Most online contests are designed to raise brand awareness, generate sales or deliver sales leads. Not so the #WhyICode contest from Oracle. The software giant’s goal was to improve the relationship with software developers who use the organization’s coding products; it was all about establishing goodwill with the community of coders. Oracle’s success has earned it first place in the “Contest” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Digital PR & Social Media Awards.
Because it was not a commercial endeavor, the contest was housed on a microsite that was free of heavy branding—just the URL and a small “Sponsored by Oracle” insignia. Coders were encouraged to upload a photo or image of themselves and select a frame that would surround the image, which they could decorate to express what motivated them to code. Some of the entries included, “Social Justice,” “Girls in STEM Education,” “To Push My Limits” and “To Make the Impossible Possible.”
Oracle employees helped select the sweepstakes-style prizes that would appeal to the coding crowd (such as a drone and a 3D printer). The contest wound up generating the most engagements from a single post to a social platform in Oracle’s history.
Not only did the post lead to contest submissions, it produced a multitude of comments, with coders telling their coding stories and tagging their friends. Entrants also clicked through to Oracle-branded websites, especially the developer.oracle.com site, which saw a 7 percent increase in traffic from the contest microsite.
For delivering an innovative contest that sparked conversation and delivered tangible results, congratulations to the team of Jotham Ndugga-Kabuye, Toni Kiss and Steve Moskovitz.