Quirky Contest

Everybody has one: That beloved, threadbare T-shirt, its design faded and cracked with age, a tear in the back so big you can fit your whole hand through. You can’t really wear it out anymore, but you also can’t bear to part with it.

Ambro Manufacturing (asi/35201) spun that worn cotton into marketing gold, holding a “Ratty Old T-shirt Contest” to help grow the audience of its nascent Facebook page.

Customers posted pictures of themselves wearing their favorite, frayed garment, to show off “the dregs of the dregs,” says Darren Amato, vice president of sales at the Flemington, NJ, shop. The prize? Ambro replicated the old T-shirt, plus a dozen more, for the winner.

Though only a few people entered the contest, the real reward for Ambro was the excitement it generated. The contest brought the shop 263 organic likes on its Facebook page. That number may not sound like a lot, but Amato notes they were “high-quality likes” that generated three real sales leads. “Some 13-year-old girls have more likes than my website will ever have, but it won’t generate them one dollar of revenue,” he says. “For what I paid for 13 T-shirts, to generate three leads, was worth it.”

Ambro plans to offer new contests monthly, in the hopes that each will bring 200 more fans to its Facebook page.