Friday, January 28, 2022

The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio Read Along. Chapter One

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

This is a new series.  A friend and I are reading through The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan and I am adapting my thoughts on the book here for everyone.

The book opens and there is no shortage of jingles.  I don't really get why a lot of them won.  I think this encouraged me big time when I was just beginning to enter contests and sweepstakes because I read some of these entries and I was just dumbfounded at things that won.  I realize that some expressions are now just archaic, like rhyming I'd with denied, but some I just cant' make hide nor hair of why they won.  I expect that is was just part of the era, as I'd hear my mother sometime make similar rhymes, but for my mind, now in the 21st century, I'm a bit confused as to why they won.  She was certainly talented, but I always think, "What is the company wanting?" and I can't imagine companies wanting some of these today.  Still, she was certainly talented and it very much worked for her, so I can't criticize too much.  

The coding of entries was brilliant for ones that you could enter multiple times.  However, if it was one entry per person, it was technically against the rules, but I understand why she did it if she did break the rules.  I mean, this was her only income to feed 10 kids.  

$10 ($103 today according to historical currency conversions) for a sexist jingle about Dial soap.  I mean, it's cute, but I don't think it's anything that special.

A couple off the top of my head entries:

I'm glad I use Dial, 
My hubby too,
For smells won't come near,
and neither Covid Mu.

(Okay, so that was bad and Mu is history, but. . )

I'm glad I use Dial, the golden bar is worth its weight by keeping me smelling fresh all day.

I'm glad I use Dial, gold, white, or spring water, keeps me smelling fresh, same with my daughter.  

Again, these are just first thoughts and I'd likely throw them out and work more.  Rule #1 is always "What's good for the company".  I think "What do the judges want to see?" then start from there.  Dial.  What are the reasons the judges want to hear you use Dial?  Freshness, cleanness, antibacterial properties.  Dial brings up pictures of flowers, showers, health, refreshing showers of a morning,  Then I think what might I be able to rhyme.  I have a rhyming dictionary, but usually I'll just sit and rhyme through the alphabet. 

Dial.  Bile. Kyle. File. Gile, Hile, Jile, Lyle, Mile, Nile, Pile, Rile, Sile, Tile, Yile, Zile, Chile, Shile, Plile, strile, style, while, 

Then I might pull out the words that might be useable.  File, Style, While, 

I'm glad I use Dial,
Keeps me fresh all the while,
I'm at school, work, or play,
Keep me clean through the day,
and the price is just my style.

(See how that's a bit better than the ones above?)

I had to laugh at "Hmm! Wonder what This Is" poem.  Reminds me of my days  of refunding.  I literally had an entire room filled with proofs of purchases.  In December 1993 or 1994 I was given a 30 year stash. Sometimes I would take labels off cans or remove them from boxes if I was needing to complete an offer quickly.  I sure am glad for savings apps now and not having to play dinner roulette and wonder if you are opening a can of green beans or sauerkraut.  

Also, it is still legal to require a proof of purchase for a skill contest, but not a sweepstakes.  

On page 25 she mentions a great thing to keep in mind -- who is it being marketed to -- such as you don't want to mention kids in an alcohol entry (unless you say something like both you and baby need a bottle at 2 AM, just with different refreshments -- even then I'd be cautious).  

I do remind myself reading her entries that it was a different era.  What was clever then makes people 70 years later wonder what on earth she was talking about.  There was a cuteness and charm to the 1950s, a whitewashed look where all faces were scrubbed and hid the pain just behind the surface.  But sometimes exaggerations or plain out lies help win.  Making an entry seem like every other entry, then leaving the judge laughing has worked for me.  Timing is something I consider, too.  An essay / video needs to be interesting enough at the beginning to keep you watching, but personally I like to think of it as a joke.  You want the punch line last.

Stay tuned for Prize Winner Chapter 2 Read along, and in the meantime, feel free to read all my blog posts on Sweepstakes and contests.

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