Case Study: Cutest Couple Contest a Perfect Match for Valentine’s Day

The Palm Beach Post engaged their online audience with a Valentine’s cutest couple contest

Cutest Couple Contest |
The Palm Beach Post, part of Cox Media, is a 143,000 circulation daily paper in West Palm Beach, Florida. The newspaper has been running online contests since 2009, and were looking for a fun and exciting way to engage their online audience and generate a new digital revenue stream.

The Idea:
Courtney Ricks, the Digital Solutions Account Manager at the Palm Beach Post, had previously managed a Cutest Couple contest for three years while working at the Statesboro Herald in Statesboro, Georgia. She knew that the Palm Beach Post could have a lot of success with a similar contest around Valentine’s Day.

The Execution:
When selling the Cutest Couple contest, the Palm Beach Post team targeted restaurants with Valentine’s dinner specials, salons, limo services, hotels, and auto dealerships as potential sponsors. They ended up with six contest sponsors: Lexus (the title sponsor), Fuku Restaurant, A1A Limo, Boca Hotel & Resort, Esposito’s Pizza, and Abbey of London photography.

There were several different sponsor package options. The Title Sponsor Package included:
Cutest Couple Contest ad

    • Logo as Title Sponsor on contest site
    • Homepage rotator featuring title sponsor and contest entry
    • (entertainment site) rotator featuring title sponsor and contest entry
    • 250,000 banner impressions (300×100) promoting sponsor
    • logo and contest entry ROS on
    • Pulse (entertainment site) email to 23,600 subscribers promoting
    • contest entry, with title sponsor logo and offer/coupon
    • Title sponsor logo on all print promotions
    • 300×600 banner ads with title sponsor logo promoting
    • contest entry ROS on

Title sponsors must provide a gift valued at minimum
$500 not to exceed $5000

Total Contest Package Price:$2,500
There was also a Premium Sponsor Package:

    • Premium sponsor logo on the footer on the contest site
    • 300×250 banner ads on bottom right of contest promoting
      their business (limit 2 sponsors) 50% SOV
    • 50,000 banner impressions (300×100) promoting sponsor
      logo and contest entry ROS on

Total Contest Package Price: $1000

And a Supporting Sponsor Package:

    • Supporting sponsor logo on the footer on contest site
    • 300×250 top banner ads (SOV) on contest page promoting
      their business
    • 25,000 banner impressions (300×100) promoting sponsor
      logo and contest entry ROS on

Total Contest Package Price: $350

To promote the contest, the Palm Beach Post ran print ads in the newspaper, rotators online, and 300×100, 300×600, and 300×250 promotional ads online. The title sponsor logo was on all of the promotional materials for the contest, as well as those of the other sponsors who donated to the prize package. The grand prize package included:

  • A two-night stay at the beautiful Boca Raton Resort & Club
  • Limo transportation to and from the resort from A1A Limousine
  • A very special dinner at Fuku Restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach on Valentine’s Day
  • A location photo shoot with an Abbey of London master photographer and a fine art portrait

In addition, the two runners-up each received a $25 gift card to Fuku Restaurant.

The Results:
The Cutest Couple contest attracted 137 photo submissions, and 65,682 pageviews (mostly during the voting period). During the nine-day voting period, a total of 24,747 valid votes were cast.

The contest generated $3,900 in pure digital revenue in 2013, and the Palm Beach Post hopes to grow that number to over $10,000 next year.

Why It Worked:

  • The Palm Beach Post targeted multiple sponsors with a set of tiered sponsor packages.
  • The Cutest Couple contest was promoted both in print and online.
  • The prize package was valuable enough to entice couples to enter.
  • The contest called for submissions of photos that the players already had.
  • Players were allotted 10 votes per day, which encouraged repeat visits to the contest page.

Take a look at our How to Drive Measurable Results for Your Advertisers with Online Promotions Playbook to best understand how to effectively partner with advertisers to drive your revenue!

Advertiser Playbook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>