Feedback on Yahoo-Dove Real Beauty Blogger contest

Vineet Rajan
Vineet Rajan
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Hi IndiBloggers,

I would like to introduce Samit Malkani, from the marketing team of Yahoo! who wanted a frank and unbiased opinion and feedback from everyone on the contest.

This would help IndiBlogger and Yahoo! to work together in many more projects together and constantly innovate providing the best that brands have to offer to bloggers!

Best regards

IndiTeam

Replies 1 to 17 of 17 Descending
Richa
Richa
from Mountain View
8 years ago

I thought the topic was a bit cheesy and dishonest. After all, since childhood we are told that inner beauty is what matters the most and yet there are so many beauty products in the market, especially so many fairness creams. 

To top it all, the contest was sponsered by Dove! Was the irony lost on everyone but me? 

Samit Malkani
Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Hello!

Firstly, on behalf of the team at Yahoo!, I want to thank all the bloggers who entered this competition. I went through most of the entries myself (left the judging to the Editorial team, though), and found some absolute gems. Congratulations to the winners - your posts were everything we could've hoped for, and then some.

I have two questions to ask:

One: What drove you to participate in this contest? Was it the topic? The prize money? Being featured on Yahoo? Or something else altogether?

And two: Is there anything we could have done differently, that would have made this contest even more appealing to you.

The team at Yahoo! would appreciate your inputs - good or bad. We welcome constructive criticism, and hope that it'll guide us better in the future.

Thanks again for making this India's biggest blogging contest! Looking forward to staying connected with each and every one of you.

Cheers,

Samit

My views are thus: The grand prize money was major eyepopping attraction to enter the contest.

The topic, I should agree with Richa ji on this, was misleading altogether. When company wanted elaboration on skin fairness and stuff like that, the topic should have clearly stated that. When one speaks of beauty, inner perceptions  and as per individual, everyone is free to have his own, and thats the beauty of it. 

All in all, it was a grand success, many many applauds. 

Kimi Shrivastava
from Jhinkpani
8 years ago

Hi Samit, First of all I would like to thank Dove, Yahoo and Indiblogger team to appreciate the power of blogging and giving such a great platform to bloggers to share our perception on real beauty with everyone. Regarding the questions:

1) What drove me towards the contest?  I am a beauty blogger, and the post that I entered for the contest was already in my drafts since a long time. It is really necessary for a lady to feel beautiful from within and accept her the way she is. Unless until she gives a healthy respect to herself, none of the beauty products could do anything good to her no matter what. Also, getting featured on yahoo-dove's real beauty page was like a dream for a beauty blogger like me. :) I had to enter the contest and give my best. 

2) Anything that you'd have done differently for the contest to make it more appealing:

I read all the entries in the contest and the perception of real beauty varied a lot from post to post. I could see people relating real beauty to nature, birds, babies, rain etc., which was quite diversified. The focus could have been more on originality with a personal touch of writers to these posts, had the topic been more clearly described like-

"What does Real Beauty mean to you? Share your thoughts about your experience with beauty or about someone you find most beautiful and why?"

I feel that could have added some more gems to your collection specifically focused on what you were looking for!! :)

Thanks!

wow, kimi ji, really well said. you have the knack to pin point things with exceptional clarity.

cheers

Kimi Shrivastava
from Jhinkpani
8 years ago

Thank you Pramod!! Actually doing these detailed reviews of all such similar products has made me quite an analyzer now..he he he!! :P

Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Thank you Kimi, that was very well put. Noted your suggestions for future use.

Pramod, thanks for your views. Would phrasing the topic the way Kimi's suggested have helped?

it's all placement of words, and really Kimi ji has phrased it wonderfully well. One should know and pin point what he likes to extract. 

We are waiting for another jhinchak announcement soon.

R-A-J
R-A-J
from Bangalore
8 years ago

Makin it short:

Positives:

  1. Loved tht thr was a team which went thru each n every post. The winning posts fit into the spectrum of what the team considered 'real beauty'.
  2. Nothing was left to votes - a huge development .
  3. Impressive that the Yahoo team is here again for feedback on the contest. 
  4. Obviously the prize money n the abundance in talent: we had some awesum posts which came out.
  5. The winning posts were lovely and were deserving of their win.

