I would love to win an iPad. In fact, I had entered several contests but never won. I eventually gave up on the idea and haven't really thought about it since.
Giving away an iPad has been one of the most popular marketing campaigns of the last several years. Many companies have used this tactic to bring in business. Others, like Taco Bell, have given away an iPad just to get patrons to complete satisfaction surveys.
Several years ago was the first time I saw a company give away an iPad, and I thought it was a brilliant idea. The company was Verafin, a fraud prevention and anti-money laundering solution for banks. Selling an extremely niche product, Verafin knew they had to get their product in front of the right person - the Compliance Officer.
For this promotion, Verafin would cold call a Bank and ask for the Compliance Officer. They would then explain that they were giving the Compliance Officer a 1 in 100 chance to win an iPad. All they had to do was to sit though an online demonstration of their product with 99 other participants, and one of them would win an iPad.
This promotion was brilliant in a number of ways. First, Verafin targeted those individuals who would be the end user of the product in the organization. While these individuals wouldn't necessarily be the ones with the budget approval, they would have a major influence in this type of purchase decision. The demonstration would ensure that the participants would be exposed to a product that could greatly assist them in their jobs.
Secondly, the promotion had extremely high odds of winning. By limiting each online demonstration to just one hundred participants, the odds of winning were literally one in a hundred. These odds are very difficult to resist in exchange for just sitting through a one hour demonstration.
Finally, this campaign targeted a group of employees that rarely get enticed through promotions such as these. This meant that interest was high and the results were very effective.
The problem with current iPad giveaway promotions is that they often lack the "wow factor" which Verifan had several years ago. At the time Verifan ran their campaign, it was innovative, effective, and fresh. Now, the promotion is overused and the interest just isn't the same as it once was, though a free iPad would still make my day.
The question we have to ask ourselves is, what are the best promotions we can use to achieve outstanding results? Are our promotions innovative, effective, and fresh, or are we just another chance to win an iPad?