Giveaway $1 Million – What Do You Get?

I got an email today from a Facebook application I’ve got – one of those maps & cities things. It was from TripAdvisor (they run the app), and they just send a really short message saying that they’re giving away one million dollars in two weeks, and they wanted me to vote on which one of five charities I thought was most deserving. 

Check it out at

So I thought, whatever, it will only take a moment. They had five charities there, and I picked one that I liked (MSF – I worked alongside them overseas for a bit). 

I then opted out of receiving their TripAdvisor emails. 

The next step showed me the voting stats, which was interesting. 

Then it was done. Took about 30 seconds. 

I went back to work, then got an email a while later saying that my vote had earned me a free guidebook or something of the sort. That’s where I left the story.

So what happened here? I think it was a very well scripted marketing campaign. First off, for whatever reason, they are giving away $1 million bucks to charity, which is terrific for PR. But why not use that to build one mother huge list and turn it into an immediate marketing campaign? It’s brilliant. 

Due to the viral nature of their site, and the ease with which one can vote, I can see this thing being sent around to a few hundred thousand eyeballs, if not more. Their million dollar donation might actually not be that bad for the bottom line!

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