OUTLANDER and online clicking contests

The latest OUTLANDER voting frenzy (the RadioTimes "SciFi Champion" contest) reached new heights of absurdity in recent days, with a round pitting Sam Heughan against Caitriona Balfe (!)

Asking fans to choose between Sam and Caitriona is sort of like asking which of your children is your favorite, and it just seems like a waste of time and effort to me. (For what it's worth, it appears Sam won that round.)

I can think of several reasons why these contests keep popping up:

1) It's good publicity for the show and the actors.

2) They help keep up the fans' interest and excitement during #Droughtlander.

3) They might help STARZ attract more subscribers.

4) They generate massive numbers of clicks (and presumably advertising revenue) for the sponsoring site.

I'm cynical enough to think that the last reason outweighs all the others, but I could be wrong.

Some of you may remember Audible's 2012 Tournament of Audiobooks, where FIERY CROSS made it to the final round, but then it turned into such a frenzy of clicking (on both sides) that Diana Gabaldon very graciously conceded the race, rather than have her fans waste hours and hours of their time in a futile effort to catch up.

Do you participate in these OUTLANDER-related online contests, like the Radio Times contest or the Ewwys? If not, why not? If a contest allows unlimited repeat voting, how many times do you personally vote? (Just once, or a handful of times, or hundreds of times?) Do you encourage other fans to vote? I'd like to hear what you think (pro or con). Please leave a comment here or on my Outlandish Observations Facebook page.

Personally, I don't participate in these online "click-fests". It's OK with me if others enjoy them, but I have better things to do with my time.


Anonymous said...

I participated for a while, but as time has gone on I've stopped, mainly for two reasons: 1) as much as I love the books and show and always want them to get the recognition they deserve, I can't spend my time this way, and 2) the frequency and lengthy time span for each contest (I'm talking to you, E Online!) have crossed over the line into absurdity and made me realize that these are mostly ploys by the sites to increase their web traffic. I like the solidarity it brings to the fan groups, and I appreciate the folks who are so dedicated and help to motivate others. For myself, I decided to engage as a fan in other ways, e.g. encouraging as many of the uninitiated to read the books and watch the show as I can!

Pat Rasmussen said...

I don't participate in these contests for all of the reasons you stated and especially the last one. It's like one of those "the one with the most toys at the end wins" thing. It's not for the fans at all; it's about the money generated because of the contest. UGH. p.s. love your blog!!!

Lisa W. said...

Great question, Karen! In general, I just can't be bothered. On the one hand, it's nice to see the devotion of Outlander fans, but there are so many of these and they just come down to a popularity contest.

Pat said...

Did do the Radio Times one a couple of times but the only ones of these which are really worth doing are the odd ones which end in an actual award. eg the UK National Television Awards - the public vote for people and shows to be nominated and then for the shortlisted nominees. The final awards are shown on TV and are great publicity. Not sure what the criteria are to be nominated - it's possible that Sam and Cait might be eligible, although they'd be up against hugely popular and more well known actors, bearing in mind hardly anyone in the UK can watch the series!

Cybergram said...

Yes I do vote in these so called "contests." I do agree that it is publicity for Outlander & I love the show enough that I want them to get the word out in any way & succeed in continuing the series for as long as possible!! I probably an not going to vote in these kind of contests anymore, no matter who puts them out!!!
I did find the RadioTimes "SciFi Champion" contest to be a bit (or lot... depending on you view) absurd, because as I found when I was voting; EVERY TIME I clicked to vote for MY favorite it also clicked up the votes for the opponent! Now I understand that there were votes being given for the actor/actress opposite whomever I was clicking for, but it just seemed strange that the other one toted up as well as mine when I voted.
AND, finally that they put Sam & Cait up against each other, ridicules! The vote continually said 50%/50% for them, so in my mind it should be/have been a tie! Well I've had my say! Too long winded that for sure, but I got it off my chest!
Thanks for that opportunity Karen!!! Cybergram (aka myrnama)

Meg @ Adventures in Verdance said...

I *love* your take on this and that you see right through the "this is just to get clicks on a sponsoring website". Thank you.

M said...

#4! I appreciate that fans want their favorite show to get recognition, but the frequency of these contests is completely absurd. Twitter is so full of "Vote! Vote!" posts thats it is nearly unbearable. I think Cait said it best when she recently urged fans to spend their time on more worthy endeavors.

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