July 11, 2008

What He Does For a Klondike Bar: Interview with David Burrows, Senior Brand Director

Please tell us a little about your contest and what led Klondike to create it?

"What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?" is a question of iconic status, and we want to encourage Americans to answer the questions for themselves in new and creative ways.

The "What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?" contest is an online video short contest inviting consumers to share with America the lengths they're willing to go for a Klondike Bar. The four contest categories - Laughs, Flaunt It, Did You See That? and Everything Else - will give Americans their 15 minutes of fame. The grand prize winner will receive $100,000 and a one-on-one digital short consultation with Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone of The Lonely Island and "Saturday Night Live" fame. In addition to the contest, by simply selecting your choice for the finalist, one lucky voter will be awarded with $25,000 in cold hard cash.

Was this contest created and managed in-house or was it developed with your agency?

Klondike is working with several of our marketing agencies on the "What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?" video contest. They include Story Worldwide, GolinHarris, DDB Worldwide, Mindshare World and Mindshare Interaction. This is an innovative venture for Klondike into the online video contest space.

Has Klondike tried user-generated advertising in the past? What was the response?

We have not, in the past, utilized user-generated advertising but we are being incredibly proactive with our online advertising for this contest. This online advertising includes homepage takeovers on AOL and YouTube, as well as various ads on several Web sites.

Have you seen other contests that have reached out to consumers and amateurs? What are your thoughts on these contests? How does yours differ?

There definitely have been other contests for consumers and amateurs in the past. The trend in contests is moving towards "asking" your audience to engage with the brand versus simply "telling" your audience about your brand. With the Klondike video contest, we are leveraging the familiarity and nostalgia of our iconic question and inviting our audience to speak for themselves about what wild and wacky things they would do for the ice cream treat.

How are you attracting attention for your contest and getting the word out to potential entrants?

Promotional support for the "What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?" video contest launched on May 15, 2008, on two popular NBC network television shows. Klondike was featured during the May 15th season finale of "My Name is Earl." During the episode, Earl's brother Randy shows some of the crazy things he would do for a Klondike Bar. Klondike also advertised in two spots during the show. Additionally, Klondike was the featured brand in a live television commercial on the May 15th airing of "The Tonight Show," and also advertised in two spots during the show.

What sort of response have you had from the contest?

The Klondike contest has been tremendously successful with videos submitted from all corners of the United States. We've even heard about consumers conducting casting calls for their videos!

Who are you hoping will participate in your contest?

We hope to generate entries from a wide range of Klondike fans - a broad variation in participants will create a more interesting pool of videos. We want food lovers, dessert connoisseurs, movie directors, students, actresses and your neighbor who goes to extreme lengths to get his or her hands on a Klondike Bar! Contest entrants must be 18 years and older as of the date of entry and legal resident of the 50 U.S. states or Washington, DC

Who is the final arbiter of the winning selection (i.e., popular selection or judging panel)?

The semi-finalist and grand-prize winner judging panel will be made up of a team from Klondike, supervised by an independent judging panel. During judging for the grand-prize winner, The Lonely Island will join the judging panel.

All eligible entries will be judged based on the following criteria:
i. Semi-Finalist Judging: originality and creativity (30%); communication of the “What Would You Do For A Klondike Bar?” theme (30%); and overall appeal (40%). The public vote will determine 10% of the entrant’s score. The official judging panel will determine the remaining 90% of the entrant’s score.
ii. Finalist Judging: finalists entries will be re-judged by the same criteria as above. The entry with the highest score will be named the grand-prize winner.

What do you think the winning entry will say about your message and brand?

There's no telling what the winning entry will be or what it will say about our brand, but we're confident it will come from someone who is very creative and who is willing to do anything for a Klondike Bar. The “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” advertising slogan has become an American icon and is commonly referenced in pop culture. We believe a video contest that allows Americans to showcase their talent and creativity by answering the question is a perfect fit and we hope the winning entry will deliver!

What value do you feel user-generated content brings to your brand and your message?

Klondike is reaching out to our tried and true fans, as well as the new generation of ice cream enthusiasts through innovative campaigns on primetime and online, and we hope that these campaigns will drive the belief that "being square" is cool – and delicious!

How will you measure the success of the contest?

The success of the contest will be measured on various levels including media impressions, online chatter about the contest and the Klondike brand and quality of submissions. Most importantly, though, Klondike believes that a successful contest is one that is well-received with Americans and allows them to express themselves.

Can you discuss with us your thoughts on the trend towards user generated content as a marketing message?

Again, consumers are looking to be involved at every level with their favorite brands - they want to hear what other consumers have to say -- and they want to be heard. Blogs are great examples of consumers looking to interact with people "in the know" who have insights into a variety of subjects. Contests like the "What would you do for a Klondike Bar?" contest are just one way to invite the consumer to share their point of view.

Do you think brands will continue to use the user-generated platform? Or is this a one-shot deal?

Brands will continue to invite user-generated media into all aspects of their product because again, it's all about the consumer in the end.