Feb 05, 2008

Interactive Contests: More Design Considerations to Keep in Mind

by: in LEAP

As Director of Creative Services here at LEAP, I've gotten the opportunity to work on several fun and exciting interactive contest campaigns for our clients over the years. In my experience, these kinds of promotions can net great results for businesses. One particular challenge that affects me and my team in Creative Services is maintaining brand compliance on an interactive contest campaign. It's our responsibility to ensure that if we have to add images, audio or video content that doesn't currently exist in the client's digital asset library, those files are always 100% consistent with their brand style.

That's where the brand personality approach really pays off. If you understand the brand as a three-dimensional persona, you have the depth of understanding to extend the digital assets as needed without going off-brand. Sometimes, you have to appeal to the consumer represented by that brand personality, rather than what the client's personal preference would be, but if they agree that it fits the brand personality, then that's the direction you take. It adds a more objective layer and guideline to the subjective design process.

User experience is another area for concern in interactive contest creative development. Any design element that causes friction or prevents the user from submitting their email address is a roadblock. In addition to interfering with building the consumer database, it also represents a gap in user experience. If the user didn't complete the action we expected it means we need to look at the design again, figure out why, and determine what changes to make.

Finally, it's important to know how far to push the overt brand elements on a contest site. Applying the brand style needs a certain level of subtlety and sophistication. If you push the direct branding too hard, it becomes intrusive to the user experience. But it needs to be obvious enough that users remember not just that it was a fun contest, but a contest presented by your client's brand. Striking the right balance can be tough, but it's important not to go overboard in either direction.