- Sears Holding Corporation’s Kmart chain is offering consumers a chance to be one of 14 contestants to appear on “Ridiculous Cash Bash,” a game show that will air on the Game Show Network on Dec. 20 as part of its holiday marketing, per a press release.
- Anyone over 18 can submit a video up to Nov. 26 on www.RidiculousCashBash.com demonstrating an “ridiculously awesome talent” as described in the release and the user-submitted videos will be judged for creativity, originality and entertainment value. The 14 chosen contestants will win a trip to Hollywood to film the game show hosted by Cooper Manning of Fox Sports' "The Manning Hour."
- Contestants will compete for thousands in prizes and points that can spent as cash for Kmart Shop Your Way rewards members. The branded game show will be executive produced by Chuck Dalaklis ("Dude, What Would Happen"), David Hurwitz ("Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris") and Jordan Yospe.
The holidays are a crucial time of year for retailers and some like Kmart and Lowe's, in another example from this week, are looking beyond traditional promotional flyers and big event sales to drive results. instead, the focus is on creating exciting entertainment that consumers can enjoy and even participate in as a way to breakthrough and drive awareness with younger consumers who aren't interested in traditional ads but have shown a penchant for consuming digital content.
In the Lowe's example, the retailer created a 17-minute video following the efforts of four builders as they try to find their way out of an escape room using tools and supplies from Lowe's. In the Kmart example, contestants will be teamed up to work together on variety of challenges. The final challenge will be a race to the summit of Bluelight Mountain, in a reference to Kmart's Bluelight Special deals.
The common elements of the Kmart and Lowe's efforts include a reliance on Hollywood and reality TV for inspiration and even production talent. However, Kmart is taking the trend to a completely different level with the “Ridiculous Cash Bash” effort. Not only is it tapping Hollywood for the on- and off-camera talent behind the promotion, it’s actually filming a real game show — albeit branded — set to air on the Game Show Network (GSN).
The Hollywood trappings and branded sponsorship of the show airing on GSN hearken back to the earliest days of TV before interruptive commercial breaks when shows were sponsored by single brands. The campaign has a sweepstakes talent show element with the user-submitted videos. And taking the effort down to the most one-on-one consumer level, it is driving a high level of engagement with the most motivated consumers by asking for user-generated content in the form of the entry video clips.