Winning: Going Viral With Contests

Ariana Rodriguez

Competitions and online giveaways play a major role in engaging consumers. For many brands, the goal for a contest is for it to go viral.

Last month, Castle Megastore hit 3,000 Facebook fans and celebrated with a giveaway of three items that included Pipedream Products’ Lover’s Bondage Kit and Liberator’s Jaz Mini and Heart wedges. The competition involved posting comments that addressed favorite foreplay acts and occasions for “quickies.”

In a subconscious way, we’re saying to the more conservative viewer, ‘see, sex toys are fun, not taboo.

“People ‘like’ it on Facebook, it gets broadcast on their walls — the viralness kicks up,” Castle Megastore Marketing Director Jasen Bartlett said.

The contests Castle Megastore creates are sometimes planned out, however some are established spontaneously. “Our Charlie Sheen ‘Goddess Giveaway’ was created within an hour [following the announcement of Topco-molded adult star Bree Olson’s involvement with the actor],” Bartlett said.

This month, Doc Johnson launches the “Fun With Doc” contest ( that will award an Apple iPad to the winner, and Doc Johnson gift bags to two runners up. The object of the competition is to create a humorous, YouTube-friendly video using a Doc Johnson toy for nonsexual purposes and post it on YouTube on Twitter.

“The motivation behind launching the ‘Fun with Doc’ contest is, first and foremost, exposure for the Doc Johnson brand,” said Chad Braverman, Doc Johnson’s director of product development and licensing. “A video contest like this is an interesting and unique way to introduce the brand to new eyeballs. Through the success of our social media campaigns, we’ve seen firsthand that there’s a real benefit for companies to interact with the consumer through the development of organic, user-generated content.”

Creating content with the intent of going viral is driven by humor — including on the part of the viewers. “Sometimes we have caption contests that get people laughing and participating,” Bartlett said.

Humor also can unlock the doors to mainstream.

“By using viral video humor in a contest such as ‘Fun With Doc,’ we believe that not only does it shed more light on the industry as a whole, but it continues to break down the mainstream barriers we face every day,” Braverman said. “In a subconscious way, we’re saying to the more conservative viewer, ‘see, sex toys are fun, not taboo.’”


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