Forrester: Average Video Contest Prize Is $4,505

Want Doritos to run your ad in the Super Bowl? Want to have the “Best Job in the World“? In some cases your video-making skillz may just win you a contest.

On the flip side, want to inspire passion about your product? Want your brand to look cool? Want to get a bunch of cheap videos made? UGC video contests might be the answer for you, too.

OK, OK. This is nothing new. UGC video contests practically have their own line on income tax forms these days. But what exactly are the bargains that video makers and wannabe trendy companies are making with each other? Forrester looked at 102 different user-generated video contests and came up with observations and recommendations for those looking to get involved.

For me, the most interesting part of Forrester’s research was a comparison of the contests’ prizes. The cash prizes ranged from $200 to $22,000, and also included thematic products and services — like a honeymoon and customized invitations for a wedding firm’s “Bride Search” contest — as well as “aspirational prizes” like Nestle offering an opportunity to sing at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The problem with contests, though, is they’re a gamble. The average cash prize was $4,505 — not bad for a few days’ work, but not so great if you don’t end up winning and end up with nothing.

Only 52 percent of video contests Forrester reviewed offered more than one prize, though experienced contest runners said multiple prizes are a good idea because they inspire more entries.

If Forrester wants to follow up, I’d like to know more about trends taking place when it comes to terms, ownership and permissiveness of contests. It seemed that UGC ads were going out of favor a while back — yet they persist. Who is deriving sustained value from them these days?

Further, how much in the way of rights are brands willing to give to entrants? And how much do brands tend to censor entries nowadays — remember the Heinz and Chevy contests that attracted unsavory (literally) and anti-SUV entries, respectively? Are brands clamping down more, or becoming more inclusive?