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Every company is fighting for consumer engagement, but TomTom managed to secure 85,000 entries to its recent Project Paradise competition.  

How? With four key approaches...

These approaches were: 

  • A great campaign concept.
  • A fresh approach to engaging with bloggers.
  • Driving mass awareness of the competition.
  • Interacting with relevant consumers via niche bloggers.

TomTom launched its “Map Paradise” campaign this summer. The concept? Send five lucky families on an unforgettable mission to map out remote islands, including the Seychelles, Fiji and Mauritius.

The prize up for grabs was an all-inclusive trip to one of these luxurious destinations and a £10,000 payment.

To be in with a chance of winning, entrants simply sent in their contact details and explained in less than 200 words why they were the perfect family or group to carry out the special project

However, with many companies fighting for data capture, how did TomTom manage to secure 85,000 competition entries?

Well, four good reasons:

#1 Have a brilliant campaign concept

The idea was brilliantly simple and well timed. TomTom realised that such wonderful destinations had not been mapped yet, so pounced on the opportunity to engage consumers via a competition.  

The competition began in July, when Londoners, New Yorkers and Parisians are all dreaming of getting away from the   the hustle and bustle of city life.

Such a concept is a powerful word-of-mouth initiative, as was demonstrated in the Best job in the world campaign. This approach greatly increased the success of the TomTom campaign.

#2 Use a  fresh approach to involve bloggers

“Tell me, I’ll forget
Show me, I’ll remember
Involve me, I’ll understand”? (Chinese proverb)

Another key factor in the success of this campaign is that TomTom did not simply tell bloggers what the campaign was all about. They involved them in the narrative of the video by creating personalised, customised videos for journalists and bloggers at a few key websites.

This helped Unruly secure key titles in technology media such as Mashable and Chris Pirillo, influencers in the autos world such as Skiddmark, and well established mummy bloggers like Dear Crissy.

Reaching such audiences helped TomTom to engage with their target audience for the campaign (men and women aged 25-50 who are interested in technology, entertainment and automotives).

TomTom used its creative agency to film personalised videos for bloggers in a great example of an agile, dynamic approach to storytelling.

With Unruly’s help, TomTom identified key concepts (and in-jokes) for each blogger and their audiences. As Chris Pirillo told us " I thought it was awesome. :) Then again, I love Lego and Star Wars :)".

Here's the video for Mashable:

And for Chris Pirillo:

#3 Start with mass awareness

Campaigns with a soft end-goal (e.g, getting consumers to sign up to a competition rather than make an immediate purchase of the actual software) needs to lead with mass awareness.

This is why the campaign was launched with tech mega-blogs such as Mashable, T3, Netz Piloten, Chris Pirillo and Vingthuitzerotrois (pardon my French) through a combination of earned and paid media.

Having the campaign featured in the first week on large networks drove a high volume of sign-ups, but also created a sense of awareness that made bloggers more likely to write about it.

For instance, in week three a blogger told us “Ah yes, my mother told me about that last week, now that you’ve told me again I am going to sign-up and write about this”.

#4 ….and follow with the niche

After a great start driven by mainstream blogs and websites, we decided to concentrate our efforts on niche blogs in relevant, targeted areas such as parenting and motors. The campaign was drip fed in phases.

As new islands were unveiled, consumers had another chance to win a trip and the campaign came to life again.

Niche blogs are traditionally great for video performance, particularly in terms of impact on peer to peer sharing. In fact, 3.70% of readers of niche blogs that watched the TomTom video chose to share it with their peers.

On one hand, this increases the OTS (opportunities to see) for the video. On average, 1,000 video shares creates 25,000 opportunities to see.

On the other hand, videos which have been shared by peers are much more likely to be acted upon. Our recent research with Decipher shows that:

  • Brand recall and brand association increase by 7% among viewers who have been recommended a videos versus viewers who found it by browsing.
  • 73% of respondents who viewed a recommended video recall the brand when prompted versus 68 % of viewers who had browsed the video directly.

  • There was a 14% increase in the enjoyment of a video when that video was recommended, versus those who had discovered it by browsing.

  • People who enjoyed a video are 97% more likely consider purchasing the product featured in the video than those who didn’t.

Xavier Izaguirre

Published 17 September, 2012 by Xavier Izaguirre

Xavier Izaguirre is Social Media Director at Total Media and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter.

5 more posts from this author

Comments (4)



This campaign must have cost more than 500k in prizes, production and media. That's not an impressive ROI for 80k entries.

about 4 years ago



Indeed - it's not that difficult to get huge amount of entries to a competition. The number of entries is usually in proportion to the value of prize/difficulty of entering.

The challenge lies in getting quality leads from it. A huge percentage won't opt in to future contact (particularly data/privacy savvy freebie hunting Brits).

One thing in TomTom's favour though - introducing some element of skill rather than than the usual multiple choice pseudo-draw.

about 4 years ago



It's all good and well saying 'come up with a great concept', but not many companies can afford to spend such a huge amount on prizes.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to reach bloggers as more companies try and use them for promoting their products/campaigns.

There's no doubt that TomTom have succeeded, but how many companies could offer something like this? Not many!

about 4 years ago


Matt Lovell, Head of Group Analytics & Digital Insight at Thomas Cook Group AirlinesEnterprise

Surely the major question is whether any of the 85,000 entries actually led to any purchases though? It's a nice story but doesn't really fit that well in terms of delivering value of Tom Tom as the entry mechanism is sufficiently simple that anyone, interested in Tom Toms (or for that matter, old enough to drive...!) could enter without driving much value back to the brand.

about 4 years ago

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