Sick of Super Bowl ads that let you down? Well, CareerBuilder is taking a page from the “engage your audience” playbook and running a contest. Create a 25-second commercial for the company and if chosen, you could win $100,000.
While a very clever and proven technique for building buzz and engaging eyeballs, I hesitate to call this true advertising. Advertising, when done right, is about creating something that furthers and communicates a strong and consistent messaging strategy. The foundation of the ad should stem from the main benefits and value the company offers. What problem do they solve? There can be lots of answers to this, and if you’re fine with someone else figuring that out for your company, then good luck to you. I’m just saying that you may get great ideas and kick-butt ads, but will they really be grounded in your integrated brand strategy as a whole? If not, then you are just reduced to doing random unrelated programs to promote your company, all in the name of a short term “high” of increased traffic and PR.
If branding is really about strategic, consisent messaging over time, then doing a one-hit shot in the arm like this really does not further your goals in the long run. But again, I guess you can’t argue with the ink this contest is getting. This is why I’m much more comfortable classifying this as a promotion or as PR and not as pure advertising or branding.