Your Song is Worth 228.31 Larabars to General Mills (who nets $10.6 Billion)

The entire world knows that music might as well be free in 2015. We’ve watched as record labels continue to close their doors, record sales plummet and musicians fail to make a fair living without a part time job. Now LÄRABAR has launched a contest proving just how little your music is worth.

We’d like to call it the “Write a Song for 228.31 LÄRABARs” contest. (279.33 LÄRABARs if you’re buying in bulk. But who’s counting?)

The contest seems harmless enough. Write a song for a chance to win $500 and the chance to perform at a Gregory Alan Isakov concert.

Now let’s get into the fine print.

1) The Ratios of Your $500 Song

LÄRABAR was acquired by a division of General Mills called Small Planet Foods in June 2008. According to the General Mills 2014 Annual Report their US net sales were $10.6 billion dollars. Small Planet Foods represents 3% of that total ($318 million). Are you following? So the actual cash prize for this contest is .00015% of Small Planet Foods division’s total sales. Oh and if you read the fine print you’ll find out that the winner is responsible for paying all the taxes for the contest prizes. Leaving you with less than that. Remember, your song is worth 228.31 LÄRABARs anyway.

2) Read the Fine Print

Here are the contest rules on the website:

Submit a video audition of an original song for a chance to win $500, and one of two opportunities to perform during an upcoming Gregory Alan Isakov show.

And here is the link to the Official Rules.

3) Who’s Really Running this Contest?

General Mills is the contest sponsor but Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment Co. is the administrator. With a client roster including Oreo, Kraft, Hefty and Campbell’s we can only assume they are being paid more than $500 to execute this contest.

4) The Actual Process and Requirements for LÄRABAR’s “Creative Friends” to Follow

  • Step 1: Write an original song (but don’t collaborate with any other musicians or co-writers or else you’ll be disqualified)
  • Step 2: Now attempt a solo remix as a singer-songwriter and not a producer of the beautiful original song you wrote (This way you’ll make the LÄRABAR marketers happy so they can talk about how they like to mix it up with their new Renola™ bar while they tout your remix. They’re also pretty vague about what a remix is so we’re just going to add a few duck calls to see if that flies.)
  • Step 3:  Record a video of the remix of your original song (be sure you don’t include anyone who has any type of talent, modeling or management contract because General Mills doesn’t want to pay to use your video. It may prohibit you  “from participating fully in this Contest, or from allowing Sponsor to use royalty-free, the Entry worldwide in all media in perpetuity.” Aka, they REALLY don’t want to incur ANY costs from talent appearing in your video.)
  • Step 4: Upload Your Video to YouTube (where all your friends will be forced to see it and  LÄRABAR can get free advertising from your promotion on your social channels)
  • Step 5: Submit Your Song (But make sure you got it right because you can only enter once and if you try to write and enter another great song you’ll be disqualified. Oh and by the way all entries become the sole property of General Mills and won’t be returned. Also, you agree that you will not use the Entry for any other purpose without the express consent of Sponsor in each instance. One more thing, if the Contest Site fails for any reason any Entry received during that time will be deemed a defective Entry.)

5) Who Will Judge You?

All eligible Entries received by Sponsor will be judged by a panel of judges (“Judges”) based on the following criteria:
• Song delivery and musical merit (25%)
• Composition of melody and harmony (25%)
• Composition and setting of lyrics to music (25%)
• Video creativity (25%)”
No one knows who these mystery judges are but since the contest is being administered by a third party we bet LÄRABAR never even hears your songs until they have been picked by a nameless judge at Arrowhead.
Also, is this a songwriting contest or a video contest? All of a sudden the video is worth 25% of our score? There don’t seem to be any rules around who shoots or edits your video so we suggest looking up Wes Anderson to see if he’s free.

6) Now Make Sure You Have Friends (or a Large Extended Family)

Every struggling musician has been in the voting wars as they coerce and entice their friends, family and forgotten high school acquaintances to vote and vote AND VOTE for their song. February 2 – 6, LÄRABAR will subject the finalists to a voting period. Because everyone knows that the number of times you can convince your friends to click on a button puts a value on your song. Once again, LÄRABAR is freely benefiting from you sharing this with your friends and family on all social channels. Look at their clever remix contest for their clever remixed granola bar.

 7) Once You Win You’ll be Famous (For As Long as You Can Play Two Songs)

Great, now you’ve won! You better be available to fly to either San Francisco or Denver where you will be first of three bands. Don’t assume you’re going to have a 30 minute opening slot like a normal concert line-up though. You’ll be able to play no more than two songs which  “must be reviewed and approved by both Sponsor and Gregory Alan Isakov prior to performance.” Oh and one of those songs has to be the original song you wrote for the contest, so just pick your one other best song to play at the show.

8) What Were We Saying?

At this point we’ve forgotten the point of it. After all, if Gregory Alan Isakov doesn’t even care enough to tweet about it then why should we?




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