our everyday dream day.” I’m not sure what that last one means, exactly, but I imagine something more akin to “Our Perfect Day” might be a better way to phrase that question in order for these couples to express themselves. Maybe that is just the copywriter in me being picky, but it just sounds awkward. Also, in order to enter, you have to be registered at Crate & Barrel and have at least 50 items totalling $2000 or more.
Also, if you wanted to go on the site and search for a friend, you’d be SOL because you can only sort the entries by “Random” “Recent” “Top Votes” or “Hot Right Now” (whatever that means). Another interesting aspect of the profile is that directly above the number of votes for each couple is the number of visitors each has had. Not surprisingly, the ratio of visits to votes is about 10:1. My theory is that if the voting process didn’t require a sign up, there would be a lot more votes. Just saying. I’d love to tell you how many entries you’d be up against, but the only way to figure that out is by counting manually, and I can’t count past 100. We’ll just say there are over 100.
Following the trend of ambiguity, the grand prize here is a $100,000 Dream Wedding, with a full wedding consultation from Jo Gartin. Sounds pretty great, right? Well, I hope you’re prepared to have the wedding at a time that works best for Crate & Barrel. You might get $100K towards a dream wedding, but something tells me it will be more of Crate & Barrel’s dream than yours.
“The date of the wedding is conditioned on the Wedding Coordinator’s availability and the Sponsor’s promotional calendar, and the Wedding Coordinator will decide upon numerous elements of the wedding without input from the Grand Prize Winner.”
The good thing is that there are some pretty awesome prizes for the runners up. The top 18 entrants all receive prizes, including $7500, $2000, and $1000 Crate & Barrel gift cards. Not bad, really.
What Could Be Better
Here’s a run down of the things I would change if I was running this contest:
- Make voting easier – one click, one vote. Also, do away with the view count. No one needs to know that.
- Create a searchable index for the entrants.
- Give the winner more control over their own wedding.
- Let entrants have a little more control over the information on their profile.
- Make the path to entry easier. (i.e., no $2000.00 / 50 line item registry needed)
There are a few other things, but I’m not going to be too nit-picky. I like seeing companies do contests like this, but I just hope they remember that they should be used as a way to help engage their target market and not exploit them. There is still time to enter this contest, so if you and your fiancee are feeling up to the challenge, now’s a good time to enter. Otherwise, feel free to cast your vote for your favorite candidate. I suggest Rob and Kristen.