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From the how not to create a viral campaign files:
Denny’s kicked off its “America Votes 4Real” contest on July 8th and, so far, it has no entries – despite 25,000 views of a sample video. In the contest, Denny’s wants John McCain and Barack Obama look-alikes to submit a video of themselves advocating “real breakfast.” The prize? Big whoop: “Two lucky consumers” win a free Denny’s breakfast once a month for a full Presidential term.
Dear Denny’s and Fleischman-Hillard, (Denny’s PR firm): if you want people to take the time and make the effort to create great content for you – as people have proven time and again that they can – you need to offer great prizes. Hint: that would not be 48 breakfasts at Denny’s.
Some delusional commentary from Denny’s press release:

“Elizabeth Geer, senior director of advertising and merchandising for Denny’s, said, “Denny’s ‘America Votes for Real’ campaign allows the nation to express its opinion by casting its vote – as is the American way, supporting real breakfast and spreading the word that they aren’t going to settle.”
Geer continued, “Our research shows most consumers would prefer a real breakfast. They appreciate the fresh ingredients and made-to-order preparation and, of course, the delivery of being served on real dishes with real silverware by a smiling server. Now all of America can stand for real.”

I couldn’t make this stuff up folks.

Posted by BL Ochman
UPDATE: There are still no entries in the Denny’s contest. The same two sample videos are still lonely all by themselves.