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Thoughts on TCBY's Franchise Giveaway

One of the most memorable ad campaigns I can remember was released when I was teenager. Guinness, the famous Irish stout maker, were trying to win the hearts of Irish-American drinkers by offering an honest-to-goodness Irish pub to the person who could most eloquently write about what made an Irish pub so magical.

I was talented at writing, but not experienced enough in Irish pubs and so I never entered and my brief chance of becoming a publican passed.

The frozen yogurt franchise TCBY have something similar in mind with their latest contest. That's right, they'e giving away a franchise. Entrants are asked to produce a Youtube video of no more than 2 minutes explaining why they deserve to own their TCBY store. Semi-finalists will be chosen in April and a winner will be announced in May.

Now, I’m in two minds about this. When I first learned of the franchise giveaway, I was excited. It’s a bold marketing maneuver, certain to go viral. It will also get many people thinking why they might want to own a TCBY franchise, examining their positives and negatives, and possibly deciding that they want to own the franchise regardless of the contest.

But lately, I’ve been wondering what hard-working TCBY franchisees think. Clearly, a subtle idea to take from this contest is that anyone can own a TCBY franchise. Perhaps that is true to an extent, but TCBY franchisees that have succeeded have done so by starting from scratch and cutting their teeth in an incredibly competitive business environment. Though I’m also sure the winners of this contest will be able entrepreneurs with a built-in business acumen.

Either way, it’s quite a provocative competition and it’s certain to get people talking. If you’d like to enter, there’s more info on the TCBY website. Feel free to share your thoughts on the contest below.

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