Did you know that one of YouTube’s first viral videos came from a contest? It’s odd, but true: the Diet Coke & Mentos Geyser experiment, a community-organized challenge, featured this entry from user renetto (check it out below in glorious 240p).
This video went viral when it came out, and has around 15 million views to date. To give you some perspective, Justin Timberlake’s 2-song medley, “Let Me Talk To You/My Love” also came out in 2006… And has 50 million views.
Now, you might say: that doesn’t mean anything. J.T. got way more views… And that’s true.
But it’s also true that “renetto” had no marketing budget, no hot Billboard single and no star power behind his video… And still managed to get 30% of an international hit’s views with no marketing.
That’s the power of a historically great contest for you. The Diet Coke & Mentos Geyser challenge had no prizes; no social media backing; it didn’t even have paid ads or a marketing budget.
None of this stopped it from working like gangbusters.
Now, things have changed since then. In modern marketing, companies like Ford, Intel and Warner Bros. all use contests to market. This speaks to how popular the strategy has become.
But one thing has remained completely unchanged in the last 10+ years.
YouTube contests still drive sales, leads and user engagement like crazy… Especially if you know the simple, replicable steps to running a successful contest.