Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Luck Be a Lady

If you're seeking fame and fortune, look no further than the retail outlets and food and beverage consumer packaged goods companies offering contests, challenges, and competitions to revitalize its brands, find new talent, and create original advertising campaigns.

All summer long, Hershey's hosted a photo contest encouraging families, friends, and groups of people to post photos of their summer s'mores moments. From cookouts and barbeques to reunions and picnics, the roasted graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow treat is a perfect way to celebrate summer. The "Say S'mores" contest allowed faithful fans to upload their pictures for a chance to win a camera, gift cards, s'more ingredients, tee shirts, and more. The contest ended September 21, but the memories captured on camera last a lifetime!

For those handy with a camera, but prefer filming live-action movies, break out the handheld camcorder and be on the lookout for contests like Frito-Lay's Fan Remix Video Contest. While the contest ended April 1, this fun challenge was no joke. Entrants had the chance to win items including Frito-Lay apparel and party packs.

Dancing not your thing? Tune up your pipes and belt out a song for one of the many jingle contests that have been popping up lately. Earlier this year, Libby's Canned Fruits & Vegetables teamed up with singer-songwriter Jewel for a jingle contest. Consumers were given the chance to re-make the company's iconic tune and win $10,000 in the process. Earlier this summer, Libby crowned Dan Bakst the contest winner for his creative video, which showcased Dan and his two friends popping out of Libby's Fruit and Vegetable cans singing, dancing, and playing a range of instruments.

Folgers had a similar idea when the Smuckers-owned brand launched its "Best Part of Waking Up" jingle contest, giving aspiring musicians an opportunity to add new life to the decades-old melody. In June, the coffee maker declared its winner, awarding the champion $25,000, a music mentoring session, and the chance to appear in a future Folgers Coffee commercial.

When Oreo unveiled its new line of Cakester snacks last year, Nabisco searched high and low for an individual or a group to breathe new life into its tried and true "ice cold milk and an Oreo cookie..." song. The result? A fantastic rendition from an a cappella quartet starring four women from San Diego.

A final jingle contest crept up not too long ago when Welch's Fruit Snacks asked musically minded consumers to submit their original tunes to its Jinglicious Jingle Contest. Through October 31, contestants could upload video of their jingle to the company's Facebook page for a chance to win the contest and earn an iPad and $1,000.

Of course, in the food and beverage CPG industry, what's a contest without eating, cooking, or baking with the ingredients we know and love? Perhaps the most recognized and most anticipated contest comes with the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. With a $1 million grand prize, the stakes are high for this 60-year-old competition. Or, take on a different kind of baking with the annual Jell-O Mold Competition.

Another contest Americans wait for each year with bated breath comes on Independence Day with Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, held annually at the original Nathan's Famous in Coney Island.

Feeling creative? Enter Baskin-Robbins Next Favorite Flavor Contest for the chance to win a year's worth of ice cream and have your creation sold in stores! And, be on the lookout in January 2012 to vote for the winner of the Jif Most Creative Peanut Butter Sandwich Contest, where five lucky kids will compete for a $25,000 college fund.

Those who are too shy to work on an entry on their own are encouraged to join forces with their local church for Pillsbury's latest contest to launch its line of microwavable Egg Scrambles and Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches. The "Do Something Big" contest encourages churches across the country to pick a meaningful need within their communities, mobilize to implement a solution, and submit videos documenting their efforts. The winning church will receive a concert by Grammy-winning gospel duo Mary Mary and a breakfast sponsored by Pillsbury Egg Scrambles and Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches.

I'm curious; have you ever entered any of these contests, and if so (and perhaps more importantly!), have you ever won? Leave a message and let me know what you've entered in the past and what you earned for your efforts!

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