Written by Emma Vetriano • Published 19th September 2011

Remember the irritating Nokia ringtone made famous by Dom Jolly in Trigger Happy? Well, it’s finally being updated with a brand new version, and the best news of all is that you could be the person to compose the new jingle.

Nokia have jumped on the digital bandwagon of open sourcing high-profile parts of their company in order to create an online buzz and increase their engagement with consumers. Enter here.
Of course, Nokia are not at any real risk with this competition – the beauty of open sourcing is that through the sheer volume of entries alone they’re pretty much guaranteed to find something really good, possibly better than if you’d had an in-house composer work on the project.

Competitions like this have loads of benefits, as long as your company is brave enough to take the plunge. For a start, consumers love to think that companies are paying attention – that’s what social media is all about – creating a ‘you-niverse’. Secondly, Nokia benefits from a huge amount of publicity surrounding what is, essentially, a giant PR stunt. Best of all, every time the ringtone features in the media in future (which you know it will), the story of how it came about will be dragged back up and repeated.

Nokia aren’t alone in handing over control of huge company decisions to their customers. Here are my top three open-source competitions from the last few years:

  1. Doritos – Write the End

In Canada, Doritos wanted to introduce a new flavour of crisps, so they created a TV advert in which two flavours went head to head in front of a creepy space queen of some kind. The advert ended at the crucial moment when the winner was to be announced, and viewers were asked to ‘write the end’ and tell Doritos which flavour to pick and how to pick it.  The result was this:

     2. Queensland – The Best Job in the World

This one didn’t escape the attention of many people due to its amazing viral factor. When the Queensland tourist board wanted to draw attention to the beauty of their coastline, instead of placing a few adverts on TV channels around the world, they launched a competition to find a ‘caretaker’ for their island. A total of £70,000 was all this stunt cost them, and best of all, some British bloke won it too!

    3. Stylist – Design our Front Cover

The best thing about this one is – it’s still up and running now if you want to enter. Stylist magazine are about to release their 100th issue, and they’re looking for someone to design the front cover.