Thursday, October 06, 2005

Winning Tips

Due to popular demand in the blogosphere, ahem…, here are some general tips to put you on the winning track. Thanks to Mumsgather who's busy promoting my blog to her online cronies.

File up the forms
Don’t chuck one form on top of the piano, another on the kitchen table and yet another on your bedroom side table. Put all of them in one file so you don’t have to go hunting for them when the deadline looms near. Helps keep sanity intact instead of screaming at the kids, “Whose the wise guy who scribbled on the milk powder entry form?”

Send in your entry early
By early I don’t mean three days before the closing date – that is dicing with danger. One week allowance should be good enough but don’t wait till the eleventh hour because you may just forget about it until the deadline had lapsed. A frequent winner, Eric, begs to differ. His strategy is to send them in at the last minute. He thinks last minute entries stand a better chance of winning and he says it’s a proven technique for him.

Don’t be brand loyal
If Detergent Sparkle is having an ongoing contest but you’ve always used Detergent Shiny to wash your dishes, there’s no harm in giving Sparkle a try. Who knows, you may get to win an all-expenses paid holiday to Phuket. Besides Sparkle may dazzle you with its cleaning abilities that you’ve wondered how you’ve ever cleaned without it.

Send in more entries
The more you send, the more you increase your chances of winning. As they say, the more the merrier. But no need to go overboard. Imagine the disappointment if you send in one hundred entries and you get zilch. I’d rather go for less, that way even if I don’t get anything, the low expectation level guards against heartache.

Do your homework
What is the product being promoted? What are its qualities? What is the company’s philosophy? Find out these information from websites, brochures or the product packaging and use them to write the tie-breaker.

Put yourself in the judges’ shoes
What do you think will appeal to the judges? Imagine yourself going through thousands of flat slogans and signatures. Then challenge yourself to come up with something different. Having said that, judging is a very subjective matter. What may appeal to one may appear mediocre to another.

Compile winning entries
Collect press clippings of winning slogans and signatures. They will give you an idea of what contest judges look for. You can also modify them for future contests. Try not to copy wholesale. If another person also copies a particular slogan bulat-bulat, that means there’re two of the same. Not original. It will be dumped. If you dare take the risk, by all means go ahead. There are cases of contestants using slogans from my book and winning prizes with them. I know because readers wrote in to the newspapers to complain about unoriginal entries winning contests.

Concentrate your effort on hard contests
Easy contests are harder to win, hard contests are easier to win. Easy ones are those that don’t require any work – the 10, 000th entry gets to win a bike, that sort of thing. Hard contests are those that require some sweating over slogans, signatures or puzzles. Think about it, you have more control over hard contests in that the quality of your entry increases your chances of winning. So concentrate on those but if you prefer the easy way out, by all means go for the easy contests.

My comping philosophy

I don’t go for “most entries win” contests. Ever. The way I see it, the only winner in this type of contest is the organizer. It’s a blatant promotion of consumerism.

Usually I concentrate on slogan-writing contests as I can put my writing skill to good use. Now, please don’t ask me to write slogans for you, okay? You see, I sprout five gray hairs every time I sit down for a spot of slogan-writing, and I really don’t want to age prematurely. I’m hopeless at art, so I steer clear of signature contests.

All the best!


Doreen said...

Oooh, I love slogan writing too! Hehe. A couple of months back I won a night's stay at a suite in the new Hilton at KL Sentral from a slogan submission! HAHA. That was whopppeeee!

KK said...

Very sad today but still have to view your song song blogs [my link description], my intemperate zeal.
could I win a 4D?

Kak Teh said...

lydia, my sister won a proton last year when she designed something for a rice company - sold the proton and kept the money. I will follow your rules...thanks!

Nadia said...

waaaa senangnye win win contest...kak teh, she won proton...waaa quite an artist eh? maybe i should try something. already sent something in and actually wanted to ask lydia and kak teh to critique it but the deadline was looming very dangerously clear and I didn't have lydia's email (nak ask for nnt tak sempat pulak) and don't want to bother kak teh before her big D, hehehe so just sent it to some ppl and now I'll just be waiting heheheeheh...maybe I'll let lydia and kakteh critiques after the results come out(most prob won't win one laa). kalau critique now aiyaa buat sakit perut la to know it's not as good as i think it is muahahahaha ;)

AdieJin said...

auntie ah..if i buy u black die for ur grey hair ah..can u write slogan for me or not ?

dr in the house said...

My hubby and kids love to collect entry forms and attempt to enter but all the time I would end up writing the slogon.'you pandai buat slogon'hubby would say! And yes Lydia, each time I squeeze my brain for an appropriate slogon, I literally can see a patch of hair turning grey!! tsk tsk

mumsgather said...

Can write slogan for me or not? I help promote your blog wor..... kekekekeke.....

Allyfeel said...

Hmm...Lydia, where can I get hold of your book - Congratulations! You have won!? I think I want to be serious abt joining contest already le, I want to win a car...**dreaming**

Lydia Teh said...

Doreen, Congrats! Wah, that's one posh hotel lor.
p3p4, 4D susah to win, probability too slim. Besides I think this is a form of gambling.
KT, talent runs in the family. Maybe you've got what it takes to win a car too!
Nadia, all the best. Even if we critique pun, doesn't mean sure win, right?
Adiejin, I know someone's gonna say something like that. You sure you can tanggung, hair dye for life you know!
Dr, Yes, a comrade-in-arm. Not only gray hairs mind you, crow feet also a lot.
MG, Thank you very much. I also put a link in the article to yours, ok. Wanted to do it earlier but was in a rush.
Allyfeel, someone told me it's available in MPH Midvalley. But if you can't find, send me an email and we can arrg privately lah.

AuntyN said...

I am a comper too, but so far tak pernah menang huhuhu. Now, I will try to use ue guidelines. If I really win big we go makan2 OK?

Grace Goh said...

I am also a comper but so far, never win anything.... except for 1 CD (don't know who the performer is!!! Lol!), 1 T shirt and 1 el cheapor knapsack and this is like over a space of, what, 10 years??? My consolation is that I won USD 100 once and SGD25.00 once... that's it.... no holidays, new car or new house yet.....

Lydia Teh said...

Auntyn, terima kasih. So kind of you :)
Grace, Keep trying. You never know.