Recently, I stumbled upon a photography contest by National Geographic Channel India on their Facebook page. Being a big fan of their magazine, I was tempted to know more about the contest when I saw the incentives provided. For starters, you could get your work featured on the National Geogaphic Channel and also win a trip to South Africa, the seed of all humanity! Besides, 5 lucky winners will get an HTC One phone and a chance to become HTC’s photo blogger. And the top 3 people with highest number of votes will win Reliance 3G tablets.
About the Nat Geo moment awards app
To participate in the Nat Geo Moment Awards, you have to visit the specially designed Facebook app which is a complete website in itself. At the top, there is Home, Participate, Gallery, Prizes and HTC. As the name suggests, each of the tabs help you with the required function. I would suggest you to see the Prizes tab first and then the Gallery which is an array of some rather amazing shots mixed with a few mediocre ones. The good thing about Gallery is that you can sort it based on Most Voted, Old or Recent.
When you click on The Judges, you know who to blame when you don’t win the jury prize. A brief profile of the judge, Mike Pandey, an Indian film maker specialising in films about wildlife and the environment, is displayed along with the details about his work for a Non-profit called Earth Matters Foundation (EMF). Under categories, you could choose amongst Wildlife, Landscapes, India, Conservation/Earth or People. And if you are more keen towards photography, the Photos Tips should prove to be very useful to you. If the displayed photo tips are not enough, it also has a link towards the end that takes you to a photography tips link to the website.
The FAQs and Terms & Conditions links are displayed at the bottom of the app. These link to extensive pdf documents that are also easy to understand at the same time.
My thoughts on the campaign
From the looks of it, the contest seems to be well thought about right from strategy, design and user experience to making it a shareable and memorable one. The Facebook share and votes feature have also contributed towards its spread and visibility.
However, the comments on some of the wall posts have concerns regarding the app link not working or being unable to upload their photos or unable to see their uploaded photos in the gallery. I tried to participate today via Google Chrome but found no such error. Perhaps, these have been rectified now. It was also nice to see the brand responding to queries and giving suggestions.
If I were to rate the Nat Geo Moments contest, I would surely give it full marks for creating a complete experience as well as listening to fans and resolving their concerns. The fact that it is a ‘like’ campaign integrated with a long-term strategic community building exercise and not a campaign hankering after enormous fans, is a sign of evolution to me. Yet one may argue on the stars citing Nat Geo to be a big brand with big digital spends. But, I have reviewed big brands and their campaigns have faults too. Still, I am of the opinion that 2012 will see smaller businesses build better online communities with the help of social media and free apps. And I would be giving them five stars! For this, we need to develop an open, shareable approach towards spreading of social media knowledge and practices. And we also need smaller businesses to start experimenting with social.
On another note, I am surprised to see the Nat Geo Facebook Cover page, that talks about the contest and also displays an arrow pointing towards the app. As per Facebook cover page guidelines,
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Covers may not include: references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.[/pullquote]
What is your take on the Nat Geo Moments contest? Can a complete app be created by a small or medium business too? The contest ends on June 22, so hurry up if you really have the photographer’s eye.