Our Top 5 Contests From the Past 25 Years

top 5 promotional contests

As part of our celebration of 25 years working with the world’s top brands to help bring exciting purpose-driven promotions to consumers around the globe, we’re taking a look back at a few of our most memorable promotions from our history. This time, we’re looking back on our top 5 contests through the years. The criteria for the following promotions in our “Top Five” list below range from promotion size, success, and uniqueness to new technologies, company ‘firsts’, and more.

Publix NCAA Half Court Shot (2002)

Program Overview:
Participants could enter into a grand prize sweepstakes drawing by mail for a chance to be selected as one of eight finalists (two from each region: SC, GA, AL, FL) that got to compete in the half court shot contest. Each finalist won an all expenses paid trip for two to the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta. which included round-trip coach air transportation, double-occupancy hotel accommodations for two, ground transportation between the destination airport and hotel, as well as between the hotel and event, breakfast daily, gift bags, and dinner for two.

During the Finalists’ trip, each of the eight finalists had the chance to choose either one shot for $100,000 from the half-court line or one shot for $25,000 from the 3-point line. The Grand Prize was only awarded if a Finalist made the basket with only one attempt.

Why we picked it:

Leading the list of our top 5 contests, finalists were treated to a VIP experience at College Hoops premier event, the NCAA Final Four.  But to top it off they actually got to go on court during half to show off their shooting skills and win a cash prize.  Exclusive one-of-a-kind experiential events are always the ultimate prize in any kind of promotion.

Frito-Lay Ruffles Would You Name Your Baby Horton? (2003)

Program Overview:

Would you name your baby “Horton”? Back in 2003, the Ruffles brand asked their fans to name their newborn “Horton”, after their previously retired mascot Baby Horton, for a chance to win a $50,000 college tuition fund. This program aimed to revive the Ruffles brand, and Frito-Lay brought back the classic “R-R-Ruffles Have R-R-Ridges” tagline and the beloved cartoon Baby Horton mascot (previously retired since the 1980’s and 1990’s respectively). The “Would You Name Your Baby Horton?” contest brought excitement, attention, and relevance to the Ruffles mascot. One lucky family was awarded a $50,000 college tuition fund for their newborn baby, Horton.

Why we picked it:

How could you forget a promotion like this? This makes the top 5 prmototional contests list becuse the campaign was so unique, not only did we work on concept, compliance, and fulfillment, but we also handled winner verification which included the birth certification of the newborn baby Horton!

Dodge Magnum “Bury Your Car” Contest (2004)

Program Overview:

Are you willing to bury your car in your front yard? That’s the question Dodge posed in a high profile effort to launch the all-new 2005 Dodge Magnum. Entrants were asked to apply online in one week and tell us why they would bury their current vehicle – in their front yard!

In Los Angeles County and Philadelphia County, Dodge fans had an opportunity to bury their car in their front yard in exchange for a brand new 2005 Dodge Magnum RT. Entrants submitted an essay on why they believed they should win, in addition to answering questions such as size of residence, location of utilities, and other property logistics. A winner from each county was chosen to bury their car in exchange for a new Dodge!

Why we picked it:
This promotion was extremely memorable and very fun to put together. It’s not everyday you see winners burying their cars in their yards. It was amazing to see the depths people went to in order to win a new Dodge Magnum!

Evan Williams American Heroes Contest (2016-2018)

Program Overview:
Saluting our men and women in uniform, Evan Williams was looking to share the inspirational stories of six American-Made Heroes. Fans could nominate a hero, or Military personnel could nominate themselves, by completing the online form, uploading a photo, and telling their story. 50 nominees received a gift of appreciation and six of those were featured with their story on an Evan Williams American-Made Hero Edition bottle.

Why we picked it:
We chose this promotion because it was a powerful promotion that resonated with a lot of americans. In addition, the Evan Williams American-Made Hero Edition bottles continue to be made to this day, each year with six different veteran heroes featured!

Intel The World Is Watching Contest (2017)

Program Overview:
Intel was looking for a global promotion to highlight their chip processors. MRi, with our IDEA process, was able to bring this global contest to market! For this contest, Intel wanted to target the gaming community. They partnered with video game streamers from around the world to help promote this contest. Participants were encouraged to upload highlight reel footage of their gaming experiences and complete an application for the chance to be featured in future public relations and marketing campaigns for Intel.

