Dell Goes Green; 1,000,000 Votes For Dell

Earlier this month Dell brought its eco ReGeneration campaign to Facebook with a drawing contest among the Graffiti Wall community. (Based on installs of Graffiti’s app, that’s 8,600,000 Facebook members.) Through banners targeted at Graffiti users and on digital culture sites such as Boing Boing, Ars Technica, 43Folders and Make, Dell’s contest inspired 7300 entries.

The contest invitation asked participants, simply, “What Does Green Mean To You?” As participants clicked into the contest, they saw Dell’s ReGeneration logo on the Graffiti canvas before it dissolved a few seconds later.

Dell Graffiti

The idea was to get prospective Dell customers thinking broadly about environmental imagery and aspirations, and to associate Dell’s brand with greener living. Yet while Dell didn’t force a heavy-handed connection, several Graffiti artists incorporated Dell’s brand marks into their creations, like these two:

Dell Globe

Dell Train

(Watch this one being drawn in the video below.)

As drawings rolled in, Dell repurposed some of them — as quick animated files — within the banners ads that continued to promote the contest. Near real-time user-generated ad creative, with several benefits to Dell. One, banner creative that refreshes frequently avoids click-through fatigue. Two, crowd-sourced creative reduces the production budget. Three, banners featuring artwork by the contest participants fuels more participation; whether or not you win the actual prize, the chance to have your work featured in a wide-reaching ad campaign becomes a reward in itself.

From there, the campaign took on its own momentum. More than 1000 Facebook members became Fans of the contest, and another 239 members joined the ReGeneration Facebook Group. The contest made its way into 714 Wall Posts, and 92 discussion board topics with more than 2000 comments. And as Graffiti artists submitted drawings, notifications alerted their Facebook friends via news headlines on their Profile pages. The math gets big fast (see the Wacom case study).

When the voting stage of the contest opened up this week, it took only four days for Facebookers to log 1,000,000 votes for favorites among the 7300 entries.

The team that pulled this together includes Mark Kantor at Graffiti Wall, Andrew Bowins at Dell and James Gross at FM.

UPDATE 2/2/08: Video replay of Sarwar Z. Kahn’s contribution to Dell’s ReGeneration contest:

UPDATE 2/2/08: Web Scout at LA Times liked this campaign too:

“Web Scout’s First Law of Internet Culture: 99% of everything is crap.

“This law holds true for Facebook’s application cosmos, which is up to 15,000 apps and counting. It’s true of flickr, of the podcast world, for blogs obviously, Web pages too, and for online video, it’s the truest thing of all. YouTube has nearly 70,000,000 videos, so many of which are terrible that you wouldn’t be mathematically remiss by rounding its crap fraction up to 100%.

“But hey, I’m not a glass is 100% empty kind of guy, so it’s always great to stumble onto stuff in that rarefied golden microdroplet of net culture that contains the best, coolest and most imaginative stuff out there.

“Facebook’s Graffiti application is wrapping up its ‘ReGeneration Contest,’ sponsored by Dell, where online artists were invited to use the app’s painting tools to ‘explain what green means to you.’

“The images produced by the 150 finalists are a testament to the depth of artistic talent out there in Internet land. Moreover, it’s a treat to use Graffiti’s ‘Replay’ feature, where viewers can watch a recording of each work being created, stroke for stroke.”

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