What Are Creative Presentation Sweepstakes?

How Creative Presentations Work, and Other Things You Need to Know

Image of a man deluged by offers.
Creative presentations give you many ways to enter. Sometimes, too many. Image (c) Uppercut Images / Getty Images.

What Are Creative Presentation Sweepstakes?

Creative presentations are sweepstakes that pool entries from various advertising campaigns into one big drawing. Entry methods may include forms on different websites, email offers with special entry opportunities, entry forms that you receive by mail, and so on. The name "creative presentation" comes from marketing lingo, where an ad or related series of ads is called "the creative."

Many times, creative presentation sweepstakes are offered by different companies that partner together to offer a huge prize. For example, magazines that belong to Hearst or Bauer may join in a creative presentation that drums up excitement (and hopefully, a bigger readership) for all of the participating magazines.

Although most creative presentations offer only one very large grand prize, many also offer smaller prizes as well. These prizes are unique to each participating company. So if you enter a creative presentation through the Woman's Day website, you may be eligible to receive different secondary prizes than if you entered through the Good Housekeeping website, even though they are both participating in the same overarching presentation.

Examples of Creative Presentation Sweepstakes:

The Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes is an example of a famous creative presentation. You can enter their sweepstakes online every day, you can enter by mail, and they give you additional chances to win by email, mail, and other methods.

Each entry method is a presentation, and using as many of them as possible boosts your chances of winning.

Magazines often run this kind of creative presentation. For example, Hearst or Meredith might offer a creative presentation advertised in several of their magazines and those magazines' websites.

Readers Digest also runs several creative presentations each year, as well as standard sweepstakes and contests.

Why Do Companies Offer Creative Presentations Instead of Regular Sweepstakes?

Creative presentations are a way for companies to pool their resources to offer sweepstakes with huge prizes. A number of different companies, or daughter brands of a larger corporation, contribute to the prize pool so that they can give away larger prizes than they would be able to offer on their own.

The huge prizes build up a lot of excitement and can drive many more entries than a regular giveaway would. And those extra entries mean more chances to display advertising, more new names added to their email lists, and more chances to fulfill the goals they set when they decided to run a giveaway.

How Creative Presentations Work:

Creative presentation sweepstakes aren't all exactly alike, and you should always read the rules of each giveaway you enter to see how the giveaway works. However, here's a general idea of what to expect

Generally, there will be at least one large prize being awarded. The nature of the grand prize may vary from presentation to presentation, although the prize value is usually about the same.

So a motorcycle magazine might offer a free bike, while a home magazine might offer a room makeover as their grand prize.

No matter how many different grand prizes are offered, only one will be awarded.

With some creative presentations, the grand-prize winner is drawn from all entries. Other times, one of the participating entry points is randomly selected to be the source of the winning entries, and then the winner is drawn from the people who entered through that presentation. That means that if you didn't enter through that particular entry point, you have no chance of winning the prize.

Some giveaways will also give away multiple, smaller prizes, oftentimes specific to each presentation. For example, that home magazine might offer a room makeover grand prize as part of the creative presentation, but also 1,000 gift cards for free housecleaning services awarded in a random drawing just for people who enter through their site.

Many times, creative presentations will let you enter once per presentation per entry period. That means that if ten brands have pooled together to offer the presentation, you could get as many as 10 entries per day by visiting each brand's site. However, this is not always the case, so be sure to check the rules to avoid disqualification for entering too often.

Be aware that creative presentations can make it difficult to know how many different companies are participating, and it can take some sleuthing to tell whether multiple different prizes are being awarded or not.

The Disadvantages of Creative Presentations:

The two main disadvantages of creative presentations are:

  1. They take a lot of time to enter.
    If you want to be sure that you have a chance of winning, it's a good idea to enter through every different entry point. Entering through multiple different entry methods can be time-consuming, especially when daily entries are allowed, 
     
  2. The odds of winning are very low.
    Because creative presentations are heavily advertised, they have a wide reach. It's likely that more people will hear about the creative presentation and enter it, lowering your odds of winning.

Advantages of Creative Presentation Sweepstakes:

So the odds of winning are even longer than with most regular sweepstakes with comparable prizes, and they can take up a lot of time that you could be spending entering other sweepstakes. However, there are some reasons why it could still be worthwhile to enter creative presentation sweepstakes:

  1. The prizes can be very large.
    Sometimes, the prizes are so amazing that it's worth spending some extra time to enter creative presentations. It's not unusual for creative presentations to award mega prizes like tens (or hundreds!) of thousands of dollars in cash and other attractive prizes or even bigger giveaways.
     
  2. Sometimes, other prizes are offered, too.
    Some creative presentations offer smaller prizes in addition to the grand shared prize which are not shared across all presentations. These other prizes could have decent odds and be worth the time to enter.

Conclusion:

You need to decide for yourself whether it makes sense to add creative presentations to your sweepstakes mix, but here's what I do. Because of the low odds, I don't usually spend a lot of time entering creative presentations. But you can't win if you don't enter, so if I have some spare time, I drop in a few entries, just for the off chance that I could win a life-changing prize.

If you'd like to do the same, visit TheBalance's Creative Presentations List, where you can find a bunch of current creative presentations to enter quickly and easily. Good luck!