Negetives:

  1. Even though the topic said, "What is ur definition of real beauty?", the judges were already clear as to what their definition of real beauty was - they were merely looking for the posts that concurred with their idea - which seem2b - "women.mature.innerstrength."
  2. Majority of the posts fell beyond this spectrum and well, considering the effort, quality and kind of response this contest generated, it  was extremely disheartening that the topic was not clear in the first place.

Overall, the highlights were a judging panel and the prize money on the positive side but a very muddled description of the topic, which took away a lot of the sheen off a great contest.

Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Hi Raj,

Appreciate your feedback.

On the negatives - yes, from this and other feedback it's clear we could have stated the topic better. Rest assured we've learnt from this experience. 

Cheers,

Samit

raj, very well said.

thumbs up. 

Sauvik
Sauvik
from Kolkata
8 years ago

Hi Samit,

First let me appreciate the pains that the editorial teams took forth, for this contest. This was a very well managed event, and generally what we see, that contest dates always get postponed for whatever reasons, and this was an exception. I suppose, i lot of credit goes towards the editorial team, for meeting the deadline, and obviously the Indi team cannot be left behind for hosting such a grand contest. 

Yes it surely is a promotional campaign, but whats wrong in that? If you say it in the face and then do a pure pubility stunt and blogger's flock to participate in the stunt and you gain that extra mileage, i would say its a real success. I mean with close to 400 entries and the sheer number of people choosing to ponder about inner beauty, is awesome. Although the product is about tangible beauty, but atleast it opened up a new scope of thinking in our minds. ANd yes, point to be noted, why would profit making entity sponsor an event if it doesnt help them get the edge. There's a saying - if you are good at something, dont do it for free- and the saying holds true in majority of the cases. - harsh yet fact. yes, most of the winning entries have been selected to meet the central idea of promoting the brand, but that was written all over the campaign from the very first day, and i see no hypocrisy in it. 

I have never been a 'beauty' blogger, so i moulded my style of writing to co-relate it with the topic, i guess, many of us who are not in the same niche did that. Thats something we gained as thinkers/bloggers/writters.

Its a win-win situation- and yes its a success.! for us, the indi-team and the sponsorers. 

 

good luck with your next venture!

sauvik

 

very very well said , Sauvik da, the lone reprsenter of men,  in the contest win. many applauds.

you have sincerly made the men community proud by adaptaions.

cheers

Sauvik
from Kolkata
8 years ago

Hehe.. pramod ji... no i am not the lone representer of men here... restless souldier is another happy man like me, among the bevy of femme fatales :-) 

I don't know why I always miss restless, you have company. Cheers
The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
8 years ago

You are lone representative no more! Well- atleast between 9.00am- 3.am or 12pm- 3.00am.

The best thing about Indiblogger is that the article source is with you- on your blog. There are some blog concepts out there which "expects" you to submit articles exclusively for them. Despite assurances they make, there's no guaruntee on paper that they will alter the article to suit their needs (or their client's needs).

Even if its a publicity or whatever, you have a chance to get something in return (and the spirit of competition, more opportunity for your article to be exposed to many readers and then one thing can lead to another- and maybe free cakes, if not winning the prize) and you get traffic to your blog. You can still be honest. All you need is the writer's skill to put that message aptly enough to qualify for the contest, if not win it. Lol if I win 3.5lakh I would be happy. The first thing I would have done is buy 3 sets of Fluke multimeter with AC/DC support, a custom made 240V power AC Power draw plug, maybe a thermal image gun (doubt that can fit under that budget) and a 550D DSLR and a panasonic HD video camera with a shotgun mic and some studio lights for the youtube/vimeo/daily motion channel. Only thing prevented me to write about it because I felt that pretty gay and out of my genre to write about beauty.

Yeah, I can always spend money from my usual thing but that pretty much kills the point/fun of doing your own project from start.

Sauvik
from Kolkata
8 years ago

@Sorcerer: You felt gay to write about beauty? Well...  i am sure ur girlfriend would be pissed off, if you go and tell here," i feel so gay, to appreciate you, my love" .. lol

btw didnt get your first line .. what was that?

 

Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Thanks Sauvik, for your feedback and understanding. 

The Sorcerer
from Mumbai
8 years ago

ehh. Don't get me wrong. I am merely pointing towards the company's defination of beauty: Being fair as a ghost, anorexia fan and artificial body structure. What was that ad? Ponds? That Aunty was fair so ponds decides to make her even more fair! They even tossed in a guy to make a scene that guys like fair girls :P.

