Janet Jackson might never recover from the bad publicity over the wardrobe malfunction incident, but give her credit for a smart publicity stunt.
The first 1 million copies of her next CD, “20 Years Old,” due September 26, will include a design created by one of her fans at the DesignMe website. The contest, which is now closed, invited fans to visit the site and download images of Jackson posted there. They were asked to create a cover design, then post their covers to the website. Participants were allowed to cut, crop, recolor and remix the photos to create their own designs.
Jackson will select her favorite design, which will be announced in mid-August.
Companies rolling out new products, or authors publishing new titles, can take a cue from this interactive contest. Let your customers become directly involved in helping design a new product, or its packaging. The resulting publicity helps build lots of excitement.