Intuit’s “Super Status Contest” Aims for Product Placement in Facebook Status Updates

turbotaxFrom the interesting marketing experiments department, Intuit is running a social media campaign across Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter that is focused on getting users to talk about TurboTax in their status updates.

Here’s how it works on Facebook: First, users must become a fan of the TurboTax page. Then, users must accept a friend request from a TurboTax contest judge. (This is a somewhat awkward step, but done in order for Intuit to be able to access users’ status updates.) Finally, users can enter the contest by updating their status in response to the question on the Super Status Contest website. Intuit will then award prizes to users that have the most “original and unique” status updates involving the word “TurboTax.”

For example, the contest prompt asks:

What’s the weirdest place you’ve found money? How much? Required: Use “TurboTax” in your status.

Here’s an example response:

Leslie was 5 when a clown found a quarter behind my ear. It still freaks me out. Save me TurboTax!


Interestingly, the marketing department has added some additional “tips” in the “How to Win” section of the contest website:

How to Win

  • Post an original and clever status thats makes us laugh, cry, or ponder — the more original and unique, the better.
  • Post a status that’s relevant to the challenge’s theme — be on topic.
  • Get more friends/followers — the more friends and followers you have the better your chances are of winning.
  • Playing through all three sites (Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter) with three *different* status updates triples your chances of winning.
  • If you want, work TurboTax products into your status somehow.
  • Don’t use profanity, and avoid mentioning any competitors of TurboTax.

Clearly, Intuit is trying to get people talking about TurboTax in a somewhat authentic way. While this is not as spammy as a pure “Pay Per Status Update” model, it does run more counter to the implied social contracts that exist between Facebook friends than that between MySpace friends or Twitter followers.

What do you think – will this type of campaign be successful?