I know ads are said to mirror the society's mindset (in a way), but I don't think anyone like to skins and bones. Putting that up and making up a scene that being fair is being beautiful is gay.

vasudha rao
vasudha rao
from mumbai
8 years ago

I entered the contest in the hope of finding a wider audience for my blog posts .If I won,my write up was to be featured on Yahoo-beauty -that was the real purpose of my entry into the contest.Though I would  like to agree to suggestions that bloggers be invited for book launches etc,as a mom,I find it nearly impossible to attend any meets leaving kids alone -so such events will end up as males only ( or better majority males only bastions ).Hence blogging is my only way to connect to others at my convenience ! 

 

Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Thanks Vasudha. Hopefully you'll have more opportunities to get your work featured on Yahoo soon Smile

Achly I was never comfortable with topic, and only thanks to the support thread by ranjith, I was motivated by friends there to have a go at it. My strong feelings were, It's topic for beauties, and totally their domain. No grudges.
I had inner feeling, that it's a call of Lord Byron, let him move my imagination, but alas, moved along with Plotinus, and crew, Well, there is always a next time.
Arti
Arti
from Mumbai
8 years ago
Basically, I have a Travel Blog and the day the contest was announced, I was like 'WOW! this is good, but I guess, its not for me!' and just brushed it aside. The contest got a whopping response on the first day itself as expected... And I just happened to peep into the support thread... Believe me, the enthusiastic vibrations, the camaraderie there was highly infectious such that it motivated me to come up with something relative to my blog's theme and put up my entry as well..(of course I will be honest to admit that the prizes and the chance to feature on Yahoo was a big lure too). I am actually glad the topic wasnt clearly mentioned otherwise I would have never participated, would have missed something big, would have missed all the fun ;-) Thanks Yahoo, indiblogger and all my participating friends... For the amazing experience I had:-)

nice tranquilizer  Arti ji, 

cheers, but don't you think a crystal clear topic would have motivated to be more precise and do justice to the theme.

Arti
from Mumbai
8 years ago
Yes Pramodji, that would have been nice.. Just that I would not have participated then, thats why I also gave a wink there!!
I pity you underestimate yourself. Your post was real gem. Whatever you undertake, would have done justice to it.
Arti
from Mumbai
8 years ago
I guess there is some misunderstanding here Pramodji. What I meant was that I dont like to deviate from my blog's core focus i.e. 'Travel' just for a contest. Had the topic been clear, I dont think I would have dished something out just for the prize or anything else coz that is not something the reader base of my blog expects from me nor do I have any interest on writing on these topics.. Hence I would have simply opted out of it!
Ranjith
Ranjith
from hyderabad
8 years ago

I never thought that after the end of a contest, the sponsorers would come back to us asking for our opinion.

As many others have pointed out in their comments above, the topic of the contest wasn't clear and has misleaded many of the participants. All the winning entries (I just went through a few of them) were the ones that talked about beauty that is directly related to the beauty of a woman and not about the real beauty linked to the heart.

The description of the contest was put up in such a way that we can link anything and evrything to it, but the panel of judges seemed not to be interest in those imaginative entries and were only looking for the beauty of a woman being described.

I wished that there was no word 'real' in the title of the contest.

Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Hi Ranjith,

Noted the feedback. I agree that we could have (and will, going forward) expressed the topic clearly.

A point to note here. I do believe that it's the responsibility of the participant in such a contest to understand the space the brand is in. Spending some time on Yahoo! Real Beauty or looking up Real Beauty on YouTube would give one a clear idea of the space Dove is in - and hence, the sort of entries we're looking for.

Having said that, I repeat that it's our responsibility to make sure that we express the theme clearly. And we will definitely do so going forward.

Cheers,

Samit

well said ranjith

samit ji, firstly All the feed back endeavour is highly applaudible, but this looks a mockery of all participants who goofed it in percepting the inherent desires of editor and space the product was in., when you call it the way you say explictly here that participants should have judged it by themselves.

This looks highly demeaning.

 

when the topic had clearly stated  and wanted participant's perception of real beauty, then having a vague inner desire to hop around skin beauty only, and like godly kings all the editorial team saying hey " this is what I wanted , " Hey how beautifully described the need of botox, "  cheers.

sincere applauds. to the editorial team. 