With this unique prize and niche audience, Intel wanted to use this promotion as a means to spread the word and promote their chip processor. With the help of influencers’ encouragement, gamers from across the globe sent in their highlight reels for a chance to be featured.

Why we picked it:
This program rounds out our top 5 contests list because it was memorable for us because even though it was a Global competition spanning across multiple different countries, the addition of video game influencers added an extra layer of interest for the program and boosted the contest’s success. We had a very short lead time to put this promotion together and bring it to market. The MRi team worked together to make it happen!


Thank you to ALL our past and present clients for helping us achieve 25 wonderful years! It all starts with a big IDEA, and we look forward to continuing to develop even more memorable promotions. In the meantime, take a deeper look at some of our most recent promotions on our case stories page.

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Systems and Network Administrator

About Us

Marketing Resources, Inc. is a leading promotional marketing agency that specializes in purpose-driven promotions. With over 25 years in the business, MRi helps brands Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze promotions and marketing projects that consumers love. We’re a team full of committed, passionate, solutions-driven, hands-on, and innovative individuals who collaborate to bring success to our client’s programs.


The System and Network Administrator plays a critical role on the MRi Digital team, and overall in the success of our company. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and technical support of complex Linux servers, Virtual Infrastructure and Systems Management, and maintenance and support of end-user systems. You’ll be working closely with our teams on client projects and making sure our internal systems are updated and secure. 

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

In this role, we’re looking for that person who does not accept average.

You will help us create the best digital, promotions, products, and campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. MRi takes pride in our ability to constantly push the boundaries of development in the digital promotions space, and you will take an active role in working closely with our client services, business development, creative, and project management team to guide, develop, and deliver exceptional work for our clients and partners.

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Design, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, monitor, and tune performance of Linux-based servers and infrastructure, both internal and client-related promotions.
  • Provide support for problems and issues that come up from our clients, vendors, and internal teams.
  • Examine and audit various server logs and determine if any corrective action is required.
  • Review releases of new operating systems and evaluate the implementation in the enterprise.
  • Install, configure, and maintain server firewall and other security software.
  • Identify and provide technical resolution for potential security breaches, then establish and monitor security and apply appropriate fixes.
  • Implement and maintain technical solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity of enterprise and client systems.
  • Select the ideal server hardware for the company’s needs and administer physical server hardware, including repair and replacement of parts as necessary.
  • Monitor and maintain proper end-user system security by ensuring operating systems and software are up-to-date and applying patches as necessary.
  • Maintenance and support of all end-user service accounts including Office365, Google Workspace, hosted VoIP accounts.

The Essentials

  • 1-2 years of experience in Linux server administration in a small to midsize environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or minimum 4 years of related work experience.
  • Able to effectively plan, deploy and administer Linux servers in an enterprise environment.
  • Strong familiarity with Linux OS, Windows, macOS, application, and hardware troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with VMware ESXi and XenServer/XCP-NG, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, and Docker.
  • Networking and Storage – Familiarity with pfSense (*BSD pf) firewalls, Ubiquiti network gear, Synology NAS equipment, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP file protocols.  TCP/IP, UDP, and VLAN. configurations to manage networking and storage.  
  • Ability to compose thorough and clear documentation on routine tasks, standard operating procedures, and other documents beneficial to team members.

You’ll stand out if you have experience with

  • Debian-based Linux or Ubuntu operating systems, roles, services, concepts, security, permissions, middleware, and facilities required. (e.g. SMTP, NFS, SMB, iptables, LVM, LUKS).
  • Amazon AWS S3, EC2, and ElasticBeanstalk required.
  • Samba4 as an Active Directory Domain Controller, Administering Active Directory through. the use of GPOs and OUs.
  • Supporting Windows and macOS systems.
  • Scripting concepts and methods with competence in at least one relevant language (e.g. Bash, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • Internet clients/servers/protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, MTAs (e.g. Postfix).
  • An ability to explain complex technical processes in a more simplified version to team members, clients, and partners.
  • Experience with IT project management practices and techniques.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

The Perks

  • Medical insurance options
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(K) plan with company match
  • Flexible remote work policy
  • Paid sick days
  • Generous vacation and paid holidays

Interested in applying?

Send Resumes to resumes@marketingresources.com