Competitions using consumer generated content and votes are catchingon. Eurostar has entered the fray with a campaign to find the poorest excuse for wanting to travel.
The What's Your Lamest Excuse? campaign runs for the next three months and is all about getting customers to upload a video outlining their most ridiculous reason for wanting to take a journey on Eurostar.
Branding - tick. User generated content - tick. Social element?
Videos are then voted on by other visitors to the site and they are then encouraged to share in the usual places.
Eurostar will announce a winner every two weeks (the one with the most votes - once again, an ideal situation for the entrees to persuade people in their social networks to visit the site and vote).
The shortlisted entries will then get a chance to win 12 pairs of return tickets on the rail operator by making a film of the trip taken when they won their particular round.
The video upload system automatically populates a YouTube channel, although after two weeks the most popular clip has only 1,110 views.
The winner of the first round:
Of course, many will chuckle at the irony of a Eurostar social media campaign around lame excuses given its experience in December 2009.