Written by Carlo Pacis
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20 Creative Canada Day Contest Ideas, Examples and Best Practices

Canada Day is coming up, and that’s cause for some serious celebration. To capitalize on the True North’s big day, your business might be thinking of running a contest.

In this article, I’ll check out contest Canada Day tips, contest examples, and some prize ideas, to give you inspiration for your own Canada Day contests.

So - maple syrup and hockey fanaticism in tow - let’s get started!

Contest Best Practices

First, let’s take a look at a contest I designed using Wishpond’s all-in-one marketing campaign software.

Here’s what it looks like:


Canada Day Contest Idea #1: Countdown Timer


One thing I’d definitely recommend you add to your Canada Day contest page is a timer. Though you might be running your contest for Canada Day, it won’t necessarily end on July 1st. Adding a countdown timer helps page visitors become aware of the time they have left to your awesome contest, and putting it somewhere prominent like your hero section or in an opt-in bar (as in the example) is a great way to make sure they see it.

Countdown timers are also great because - in addition to being informative - they create what we call in marketing psychology urgency. Basically, just the presence of an element that implies a time limit can help conversion rates by convincing visitors to spring into action.


Canada Day Contest Idea #2: Coupon for Entering


One downside of running a contest is that you only ever get to give prizes to one (or if you’re lucky, a few more) of your entrants. One route you can take to circumvent this limitation is to reward all of your contest entrants in some way: namely, a coupon.

Giving every visitor a coupon (like a discount on your e-commerce page or a coupon for your retail store) just for entering your contest makes everyone feel like a winner, and can actually have a direct impact on your bottom line.


Canada Day Contest Idea #3: Benefit-Oriented Headline


Your headline is one of the most prominent parts of your page, along with your hero image. Choosing a headline that clearly communicates what your contest is all about and what people can enter to win is a great way to get visitors engaged from the get-go.

To keep it simple, I’d recommend your Canada Day contest headline talks about the theme of the contest (Canada Day, of course), as well as your prize. If you’d like, adding a subheadline with your prize’s value can help people see more concretely how much it’s worth.


Canada Day Contest Idea #4: Social Media Advertising


One of the most important parts of running your contest is bringing people to your contest page. Your page can convert as well as it wants, but if you have no traffic that conversion rate isn’t worth anything.

The unparalleled best way to drive traffic to your contest page is to run ads. This may not be what you want to hear, but putting some money into running your social media contest can be worth the massively increased brand reach, the ultra-focused targeting and the impact it can have on your business’ bottom line. Run ads on Instagram and Facebook to members of your target audience to drive relevant traffic to your Canada Day contest.


Canada Day Contest Idea #5: Benefit Checklist


As bite-sized media continues to increase massively in popularity (just look at BuzzFeed’s recipe channel Tasty), making things easy to digest for the skimmers among us - myself included - can go a long way towards making your copywriting effective.

One great way to organize your contest page is with a benefit checklist, where you highlight the best parts of your business, contest or prize (as in the example below). This breaks up your copy into smaller, more easily manageable chunks, making your Canada Day contest page skimmer-friendly.


5 Canada Day Contest Examples:

Ride Canada!


Power Sport Services ran a photo contest called Ride Canada! to promote motorcycle riding across our beautiful country.

What I like:

  • The concept: I love that this is a photo contest that will turn into a mosaic once it’s done. It makes each entrant feel like they’re contributing, and it’s awesome that it all revolves around a single theme.
  • The prizes: A $10,000 voucher is no joke! Ride Canada! does a great job in highlighting the value of their prize, and it’s awesome that they’re also offering a ton of secondary prizes.

What could be better:

  • The layout: The layout of their contest page is a little bit confusing - it’s hard to tell which elements are more important than others.


Air Canada


To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the airline ran a photo contest on Facebook and Instagram.

What I like:

  • The structure: Photo contests are awesome, and hashtag photo contests are even better. Allowing people to enter through an Instagram hashtag or on their Facebook wall made the contest easily accessible for entrants.
  • The gallery: Highlighting your entrants is a great way to keep them engaged, and to show off your existing engagement to other people. Their gallery (which takes entries from both Instagram and Facebook) does this elegantly.

