Using a Viral Contest to create Buzz in the Developer Community

StreamBase Systems is running a slick viral marketing campaign to get developers, programmers and business users to test drive its complex event processing software. The Quest for the Da Vinci Coder” is a peer-to-peer competition to build the most creative, complete and real-world StreamBase applications On the line are a $10,000 USD Grand Tournament prize and the title of “The Da Vinci Coder.”

StreamBase began building buzz for the contest in early July. Playing off the early summer “The Da Vinci Code” movie buzz, StreamBase rolled out a three-minute video parody of the film that offers a truly funny portrayal of the challenges facing skilled software programmers, who typically write custom-code to address rapidly changing business demands.

To get people further involved, the company staged seven weekly jousts, which pitted participants in a series of mystery challenges using the StreamBase Developer Edition. Winners bagged righteous swag including an iPod ultimate collection bundle, $1,000 REI gift certificates and a Bose Home Theatre System.

Grand Tournament competition will close Sept. 18, and five finalists will be selected by a panel of judges. Sustaining the viral buzz, Da Vinci Coder registrants will then have an opportunity to rate the finalist submissions online in a “Stream Idol” voting process starting September 25. “The Da Vinci Coder” will be publicly crowned at the site on Oct. 2.

The winner can cash in the $10,000 prize with a whirlwind tour of London and Paris, an amazing zero-gravity experience, a “take the money & run” option, or generously donating the full prize dollar amount to a charity of choice.

How is the Buzz working? StreamBase says that in less than 60 days it received more than 500,000 web hits, and over 25,000 downloads of the Da Vinci Coder parody video and it’s StreamBase Developer Edition – not bad for a few months of Buzz!

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