Why I’m not changing my Facebook profile picture to a Seabrook logo

I used to love Seabrook Crisps. They bring back happy memories of my student days in Bradford, and the hilarious time JoJoEbi and I made a short film for her final year project about ‘How crisps are made’ in the Seabrook factory.

But this week they’ve let me down. They launched a competition on Facebook to win a year’s supply of crisps, and to enter all you need to do is change your profile picture to the Seabrook Crisps logo.

As well as being unimaginative and lazy, this promotion violates Facebook Promotions Guidelines in a big way. It’s not using an App and it requires people to change their profile photo. SAS ran a similar promotion on Facebook asking fans to change their profile picture, and their page was shut down without warning. Not great when you have 161,000 fans like SAS did!

Think about it, the prize of a year’s supply of crisps is probably costing Seabrook less than £50. And what are they getting for that? Hundreds of Facebook fans advertising them across Facebook for a whole week! It sounds clever, but it’s preying on the gullibility of Facebook users. Seabrook, why couldn’t you ask us to do something a bit more interesting – like the Walkers flavour competition, or the Tyrrells eccentric photo, or Burts and Corkers both asking for photos of their crisps on holiday?


From a comper’s point of view, think about the impression your profile picture gives when you’re entering all your other Facebook competitions. Do you really think a promoter will choose you as a winner when you have a brand name as your profile picture? Even if your name comes out of the hat, if they get suspicious and see that your profile page is a wall full of comps I don’t think you’ll win. And I doubt you’ll have much luck in any other snack brands’ Facebook promotions this week either!

Finally, is it really worth changing your picture for seven whole days just for a 1 in 500 or so chance of winning a few boxes of crisps? Compers, you disappoint me!

26 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    Could have been a vote/like competition instead!

  2. Create Competitions says:

    Thanks for the sharing

  3. SuperluckyDi says:

    That’s a useful article Joshua – from a designer’s point of view it’s interesting to see how big companies like YouTube have messed up on their logo quality! I like it when companies have Fans of the Week/Month – although of course they’re not allowed to offer any type of prize in return! I’m currently running a competition at Compers News where fans have to guess the product on our profile photo, it changes daily…

  4. Hey Super, thanks for the article. I manage a lot of business fan pages on Facebook, and it’s always nice to hear how Facebook users react to these marketing schemes. I recently wrote my own article on the Do’s and Dont’s of Facebook Profile Picture Creation and I think I should incorporate a “Don’t Do Shady Gimmicks” section based off what you have said! Take a look and tell me what you think of Skittles take on their Facebook Profile Picture. I think they did the exact OPPOSITE of what Seabrook Crisps did here. They make their own profile picture reflect their fans instead!

  5. Richard says:

    It looks to me like all you competition saddo’s are just getting your knickers in a twist because you dont want to change your profile pics. If this is the case dont enter! The last time I checked giving away free products was a possitive thing, at what point do you feel companies owe you something? I’d suggest getting a life away from facebook and every single online competition going. That way you may end up getting a job. Most probably with a company or orginisation who’s aim is to generate a proffit to ensure you get paid. Do the maths and get a grip.

  6. @geekisnewchic says:

    Di,
    Good on you.
    As you know I’ve been shouting about comps that blatantly flout Facebook rules for months. For a marketing manager to say that they were not aware simply isn’t good enough. If you are running a competition or giveaway on any platform then it is your duty to seek out and follow the correct guidelines. End of.
    Its great that Seabrooks took such swift action and even took the time to comment on your post, though pointing out that they follow legal guidelines around comps did make me smile. Some rules are clearly more important to them than others!
    I wonder if was an agency or an internal social media expert who came up with the idea!!

  7. KTBennett says:

    i agree with you di and i never even changed my pic and i have never done this for a comp my profile pic is me and will always i hate seeing the seabrooks logo everyone gets very confusing seeing everyone i know with the same picture its very off putting ….. and yes i looked at the fun police and they told me the the same thing ………

  8. Anonymous says:

    I am a Marketing Manager and I was not aware of these rules. Now I will pass these round the staff and take note so thank you – however as a consumer I love competitions. I recently won a afternoon tea on twitter at a really nice hotel and I will probably return as a full price customer, so I do not think there is anything wrong with them and it is a shame that there are such tight guidelines. At the end of the day if you do not want to be ‘spammed’ as you call it then you do not need to like the page/comment/RT etc in the first place.

    It is a fantastic way to spread brand awareness and often information put up isn’t spam it is news and offers on the company and if you are interested enough to like the page in the first place hearing such news shouldn’t be such a problem. It is also very easy to un like/follow so shouldn’t cause people that much pain/bother.

    …..but rules are rules and like I say I will take note now!

  9. CHOCOAJ says:

    I agree Di , that’s why i didn’t change mine, i think that companies do look at your profile picture and i didn’t want them to see a picture of another company !

    Well done Seabrook crisps for listening 🙂

  10. Margot says:

    I’m sorry but I have to agree with Anonymous. Tell me exactly how Seabrook has let you down by launching a competition? Actually, don’t bother ranting.

    Never did I see a competition offend someone so severely.