I can say now with affirmity that this has affected on indies reputation too.saying one thing and meaning another.

Restless Souldier
Restless Souldier
from Delhi
8 years ago

Hi Samit, Sauvik, Pramod & Sorcerer,

Looking at the list of ppl commenting gives me an idea that more men are discussing this than women! As a 'happy man' along with Sauvik who has broken into the 'women's bastion', my first thought was same as Richa's...what the hell...fairness cream bechne ke chakkar me they want us to write about 'inner beauty'! No Richa, the irony was not lost on you...it was swept away in the dreams of winning a cash prize.

Having said that...no that was not why I entered the contest. I entered the contest to write more...you see writing, like any other thing needs practice...i was away on some training and for a few months away from the net and writing etc. Now i wanted to get back. So I made a vow to my self to enter every contest on indiblogger, irrespective of whether i like it or not. A kind of issue to discipline myself.

Now coming to why I like this contest...compare it with the Chlorine one. Although the prizes were nice...though not in the league of this one, the contest was vague...i was not sure about the solution or how to go about it. It took me a few attempts to write about it. With the beauty thing it was one sitting and in one flow. To be fair to Bejon Mishra, you can't expect him to compete with Ponds...BUT he could have organised the  contest better. I wonder if I am getting across.

Here's to more such contests and more gender breaking competitors!

(and Sorcerer...no, I did not really feel gay abt writing on beauty, after all, all this fairnes natak is for us men only, no? Wink

Regards

Restless

 

very well said, restless.

Chitra
Chitra
from Mumbai
8 years ago
i Liked the topic as well enjoyed thoroughly being a part of the blogging contest for the first time and winning it too... looking forward for more such contests... Would also like to know by what means and by when are the winners going to get the prize money

congos chitra ji

Samit Malkani
from Mumbai
8 years ago

Congratulations on winning, Richa. The Indiblogger team will be notifying you about the prize money shortly.

welcome chitra ji, I don't know if you are Richa, but anyways, well deserved.  

Chitra
Chitra
from Mumbai
8 years ago

@pramod--- thanku ji :)

Farida Rizwan
Farida Rizwan
from Bangalore
8 years ago

I always love to write for a contest post.  The contest motivates (with publicity and bucks ;) ) me to write something different but then the real life events creep into the posts and sometimes it all gets messed up with too many emotions.  Sigh!

I have read the winning entries and they are great. Many of the entries which did not win had come out very well too. I am glad not to be a judge. In all my life I have never seen as many different perspectives of beauty as I saw when you launched the contest.   

Now the first thought that entered my mind when I started to write the post was " Wash your soul with Dove Shampoo and gain inner beauty" or "Apply Dove fairness cream to your blackened heart to make it bright and fair". But then I had to stop because you threatened to throw out entries which were not suitable for the topic. 

With more thinking, heavier thoughts of going through disabiltiy, cancer etc weighed on me and took away the humour. 

Enjoyed the contest and reading amazing entries. Thank you.

very well said farida ji. 

Arti
from Mumbai
8 years ago
Nicely put Farida ji.
Chitra
Chitra
from Mumbai
8 years ago

@pramod- no am not richa...am chitra ..hehhe it seems samit addressed it as richa

Farida Rizwan
Farida Rizwan
from Bangalore
8 years ago

@ Chitra - Good blog post and congratulations for winning. With all phrasing problem now this had to happen LOL.

Farida Rizwan
Farida Rizwan
from Bangalore
7 years ago

Congratulations for making it to the winners list CK. It was a tough battle out there. Good marks for the homework done ... ;)

Hemal Shah
Hemal Shah
from Mumbai
7 years ago
Many others have said what i felt, but what this fiasco has done is, it stopped me from thinking of contests here.
Arti
from Mumbai
7 years ago

Hey, that is not kewl. The yahoo contest is passe. Why let it bother you now? And why let it affect you in future. Please go ahead and participate if you were planning to, Hemal :)

Hemal , it's just feedback going on. And I am sure voicing genuine concerns helps creation of better and healthy atmosphere.
Hemal Shah
from Mumbai
7 years ago

@arti @pramod the mood got offset, may be something else will bring me back to contests, but for now, am not in for it.

@pramod yep, you are right. and i said, many others have already said what i felt.


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