Top Tips on Winning Slogan & Tiebreaker Competitions
A couple of weeks ago I gave you a few suggestions on how to find slogan and tiebreaker competitions, and here are my top ten tips on how to win them. I love writing tiebreakers, and quite often I’ll add a slogan or caption to my postcard, photo and video entries too, just to add an extra something!
Jot down – either on paper or electronically – all the ideas, words and phrases that come to mind when you think of the promoter, product and prize. Choose key words and work them into your slogan or poem.
2. Be positive and upbeat
In most cases, sob stories will get you nowhere in a judged competition. Praise the promoter and the product if you can. Being funny isn’t always appropriate for a tiebreaker, but in most cases if your wordplay and puns make the judges chuckle you’re in with a good chance of winning.
3. Read the Rules
It might seem obvious, but have a really good read of the terms and conditions – if there are any! Make sure you don’t go over the maximum word limit – because if you do, and you go on to win, then you can guarantee an eagle-eyed comper will point it out to the promoter and your prize may be withdrawn! If a competition has detailed T&Cs, chances are that they’ve included some form of criteria which the tiebreaker entries will be judged on – check this against the main website or Facebook information too. On Facebook there might be a landing page for an app that says ‘the funniest entry will win’, but T&Cs state the ‘most creative and original’ entry will win. If that’s the case, you should make sure that yours is creative, original AND funny!
4. Keep it short and snappy
Just because you can write up to 150 words, doesn’t mean you have to. A shorter entry may work to your advantage amongst all the rambling prose.
5. It’s not a crime to rhyme!
Since the early days of slogan competitions, judges have always been swayed by a nice rhyming couplet. Try Rhymezone for inspiration – this site also has a synonym option if you can’t quite find the right word. With Facebook comment competitions in particular, a poem can really stand out amongst other entries.
6. Check the competition
Ten years ago compers would post off their slogans and not have a clue about the standard of entries they were competing with. But with the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and companies eager to share UGC (user-generated content), we can usually now see every entry before the competition is judged. Compers can use this to their advantage by checking out all the other entries before submitting their own. Search on the Facebook app, scan the blog comments, or click a Twitter or Instagram hashtag to see what you’re up against, then ensure you come up with something truly original just before the competition closes.
7. Recycle your entries
Use a notebook – or even better, use the Notes function on your smartphone (or the brilliant Evernote app) to store your competition entries safely. There are lots of topics that appear year after year – poems and stories for Valentines, Mothers Day and Fathers Day, stories about your best friend, DIY disasters, top tips about beauty, travel and money saving, and your best holiday story are all regular themes on Facebook and Twitter, and you can re-use old ideas with a few tweaks here and there.
8. Use the Windex
If you’re a Compers News subscriber you can log in to an excellent resource called the Windex, and search over 60,000 winning competition slogans for inspiration. It’s excellent at brainstorming stage, but don’t copy existing slogans – if someone spots it, you’ll be left red-faced!
9. Read it out loud
If you’ve written a rhyme, check the scansion (rhythm) by reading it out loud – it should have the same number of syllables in each line. You may need to change or remove a word to make it sound better.
10. Be topical
Promoters like to see something original, and if your entry is topical and references current sporting events, celebrities or news it shows you haven’t just copied something from Google.
Hopefully these tips will give you a bit of inspiration. Lots of tiebreaker competitions are quick ones hosted on Facebook or Twitter, so unfortunately it’s not possible to spend ages perfecting a clever answer – just ensure you make a good first impression, as the judge might not spend much time choosing the winner! Finally, a lot of competitions state that winners will be chose at random, but the excellent winning entries suggest they were judged. So always put as much time into your entry as you can afford – just in case!
I’ll leave you with a few of my own winning tiebreakers…
“Feeling jolly, got my trolley, deck the halls with sprouts and cauli”
won me £500 vouchers in a Morrisons Christmas competition
“For inspiring days and exciting nights, take Time Out to see the sights” won me a weekend in New York
“For central heating in tip-top condition, Fernox is always in Pole Position!” won me a trip to the Brazilian Grand Prix
“From winter woolies to skimpy underwear, Zanussi technology is programmed to care” won me a VW Beetle
Did you enjoy this post? You might like my comping book SuperLucky Secrets – read more about it here!