06 June 2011

Cheap advertising

Merrell promotion
Merrell in its latest contest says:

All entries become the exclusive property of Sponsors and will not be acknowledged or
returned. By entering the Contest, you grant Sponsors a perpetual, fully-paid, irrevocable,
non-exclusive license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, distribute, display, exhibit,
transmit, broadcast, televise, digitize, otherwise use, and permit others to use and perform
throughout the world the Artwork and any digital depiction or representation thereof in any
manner, form, or format now or hereinafter created, including on the Internet, and for any
purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising or promotion of Sponsors and their goods
or services, and to use your name, likeness, and photograph in connection therewith, all
without further consent from or payment to you.

If one wins the contest he/she gets awarded $5000 towards a trip run by the promoter's chosen agency.

So, if my calculations are right, Merrell is legally appropriating thousand of images that later can be used at their own discretion. Merrell wants to avoid paying top dollar to Image Banks for a non exclusive rights to stock images  (a commissioned photoshoot usually doesn't yield those unique images).
So why not run a contest instead?
I know, most of the images submitted probably are junk but I noticed some really good ones amongst the trash ones.  The contest itself is great advertising for Merrell and at the same time they get awesome images for peanuts.
A win-win situation. People just don't realize the real value of a good image and give them away for pretty much free. Vanity and gullibility drives these contests.


  1. Most of us simply don't care about profiting commercially from our images (most of us don't have the skill to do that anyway). So, most of us enter these contests, perhaps blindly, hoping to win. My paddling partner & photographer friend (http://eclipsephoto.ca/) though refuses to enter the sort of contest that requires him to give over all of his rights to the photo.

  2. Give over all the rights is equivalent of donating the image. As you mentioned, most don't have the skills to profit from images but it still doesn't mean that they don't have value.
    It appears that people are happy to give away images because it feels like it takes "no effort" to make one.
    But just like it takes "no effort" to find a precious rock, one shouldn't give it away, even if it ends up being just a common stone.


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