What just happened? Companies are always looking for ways to grab your attention, but Vitaminwater's latest contest may take the cake. On Twitter, the beverage maker announced the #NoPhoneForAYear contest, which (as the name implies) challenges one contestant to live without mobile screens for a full year, with a $100,000 prize on offer if they succeed.
Obviously, the rules of the contest are not nearly as simple as that brief summary suggests. After all, Vitaminwater isn't going to give $100,000 to just anybody.
As such, the company is weeding out the time-wasters by requiring all would-be entrants to publish a Tweet (or an Instagram post) explaining how they would spend their smartphone-free time if they are accepted into the contest.
The Tweet must be submitted by January 8, and it has to contain the #NoPhoneforaYear and #contest hashtags. It also has to be original, relevant, and it must stay up throughout the entirety of the contest.
The first phase of the contest will involve a panel of "qualified judges" reviewing each submission, and looking at things like creativity, brand relevance, overall quality, and humor to select a single entrant.
Once an entrant has been selected, they must submit to a background check and agree to a "contract" laying out various rules (which are unknown to the general public) they will need to stick to during the following 365 days.
Of course, Vitaminwater and its sponsors understand that some form of cell phone is effectively a must-have for the average individual to function in the modern world. Emergencies happen, and the last thing you want to do is allow yourself or a loved one to get hurt merely because of a contest.
As such, the company will be providing the sole contestant with a free 1996-era cell phone and an accompanying phone plan for them to use at will. Furthermore, all tablets and smartphones are off-limits, though it sounds like laptops and desktops are perfectly fine.