See How Chubbies Got One Million Views on a "Dad Bod" UGC Contest [Case Study]

Chubbies, the men's clothing brand, hosted a user-generated content contest using ShortStack to find diverse models for their brand.

By Dana Kilroy ・2 min read
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Customer Data & Engagement
Customer Stories

Chubbies, the men’s clothing brand that makes stretchy quad-displaying shorts and is known for its cheeky tag lines (“Sky’s out, thighs out!”), recently set out to take more ownership of its marketing channels -- namely social and email -- by hosting a user-generated content (UGC) contest. Chubbies’ used ShortStack to run its “2018 Chubbies Man Model Search.” Chubbies committed to finding “real” guys and making them the faces of the brand. “Real guys come in dad bods, lanky bods, faux-hawks and grizzly beards,” says Devon Chulik, a product manager at San-Francisco-based Chubbies. “Not every guy is chiseled, and we want to celebrate all kinds of men,” he says. “So we set out to find a diverse group of models, in terms of body type, race, and sexual identity.”

How Chubbies Got One Million Views

Chubbies Man Model Search contest

The Strategy

Chubbies launched their man-model search in April 2018, running it for three weeks. They asked applicants to submit a photo of themselves and a caption with their hometown, a nickname, and a catchphrase that amounted to a sentence describing why they should win. Participants also had to fill out a form that asked questions like “What’s your innermost desire,” and “What’s the most glorious thing you’ve done?” and asked people to share information like…the “Name of your last mixtape,” and “Larry thinks swim trunks should go below his knees. Change Larry’s mind,” which is all in keeping with the brand’s humorous tone.

How Chubbies Got One Million Views

Chubbies Man Model Search formAs Chubbies had hoped, men from all walks of life submitted photos. Of course the internet being the internet, there were a handful of inappropriate photos, but most people played by the rules. “On the entry form we said, ‘No nudity or explicit images. Keep it clean fellas,’ and for the most part, people were cool,” says Chulik.

The Results

During the three weeks the contest was live, Chubbies had 1.1 million contest views and 334,000+votes. Chubbies collected more than 6600 entries which the in-house team narrowed down to 20 finalists. From there, Chubbies allowed the public to vote on their favorites, ultimately choosing 11 winners. Chubbies has a vibrant social media audience on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and they also used their email newsletter and website to promote the campaign. Chubbies hosted the contest on a micro-site on their website and in order to cast a vote, people had to visit the landing page, follow the brand on Instagram and provide an email address. Chubbies added 37,000+ new emails to their list. “One reason we had so many entries was the low barrier to entry,” says Chulik. Winners got a two-year paid modeling contract and free Chubbies gear for life, plus an all-expenses paid trip to an undisclosed location for a photo/video shoot.

How Chubbies Got One Million Views

Chubbies Man Model Search winners

Why ShortStack

“We looked at several platforms and ShortStack was able to give us what we needed,” says Chulik. For starters, Chubbies wanted to gate voting so people had to provide an email address before they could vote. Then, once people entered they were prompted to share their entry with friends so they could collect votes, utilizing one of ShortStack’s sharing features. Chubbies wanted to make sure there was no cheating, so they implemented ShortStack’s Voting Restrictions feature which prevented people from voting more than once a day.  Chubbies also enabled one of ShortStack’s email automation features, sending everyone who voted an email confirmation and directing them to the company’s website where they could vote. Check out the contest winners. And if you want to run a kick-ass competition like Chubbies', don't hesitate to get in touch. We can help you customize one of our existing templates, or build one for you.

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About the author

By Dana Kilroy ・2 min read

Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.

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