For Immediate Release: June 12, 2012, West Lebanon, NH
Local Window Replacement Contest Goes Global: Two $5,000 Grand Prize Winners Announced!
Carole & Chris of Woodstock . Bonnie & Her Son Lee of Lebanon
How the contest originated:
When local Marvin Windows and Doors retailer Windows & Doors By Brownell launched their “Replacement Window Contest”, they were hoping to generate some buzz about the company and its products and services.
An open entry submission period was scheduled from 2/1/12 to 4/30/12 within which homeowners in the markets served by Windows & Doors By Brownell (West Lebanon, NH, Williston, VT and Plattsburgh, NY) could submit photos of their failing windows and why they needed to be replaced.
Six semi-finalists are selected and posted online:
From these entries, a panel at Windows & Doors By Brownell selected six semi-finalists. Their pictures and stories were then posted on the company’s website, www.wdbrownell.com, and the public was able to vote on which project would win the $5000 Marvin window replacement package. “Originally, we anticipated the winner would come in with around 500 or 600 votes,” commented Owner Les Brownell “we didn’t predict how far the voting would reach and the level of dedication that Bonnie and Carole would put into winning!”
Public voting opens:
The public voting period was open from 5/21/12 through 6/4/12 – votes could be placed online only and were limited to 2 per IP address, per day during the voting period, a setting recommended to create participation from many individuals. Bonnie (Lebanon) and Carole (Woodstock) quickly pulled ahead to the voting leaderboard!
Voting heats up and the competitive spirit kicks in:
The first week Bonnie was in the lead…then midway through the second week Carole overtook Bonnie’s lead by 100+ votes! “I believe it was at this point that the competitive spirit from both parties really kicked in!” says Marketing Manager, April Bolin. Votes then started to pour in – by Sunday both Bonnie and Carole had over 2,000 votes each and it was literally a neck in neck race!
A team meeting is called Sunday afternoon:
A team at Windows & Doors By Brownell had an impromptu meeting to discuss how they would handle the overwhelming number of votes from both Bonnie and Carole’s supporters. “These two women were just not giving up; each was reaching deep into their networks, it was really impressive. We needed to meet and discuss how we were going to handle this unprecedented amount of effort.” Says Brownell. It was decided that a second place prize would be unofficially added to the contest.
Over 1,000 votes for each leader come in on Monday!:
Monday morning both Bonnie and Carole had over 2,200 votes each, the lead flipped back and forth between the two; sometimes by as many as 40 votes, sometimes by as few as 2. “We were getting between 4 and 8 votes per minute throughout the day.” Says Bolin. “The staff kept checking the leaderboard; it was pretty exciting to watch.”
So many votes the server overloads:
Voting was set to automatically end at 8:59pm on 6/4/12. At 7:03 that evening the website server became overloaded with the extreme number of people accessing the site (from all over the world!) it became bogged down and voters couldn’t access the page properly. The server overload tripped the automatic 8:59pm voting end message and last minute voters were unable to place their votes. At that time Carole was at 3,341 votes and Bonnie was at 3,318 votes – less than a 1% margin.
An easy decision is made – TWO Grand Prize Winners:
“We made the decision just before 9:00pm to award both Carole and Bonnie the full grand prize of a $5,000 Marvin Window Replacement package. It was an easy decision and the right one given how hard these women worked – their effort was beyond anything we ever anticipated!” commented Brownell. By 9:30 that night Carole and Bonnie had been notified that they were BOTH $5,000 grand prize winners!
“Tuesday morning we started getting emails from Bonnie and Carole’s supporters, saying how pleased they were that Windows & Doors By Brownell had elected to award both parties the full prize.” Says Brownell, “Their supporters were so invested in winning this contest, it really brought out people’s competitive nature and they seemed really happy with the final outcome.”
Meeting the winners:
On 6/6/12, Les Brownell, April Bolin and Bryan Campbell (Installation Manager at the company’s West Lebanon location) met with the winners at their individual residences to evaluate their current window conditions and make recommendations about the best way to invest their $5,000 window replacement prize. “It was a pleasure to meet them in person and hear more of their stories” commented Bolin, “One of the first things they both said was that they couldn’t wait to meet and shake each other’s hand.”
Reconnecting with old friends…and their friends…goes global:
Carole commented that throughout the voting process she reconnected with friends she hadn’t been in touch with for years. She said that whatever the outcome of the contest, it had been an experience just to reconnect. Bonnie told us how her network had reached out to each of theirs and as a result votes for her were coming in from all over the country –and internationally as well - Australia, Brazil and Europe!
What happens next for the winners?:
“Carole and Bonnie are now in the process of selecting which Marvin Window products are going to best fit their individual replacement needs.” Says Brownell “We’re looking forward to working with them and will be completing their installations later this summer.”
________________________ ### ____________________________
'Final' Voting Tally:
Carole - Woodstock - 3,341
Bonnie - Lebanon - 3,318
Brian - Plattsburgh - 317
Jade - Essex Junction - 95
Nichole - South Burlington - 64
Melanie - Montpelier - 24
For additional information please email April Bolin, Marketing.