Monday, March 24, 2014
Everyone knows by now that no one won the NCAA basketball bracket contest for a billion dollars. That doesn't make the contest a failure. It gained huge publicity for the company putting up the prize -- Quicken Loans -- and for the company insuring the reward, headed by Warren Buffett. It was clear from the beginning that the odds were prohibitively long -- 9.2 quintillion to one -- but there was hope that a few might survive the round of 64. No one did. Meanwhile, millions participated in the contest and Quicken Loans inserted its name into local, national and international news. That qualifies as a great publicity stunt. The question now is whether Quicken Loans and Buffett will do it again next year.
If it works, keep doing it. After the success of this year they can easily learn what worked, and what didn't, and tweak the contest to be even better the next time. Next year my suggestion would be for them to tweak the contest so it's easier, so they can actual have some people in the final bracket to parade around to press conferences and etc. It would be an increaser in coverage as everyone loves a hero.