Everyone says they want to take a digital detox, but few rarely do it. Now Vitaminwater is giving people a real incentive. It just launched a $100,000 contest for people who want to stop using their smartphones for a year. The catch is that, well, you have to ditch your smartphone for a year. Also, the company reserves the right to check in on you like a grounded child.
The details are kind of vague, but the gist is that the Coca-Cola-owned brand is asking people to tell them on social media what they would do if they weren’t tethered to their phone for every waking hour. Some poor employees at Vitaminwater will then sift through the entries and choose winners, who will be given a dumb-phone for the year. If the contestants are able to complete the challenge–and not even touch their friends’ devices for even a second!–for a year, they supposedly will be given a hundred grand.
Here are the official rules:
- Post on either Twitter or Instagram your pitch for what you’d do if Vitaminwater freed you from the shackles of your iPhone or Android. The brand adds: “Go wild, be out there, and wow us. Make sure to include hashtags #nophoneforayear and #contest.”
- In about a month, the company will choose the winners, who will be asked to give up their smartphones.
- If they are able to successfully complete the challenge, Vitaminwater will award them the prize money.
Winners will be given a “1996-era cellular telephone that may be used for communication during the contract time period, including a monthly phone plan accompanying the phone,” according to the official rules. And the company will keep track of whether or not they are able to commit to the dumb-phone life–this includes participating in a “lie-detector test at the end of the contract period.” As you can see, Vitaminwater means business.
Contestants will be able to use their computers as well as voice-controlled smart devices like Amazon Echo.
What will it take to be chosen? Vitaminwater has both a vague and somehow stringent rubric. Here it is:
- Creativity and Originality of Submission (30%): presents idea in a fun and unique way
- Cultural or Brand Relevance of Submission (30%): fits the brand tonality and persona
- Humor of Submission (30%): relates to breaking the monotony for original and outside-the-lines reasons
- Quality of Submission (10%): inclusion of proper grammar and spelling, and high-quality photos and/or videos (if photos/videos are included)
If you think you have an idea that fits the bill, by all means post an entry. Of course, you’ll also be submitting to the will of a corporate overlord that will be physically checking up on you throughout the year . . . which isn’t creepy at all! But, hey, we live in strange late-capitalistic times, and maybe this is what we have to do to make a buck.
To learn more about the “scroll free” contest, you can read the rules here.