Apple’s ‘Shot on iPhone’ Contest Has No Prizes

William Gallagher, writing at AppleInsider:

There’s one reason why Apple is calling its new Shot on iPhone Challenge a contest, and that’s because it has no intention of actually buying any of the photographs it uses. Your best iPhone photography could end up at the heart of a nationwide billboard campaign that will cost Apple millions to deliver from concept to physical execution, and you will get nothing for it.

Apple, the company about to post $84 billion earnings in a quarter, will get yet more sales. Apple’s ad team will be paid, Apple’s website developers will get their salary, and even the billboard company will get money.

I thought about this too when Apple announced the contest today. But I don’t think this is like spec work. Presumably everyone entering is using photographs they would have shot anyway, and the contest rules make very clear there are no prizes. No professional photographer is losing work from this.

Gallagher again:

And to rub your face in how you’re being exploited here, in previous campaigns that credit has been your first name and the initial of your surname. So if you win this contest — or if you even enter it at all — you are giving the richest company in the world free use of your work.

Apple’s “first name, last initial” crediting for “Shot on iPhone” ads has always bothered me. People deserve credit for their work, and a full name at least gives those who admire a winning photo the chance to search for them online to find more of their work. I noticed though, that in Apple’s Newsroom announcement of the contest, the three example photos are all credited by full name. Incredible photos too — the bar is going to be very high to win this contest. Also interesting: the three photos were shot on iPhone 7, 6S, and 6 — a four-year-old iPhone.

If you’re happy with no reward other than exposure for your photograph and credit, by all means, enter the contest. But if credit is all you get, it should be credit by full name (and a link to your original post on Instagram, Twitter, or Weibo).

Update: Shawn King:

@gruber BTW, I heard from a “friend” at Apple who said, “Another reason why this isn’t a contest with prizes? Legal. There are a whole other set of rules if Apple offers prizes and those rules differ from country to country. This way, Apple doesn’t have to worry about it.” Makes sense.

That does make sense, especially since the contest is worldwide, including China.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019