In Which I Am Apparently Jaded

This morning, First Tennessee sent out email to its customers (my mortgage is with them) with its ‘Tell Us Your Dream’ promotion. In 50 words or less, you describe your dream and you will be entered to win $100,000.

Maybe I’m just too jaded by being on the other end of marketing promotions like this, but a few things jump out at me:

  1. It’s a sweepstakes, not a merit-based award. From the rules:

    On or about April 15, 2009, Administrator will award one (1) Grand Prize of One Hundred Thousand $100,000 to an entrant selected by random draw of all eligible entries received during the Sweepstakes Period.

    Got that? No matter how good your dream, no matter how deserving of funding, no matter how many sick and starving children you dream of feeding with that $100K, you’re in with all the other riffraff who just want to laze around the house for a year eating Cheetos and drinking MGD. (Which sounds good to some of you, admit it.)

  2. What are they going to do with the other entries? They’re going to assign low-paid interns to make phone calls to each of us to offer them information about how the entrants can obtain financing to fund those dreams on our own.

Is there anything wrong with a promotion like this? I don’t think so, but I’m not going to enter because I already know what I need to do to finance my dreams, and entering a random drawing isn’t really on the roadmap.

There is one good thing about this contest. On the contest home page, they state that for every entry received, they’ll donate $1 to charity up to $20,000. Not a bad way to show gratitude for what is effectively a lead generation campaign, and which will certainly net them well more than $20K in fees and interest income. But that’s OK! At least they’re doing some good with some of that income.

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