Bus vs. Bus

June 3, 2009
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Buses are ranked on BusRadio.com (Standings as of June 3, 2009)

 

From Jim Metrock:

BusRadio is trying something new. For the first time the company is pitting school buses against each other. Students are vying for Guitar Hero video games.

This is yet another unwelcome marketing ploy on school buses that should concern school officials and parents.

Listen to this audio clip from this morning’s high school show.

 

AUDIO FILE: Guitar Hero Promotion
High School AM show – June 3, 2009

 

Each school day from May 26 to June 8, BusRadio is awarding one Guitar Hero Smash Hits video game to a middle school student entering the contest and one Guitar Hero Modern Hits game to a high school student.

Also there will be two Grand Prizes. That’s where the bus participation comes into play.

 

From BusRadio’s official rules:

WINNING: Each day during the Sweepstakes Period, four (4) winners will be randomly chosen from among all eligible entries to win a DAILY PRIZE, two (2) from Middle School, two (2) from High School.

At the end of the Sweepstakes Period, two (2) GRAND PRIZE winning buses (inclusive of all students who have entered the contest that ride the winning buses), one Middle School and one High School bus, will be selected. Additionally, five (5) GRAND PRIZE winning entrants from the Middle School winning bus will be selected.

The GRAND PRIZE winning buses will be selected as follows: The bus number that receives the most entries from Middle School, and the bus number that receives the most entries from High School.

The GRAND PRIZE winning Entrants from the Middle School bus will be selected as follows: Five (5) of the entrants from the GRAND PRIZE winning Middle School bus will be randomly be selected from among all entrants from the GRAND PRIZE winning bus.

WINNER ODDS: Odds of winning depend on number of valid entries. During the Sweepstakes Period, twenty (20) daily winners will be selected, one (1) GRAND PRIZE winning bus (inclusive of all students that ride the winning bus) and five (5) of the entrants from the GRAND PRIZE winning bus.

PRIZES:

DAILY PRIZES: Twenty (20) Guitar Hero Smash Hits video games (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): $50) and Twenty (20) Guitar Hero Modern Hits video games (ARV: $50). The total ARV of the daily prizes is $2,000. GRAND PRIZE (FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL BUS): TBD Number of Guitar Hero On-Tour Series video game packs (ARV: $50), based on number of students on winning bus who entered the contest. GRAND PRIZE (FOR ENTRANTS FROM WINNING MIDDLE SCHOOL BUS): Five (5) Nintendo DS (ARV: $100). The total ARV of the grand prize is $500. GRAND PRIZE (FOR HIGH SCHOOL BUS): TBD Number of Guitar Hero On-Tour Series video game packs (ARV: $50), based on number of students on winning bus who entered the contest.

 

These rules could be clearer. The promotion the high school students heard on the bus says everybody on the winning bus gets the video game, but the fine print above says that only those entering the contest on the winning bus will be receiving the game. What is completely understandable is the more riders on a bus to enter this contest the greater the chance of the bus winning the Grand Prize. If there are riders on the bus who are not interested in entering and giving their phone number to BusRadio (a requirement), then it could be envisioned that other students could persuade them to enter. Why should just a few students keep the others from winning a very popular new release of Guitar Hero? It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture a school bus divided into two groups: the BusRadio riders and the non-compliant riders.

What BusRadio is doing is putting maximum pressure on all the students on the bus to "get with the program." (My quote.)

What BusRadio is doing by creating this Bus vs. Bus situation is getting students to help them do their marketing. This contest is not sponsored by who you think it is. Activision makes Guitar Hero. They are an advertiser on BusRadio, but they are not the sponsor – BusRadio is. The whole point of this contest is to ramp up interest in BusRadio and to get more personal information from students.

As students exit the bus are bus drivers reminding them to enter the BusRadio Guitar Hero contest so the school bus will be declared the national winner? That is a real possibility.