LADIES – HAPPY MONDAY (or does that sound silly?). Maybe I should say “Let’s Make it Happy Monday!”
Have you ever entered contests? Have you ever won anything? I admit that I enter things. I really don’t know why. I have never won anything. Trips, car, clothing shopping sprees, etc. Nothing. Zip. I haven’t won any of those. I got a free sample (travel size) of a new shampoo in the mail – whoop dee doo. I won a few bucks at the Roulette Wheel only to lose it again while I had visions of grandeur and a few cocktails in me. But I still throw my hat in the ring. This is one of the bad things about getting 20 magazine subscriptions at your house. Every month, there glaring at you, are promises of prizes. Dreams of exotic trips. Eternal hope that you will be the winner!
I have been entering Real Simple magazine’s Make Over Your Life Giveaway for weeks now. You can enter every day. I don’t but I probably should. I enter my info diligently, click on the buttons and away we go. I try to use some philosophy in my choices. The grand prize is a choice of $25,000 cash, or you can redo your kitchen, or your car, etc. Now who wouldn’t want $25K in cold, gorgeous cash right? But I don’t do this option. Why? Because I’m smart. Coming from a PR and marketing background, I know it’s extremely hard to get cash out of companies, but product is relatively easy to get. Say a car for example. It’s pretty easy for Toyota or any brand to give away a car that is already made and just sitting on the lot somewhere. It is low cost to them and worth the publicity they will get for giving it away. But, to ask Toyota to cough up $25K for one winner? Well, it’s much harder to justify the publicity equivalent for that. And, usually the magazines use their advertisers who already spend money with ads to throw in a free something or other to give them a little extra promotion.
I decided to go after the Kitchen Redo option. I could use a new fridge and microwave and stove. Sure. Why not? That would be great. But does anyone really win this stuff? I know it’s no big deal for Whirlpool to give away one of their brand new fridges out of the thousands that they make. It’s a speck from their sand castle that is their bottom line. But I have doubts as to the winner and of my opportunities here. Here’s what I think about:
- Do I have to subscribe to the magazine? Often, they do sweepstakes as an incentive for people to subscribe. They will say enter to win and then subtly inform you that you have just agreed to get the magazine as well. Clever. So if I already subscribe, will I matter?
- How often do I have to enter? The Real Simple sweepstakes says I can enter EVERY SINGLE DAY. That’s a commitment. There are few things I will do every single day that is not a necessity like eating or brushing my teeth. Will they choose a random entry out of a hat or will they look at my entries and say, “Well, Lindsley only entered 21 times, so she must not really want that new kitchen.” But I do!!!! How can I convey this without being their slave? Enter every day? Geez. It reminds me of that kooky science guy in “Real Genius” with Val Kilmer (I love that movie!). The guy who looks like a serial killer wins the super fancy mobile trailer and lots of other prizes, based on his careful calculations. I don’t think I have the energy or the stamina to do all that!
- Background check – I know this is probably illegal but you can’t tell me that they aren’t doing it. Are they looking at where I live? If I’m married or not? My age? Are these all factors in determining who gets the coveted Frigidaire and Whirlpool set?
- What is the magazine getting out of this? Besides the new subscribers (I am not new, does that make my entry null and void?!), I wonder what the magazine is getting. Perhaps information on new people that they can go after for other advertisers? Perhaps to show the brands involved how much weight their sweepstakes carry. A whole lot of entries means a whole lotta love, right?
- Reality check – who is babysitting these magazines to make sure they make good on their promises? Maybe they rig it so some cousin of a friend wins the grand prize. Maybe no one is winning any of this? Maybe it’s all just an illusion to make you go and enter to win and give all your info up. How can we ever know if anyone won unless you are the winner and can see for yourself? Which leads me to the next question:
- Am I PARANOID??!
I suppose just as I will never know if there are really aliens in space, I will never know who won this stuff. If only I had a friend or even a friend of a friend that has won something from one of these contests. But I don’t. Which makes me very skeptical…
But what if they ARE for real and I really DO have a chance of winning cash, or a car, or a DeLonghi Espresso Maker? Then wouldn’t it be such a shame NOT to enter??!!
Can you tell that I am driving myself crazy with this stuff? I am. And I will try not to overthink it and try to have a little faith. So for now, I will enter these contests and wait….and wait………and wait………………………