Every member of the AutoSlash team has a favorite road trip. Our team even has trouble deciding which road trip is our favorite, as there are ample examples to choose among. However, we might be thinking about the topic pretty hard over the next few weeks, as Budget has just announced a #RoadTripsForeverContest promotion on Instagram and Twitter. There are 15 prizes available in the promotion, including five grand prizes of a 5-day Budget rental plus a $500 Visa gift card.
The promotion is needlessly complicated -- there are five entry periods, which means five sets of judging, five sets of public voting, and five sets of winner announcements. The Cliff Notes version? Adults eligible to enter contests in the 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) can enter twice per day during each entry period (once on Instagram, once on Twitter) using the #RoadTripsForeverContest hashtag. Every entry must be unique. Judges select three entries from each of the five periods and open up a public vote to decide the winner of that period's grand prize (5-day Budget rental plus a $500 Visa gift card) and the two semifinalist prizes (3-day Budget rental plus a $100 Visa gift card).
The rules of the promotion include traditional restrictions and requirements. Grand prize winners (and the IRS) will receive a Form 1099, as the $500 plus five-day rental is worth more than $600. And the Budget award certificates come with restrictions -- one could load up the family for a road trip in a full-size car or standard SUV but minivans are off-limits. That's a cramped road trip if a family exceeds 4-5 individuals!
*Budget Car Rental Reward Day Certificate Terms and Conditions: Each certificate applies to one (1) day free of the daily time and mileage charges on a subcompact (group A) through a premium (group G excluding Group F) car and including standard SUV (group W) car class. Taxes, concession recovery fee, vehicle license recovery fee, customer facility charges may apply and are extra. Optional items such as LDW ($29.99/day or less) and refueling are extra. Certificate must be surrendered at time of rental and cannot be used for one-way rentals. Certificate valid at participating Budget locations in the U.S. (excluding the New York Metro area) and Canada.
Our least favorite part of these contests that require media to enter? The simple act of entering the contest (using the hashtag) gives Avis Budget Group the ability to use the photo in any form, forever, whether the submission is declared a winner or not:
By submitting an Entry, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and grant Sponsor a non-exclusive, fully paid-up and royalty-free, worldwide license to use, modify, delete from, add to, publicly perform, publicly display, reproduce and translate your Entry, including without limitation the right to distribute all or part of your Entry in any media formats through any media channels. By submitting an Entry, you consent to the use, by Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, and licensees, of your name, likeness, and image, in connection with the Promotion and Sponsor’s related marketing activities, in any media or format now known or hereafter invented, in any and all locations, without any payment to or further approval from you. You agree that this consent is perpetual and cannot be revoked.
In effect, this contest -- total prize pool estimated at *$6,085* -- is a way to drive customer engagement and cheaper than Avis Budget springing for photographers and stock images! If we choose to enter, we'll use the "good but not quite ShutterStock quality" images from our trips. Yet we know many travelers would love the ability to win a free rental and gift card; does one of your photos tell a thousand words and have the ability to put $735 in your pocket? Three people will find the answer to be "yes".