  11. SuperluckyDi says:

    Really Margot? Then you’ve obviously never heard my rants about the hideous creature that is the online voting competition – now that’s something I get severely offended by. And it’s been proven many times now that my ranting does make a difference, so I shall continue to do it whether you and Anonymous like it or not! But now, I’m off to eat a bag of Walkers…

  12. SuperluckyDi says:

    Chloe, check out my blog post on How to Run a Facebook Competition (http://super-lucky.blogspot.com/2011/07/running-facebook-competition-without.html) for tips and information. If you’re using Apps to host your competition then the Likes, Comments and Shares are perfectly acceptable – you just need to make sure that the Likes don’t count as votes (to decide the contest winner), and that the Sharing is optional. Hope that makes sense.

  13. Chloe says:

    I was not aware of the FB Promo Guidelines until now. I was really shocked and I think if FB is serious about this guideline then 99% of FB promotions and competitions have violated that guideline at some point, and is at risk of being shut down without warning!!! As a social media marketer I sincerely seek your help and further investigation on this issue and I think attention needs to be paid by all social media marketer/PR professionals out there…
    We have apps on our fan page for each and every one of our fb competitions, but we use fb functionalities, such as LIKE, Share, Wall post, Status Updates, for our fans to enter our competition. If non of these tools could be used, does it mean we could only use the app as a billboard to inform our fans about the competition, and ask them to enter somewhere else, say, email, or our main website? In that case the whole point and merit of using FB to interact with fans would be pointless… What’s good of FB without all those functionalities of interaction? What should we do then?

  14. Anonymous says:

    You seem fun.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How dare you call me gullible? Are you always this condescending? I thought seeing lots of profile pics all the same was rather amusing. Perhaps if you get fed up of your job and membership of IPM you should join the Fun Police? And please don’t waste your time responding to this as I won’t be revisiting your blog! CN.

  16. SuperluckyDi says:

    …strange you should say that as I emailed my CV to the Fun Police just yesterday. No jobs until the New Year apparently!

  17. Torz langley says:

    I have been trying for weeks too try and make a few comps stop all the comps where you have too send 10 people to their page just too be entered. I was not aware the comps that you just like the photos etc too enter were against the rules until now 🙁 I am going to run out of comps too enter lol. I have so far been banned from three site’s, one very rudely for pointing out that their comps were against fb rules and regulations. I was perfectly polite in my explanations too them.

    Can I ask is there someone on fb too report them too because I have been trying. I thought I would start with the worst in my view being the above stated because it is very unfair and the ones where the winner is the person who brings the most people too their site. I refuse too enter them now. I am however feeling like I am fighting on my own. Nice too find someone else standing out there. I wish FB would make themselves more available too us users because we could be helping them police this and get fair comps implemented that meant those of us taking a stand would not be loosing out. I am in effect making half a stand I guess but baby steps. I cant change the world but if I can do one bit at a time. 🙂 do I have you on FB?

  18. Anonymous says:

    It’s so pathetic that you would pick up on a company trying to promote their products in social media forum. people like you should be banned from entering competitions anyway. Get a real job.

  19. SuperluckyDi says:

    Anonymous, if you followed my blog (and if you like competitions, I recommend that you do) you’d know that I do have a real job with Accolade Publishing as their designer and Social Media Manager. As a member of the IPM (Institute of Promotional Marketing) it’s important that we are seen to encourage fair and fun promotions that are legal. If Seabrook got away with this, then that would open the floodgates for other companies to do the same. When there are companies that stick to Facebook rules, use Apps for their comps and pay to advertise their promotions, it’s not really fair for other companies to use their fans as free advertising hoardings is it?

  20. Many thanks for pointing out the error we’ve made in respect to the last competition. You are of course right and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure a replacement competition is put up and those who have already entered don’t lose out either.

    We’re always looking for different ways to create competitions and engage with our customers who love Seabrook crisps. On this occasion we got it wrong but please be assured we will be making sure we don’t make any similar mistakes in future.

    In regards to your point about profile pictures affecting the likelihood of you winning a prize, there are legal requirements relating to running competitions and this should not affect your chances of being drawn as a winner. At Seabrook, all competition entries involved in a draw have an equal chance of winning. If you do want to contact us please feel free to contact us at social@seabrook.com.

  21. Anonymous says:

    You sad sods.

  22. SuperluckyDi says:

    Thanks for the comment Seabrook, much appreciated! Unfortunately – as we’re all aware – the majority of promoters don’t follow Facebook guidelines at all when it comes to competitions. With a Comment or Like competition (which of course are ALL against Facebook rules), the promoter should be copying the list of entrants into a spreadsheet then using random.org to choose a random winner. I have a sneaky feeling a lot of them just pick a photo/name that they like – I’m glad to hear that you don’t conduct YOUR draws that way though!

  23. Paula Maher says:

    very well said. i can’t even abide those competitions where you have to “like” a page.. i only “like” what i actually like. no silly competition is worth inviting spam for.

  24. Nickie says:

    So glad you’re promoting the way in which competitions are run on Facebook – especially by the big brands. I’ve been going on about it for ages but never wrote about it as I don’t feel qualified to.

    My main cause for concern is the bloggers who hold competitions connected to their Facebook page but that seems to be on the decline (YAY) – mainly because it’s blatant rule breaking and people couldn’t be bothered swotting up on it but also because I believe that Facebook would target the smaller user first, then use a large brand as an “example” to show they are enforcing their own rules and regulations.

  25. beclee09 says:

    Never thought about it like that, thanks for pointing it out though, Will be changing my pic back asap x

  26. Cozerella says:

    Hear hear! I am a fan a crisps. I could probably get through a years supply in a few months, but , I wont be taking part in this comp, sadly.

    My feed is now full of seabrook’s advertisements! Ah well , good luck to all that have entered!

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