A SDCC contest for clever people

16 MAY 2015

Well, this is corporate. Cybersecurity company ESET is offering writers - or just quippy people - the chance to go to San Diego Comic-Con.

To enter, you need to create a caption for the ESET Android as he battles cyber threats. My question: what about contestants who create the same caption? Because as a former copywriter, I can assure you that will happen. I'm guessing one will be randomly selected, but that would mean people who think they have a winning caption can make their friends submit it as well to triple or quadruple their chances. Anyway.

ESET is Nerdist's "official cybersecurity partner" and so the winner gets, in addition to the airfare/hotel/badge, VIP access to the Nerdist party and an interview on the Nerdist News. They'll also get brought on stage for an additional prize.

Now, onto the part that applies to everyone. ESET is going to be at Petco Park on 10 July with "one of the largest activations in downtown San Diego." What will that entail? Well, we know Nerdist is bringing back their laser tag, but they promise to have "a veritable ton of activities" as well. So who knows.

I initially cringed when I read about this contest - not because I don't want 2 more people at SDCC, but because I dislike the creeping corporatization of the Con. It seems like only yesterday attendees were griping about Hollywood taking over, and then it was March of the Brands and now we have companies that have nothing to do with pop culture.

This time, I'm not so displeased because I have a personal interest in seeing the cybersecurity space go B2C instead of just B2B -  i.e., I want to see security become a consumer-based, individually marketed product instead of just something peddled to businesses. But overall, this is definitely a sign that corporate America is moving in. Maybe next year corporations can cut a deal with downtown hotels to make more rooms available at discount rates in return for forcing attendees to watch their ads on the hotel TV. Anything is possible in the marketing mecca that SDCC has become.

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