What could be better:

  • The page: The only place a potential entrant could find information on the contest is in an article on Air Canada’s blog, enRoute. Creating a separate landing page or contest page would be better to link to from other places.


TripCentral


TripCentral ran a Canada 150 contest for 2017, helping to promote a getaway to La Reata Ranch.

What I like:

  • Multiple chances to win: I like that TripCentral has separated the contest into three parts, allowing entrants three chances to enter - meaning three chances to win.
  • It’s a landing page: TripCentral hosted their contest on a separate landing page within their website, making it easy for people to share and link to. Having this landing page means there are minimal distractions (ads, other sections of the site, etc.).

What could be better:

  • The page: Though the copy is actually quite good on this page, it could benefit from some design love to help the different parts of the contest stand out, including a benefits checklist and some more clear visual hierarchy.


HunterDouglas


HunterDouglas put together an incredible adventure contest for Canada Day.

What I like:

  • The prizes: When it comes down to it, nothing makes a contest more engaging than an awesome prize. HunterDouglas takes this to the extreme with five $10,000 Canadian travel packages.
  • The click popup: Clicking the “enter” button leads to a click popup. Though I’m not sure it’s better than a form, using a click popup to get people to enter is much more effective than sending them to a different page because it greatly reduces friction.

What could be better:

  • The CTA button: It’s hard to see how to enter the contest - having a text-only CTA button doesn’t help.
  • The headline: The headline is too simple, and doesn’t clearly convey how awesome the contest is. “Win one of 5 $10,000 Canadian Adventures” would work way better.


Giant Tiger


Giant Tiger decided to give away a car (whoa) for their awesome Canada Day contest.

What I like:

  • The header: Your hero section or header is the first thing people see - having an eye-catching, engaging image that simply communicates what your contest is all about can make the difference for a first-time page visitor.
  • The coupon: I love that the form allows people to sign up to Giant Tiger’s mailing list to get a $5 coupon. This primes them for future marketing communications and can help boost sales.

What could be better:

  • The form fields: I don’t love the number of form fields on the page - asking people for their phone number is a tough sell.

10 Creative Canada Day Prize Ideas:

  • A Backyard Barbeque: Lighting up the barbeque is an irreplaceable part of a proper Canada Day celebration - give your prize winners all of the tools they need to host their own summer barbeque.
  • Beer: A hot, sunny Canada Day and a cooler full of ice cold beers go hand-in-hand. A couple of cases of beer make a great Canada Day prize.
  • Parks Passes: Canada’s 150th birthday has shone a lot of light onto our country’s many beautiful parks. Give away passes to visit the awesome parks in your province.
  • Experiences: Summer is the season for adventure, and giving away tickets to experiences like ziplining, rafting or FlyOver Canada is a simple but effective prize idea.
  • Hockey Tickets: Hockey is (along with maple syrup) one of only a few things that’s quintessentially Canadian - what better to give away for Canada Day than a couple of tickets to the next big game?
  • Ski/Snowboard Passes: We’re lucky enough to have a variety of great ski slopes here in the True North - consider giving away season passes to your local mountain.
  • Concert Tickets: There’s a heck of a lot of contests and festivals in the summertime - give away a pair of tickets to your contest winners.
  • Picnic: Like hosting a barbeque, having a picnic in the summertime is a great way for your entrants to spend time with friends and family. Give away a picnic basket full of delicious goodies for your contest winners.
  • Gift Card: A gift card to your business is a great simple prize idea - it helps make sure your entrants are interested in your contest because they love your business, and not just the great prize.
  • Your product: Finally, giving away your product is arguably the best prize idea. Though it’s not necessarily specific to Canada Day, it’s the best way to generate quality leads from your Canada Day contest.


Fin


And there you have it: tons of ideas and examples for your upcoming Canada Day contest. The big day is coming up soon, so get to work - good luck!

Written by Carlo Pacis

Carlo is a Content Marketer at Wishpond who lives and breathes all things social media. He also has an obsession with music, sneakers, and coffee. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @carlonathan.