Free Fluevogs For One

Canadian shoemaker, John Fluevog, is looking to the crowd for help making advertisements.

“This is where you can change the future of advertising for the better, one Fluevog Ad at a time,” it says on the company’s site. So right there, this consumer generated contest falls apart. As always, hyperbole fails to elevate the brand.

But hey, if you want to compete, by all means. You might win a $1000 gift certificate to John Fluevog Shoes, which equals four or five pairs of new shoes, or a couple pairs of high end boots.

Anders Nienstaedt of Northfield, Minnesota–whose submission is highlighted here–made a paper model of the shoe and backlit it to get that film noir look. He also used an old filmstrip he found at the library. So Fluevog’s fans are creative and resourceful.

My problem is contests, like sweepstakes before them, fail to reward 99.9% of the participants. And when the contest is also call to creativity, it crosses a line. People may be willing to play along, but asking for free labor is one more ding on the brand.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.