Crowdsourcing is usually a crap shoot. I have seen tons of projects that have resulted in net nothing for the brand who undertakes it. So when I saw the the new Chiquita brand campaign, which asked people to submit designs for the famed stickers that adorn Chiquita bananas, I was pleased to see the brand benefit from the experiment.
The call for sticker designs came first; these were then voted on by viewers. The trick is that the top 18 vote getters -- announced last week -- will actually see their designs on bananas starting next month. That popularity contest allowed the campaign to go viral, as entrants posted their pieces on Facebook to garner votes. In all, some 100,000 people voted. As Slashfood reports, you even had entrants saying things such as, "I eat bananas every day before I sit down to work at my computer. Basically, bananas plus a graphic design contest equals magic." Hard to buy that sort of PR.
The stickers are a perfect outlet for the crowdsourcing. It's not like crowdsourcing your logo or an entire ad campaign -- which gets you mediocrity in exchange for a bit of passing buzz. To preserve the core brand mark the contest made sure to mention that the Chiquita girl could not be shown in any of the entries. This was a really smart move because, you get the buzz, but it doesn't take over your branding because the icon itself remains intact.
While I am not sure that this effort directly sold more bananas, I think it does a good job of showing how something small can turn into new conversations that turn into new reach for the brand.