National Geographic Launches ‘Untamed Americas’ Instagram Contest

National Geographic Launches Untamed Americas Instagram ContestPhotography has always been a major part of the National Geographic publications. It sounds cliche but the first time I experienced the magazine was at the dentist’s office while i was a kid. As the oldest of my brothers, I always chose to be the last one to be ‘treated’. So there was lots of time to flip through the pages of whatever issues of the magazine were laying about.

With Instagram being the hottest thing of the moment, it’s natural to see the National Geographic use the photo sharing app as part of it’s projects. This spring National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild will broadcast the insanely cool-looking ‘Untamed Americas‘, a four hour HD mini-series event spanning the Americas from Alaska to Patagonia.

To compliment the series, National Geographic Channels wants to see your pics of ‘Untamed Americas’ – just follow @natgeochannels on Instagram and submit your photo with the hashtag #UntamedAmericas between May 5, 2012 at midnight through June 18, 2012. Photos will be judged by host of Nat Geo WILD’s America the Wild Casey Anderson; landscape photographer and Instagram artist extraordinaire Cole Rise; and Cynthia Drescher, editor of the travel guide Jaunted.

Winners can receive prizes including a National Geographic camera bag filled with a Nikon D3100 SLR Digital Camera with 18-55mm VR & 55-200mm VR Lenses & basic kit, a Glif (a fantastic tool for iphoneography), a subscription to National Geographic Magazine, a National Geographic Channel Jacket, Hat, Water Bottle, Binoculars and Untamed Americas DVDs, and a limited edition signed print by Cole Rise.


Harrod’s London Holds Pinterest Contest to Inspire Royal-Themed Store Window

Harrod's Street Party Window Pinterest ContestHarrod’s Department Store in London is home to some of the most famous window displays in the world, but they’ve made the call to Pinterest to help design a very special window with the theme ‘Queen’s Diamond Jubiliee Street Party’. Harrod’s have posted an sample Pinterst board to help get participants creative juices flowing.

UK Pinterest users are asked to ‘pin’ images to a board they create with the title ‘Harrod’s Street Party Themed Window’. Once they’ve completed their board, they have to tweet @HarrodsofLondon with a link to the board and the hashtag #HarrodsWindows. The winner will be brought to London for the official unveiling of the window in May.

Deadline for entries in April 19.

For more Pinterest contests, check out ‘5 Examples of Contest Promotions on Pinterest‘ on the Delvinia blog.

Air New Zealand is looking for the Coldest Canadian

Air New Zealand - Are You the Coldest Canadian?Today on the way in to work I saw 12×18 posters for Air New Zealand’s Coldest Canadian Contest on a few mail boxes and power poles along King Street West. It looked interesting enough, certainly topical enough in the -10 degree weather, and I’m a sucker for these user-generated video submission contests. I took a second look at them at lunch time and noticed a couple of issues with my first interaction with the creative.

First of almost every poster I came across was mounted at waist or below height making it virtually impossible to get down and read the information including the URL. In the lower left corner was a very small QR code, I’d say it might have been a half-inch square. I squatted down in the slush and tried to scan it with my normally reliable QR code scanner, but it didn’t work for me. I assume it will redirect my mobile browser to the site. I took a moment and typed the URL into my iPhone browser. The site that I saw was not optimized for mobile, it was the standard web page. It displayed fine, but I did have to enlarge and scan around in order to read. I did share the poster with a couple of friends, but the sharing was not done through the site. It was done by taking an iPhone photo and emailing it to them.

I’ll be on the lookout in other media for additional initial touch points with the campaign.

A few things that could have worked better with the poster and mobile experience:

  • Mount the posters higher so I could read them while walking by or standing at a crosswalk
  • If you are using a QR code think about how your viewer is going to interact with it. Having it at the top of the poster would have been better position.
  • Make sure the QR code is the correct ratio for scanners to pick it up. I am assuming the poster had been sized-down from a larger creative, so the ratio may have been correct to begin with.
  • A site optimized for my mobile device would have allowed me to check out the information while I was still in the area.

Once I arrived back at work, I did check out the site and the contest looks like a lot of fun. Air New Zealand is asking people who want to enter the contest to submit a three-minute video demonstrating why they are ‘The Coldest Canadian’. Once the video is approved its up to the entrant to collect as many votes, comments and likes as they can. The contest features weekly prizes as well as Grand Prize of a round-trip airfare to Auckland, NZ. There is a Google Map showing where the coldest Canadians are located and live reminders of how cold the temperatures are in different areas of the country (and how much warmer it is in New Zealand right now).