Posted February 13, 2008 12:45 pm by with 21 comments

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on FacebookBuffer this page

Google is good to get the kids while they’re young (and it’s working – at least if your dad is an SEO – just see this post that made the homepage of Digg).

Google has a new contest for kids called “Doodle 4 Google.” As you know, I’m a fan of contests from Google and contests from Marketing Pilgrim.

Kids, ask yourself this question, “what if?” and then draw a Google logo to illustrate your thoughts.

Here are some ideas:

what if…I was bionic
what if…
all the glaciers melted and we had to relocate the penguins (got to get global warming in somehow)
what if…
I won this contest and my mom got to go to Google headquarters with me

First, the school has to register by March 28th, then the doodles are due by April 12th. Children from kindergarten to 12th grade can enter. A panel of judges will select 40 finalists, and then the final decision will be put to a vote.

Whoever wins gets their version of the Google logo on for one day – May 22nd, 2008. The Doodle 4 Google competition is in the U.S. for kids between the ages of 5 and 18. It’s broken down by grade level and regions.

An awards ceremony for the 40 Regional Winners will be held at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California on May 21, 2008. Then there will be four National Finalists chosen by the U.S. public (1 per grade group). From those there will be one named the overall winner.

Google’s official doodler Dennis Hwang will choose the national winner and they’ll will win a $10,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of their choice. Also, a trip to the Googleplex, a laptop computer, and a t-shirt printed with their doodle.

The school also wins a $25,000 grant to establish or improve a computer lab.

Here are the other prizes:

  • Each of the other 3 National Finalists will win a trip to the Googleplex, a laptop computer, and a t-shirt printed with their doodle.
  • Each of the other 36 Regional Winners will win a trip to the Googleplex and t-shirt printed with their doodle.
  • Each of the other 360 State Finalists will receive a “Doodle 4 Google” certificate.
  • What I love about the kids at the lower end of the age scale is that they don’t have to worry about what they are doing, they just get on without any fear or preconceptions.

    We recently went through a logo redesign and paid £15,000 to consultants. Getting kids to do it would have produced a better and more cost effective outcome !

    And if anyone ever says “you can’t draw”, just ignore them or poke them in the eye. You can, so you will!

  • This is a great way to get your brand well know with kids. In addition, it helps kids get creative and gives them a short term goal that’s fun.

    It’s also a great way to take some stress off their artists and creative departments.

  • Dean

    Not to be cynical (ok…to be absolutely cynical), as a parent of a boy scout who participates in Pinewood Derby Car competitions, Google should expect a bunch of entries from 40 year old graphic designers who “ghostdoodle” their 6 year old’s entry.

    In the end I suppose it doesn’t matter and Google doesn’t care (they are engaging a new audience with their brand – brilliant!), but don’t be surprised when you ask yourself “A 6 year old did this??????? C’moooooooon”

    Could someone please pass me the half-full glasses? 🙂

  • I will have to agree with Jayson and also add that this is a wonderful way to allow children to feel more connected to the internet and the power behind its potentials. Kudos for sure.

  • Zen

    That’s so cool I wish I were 4 again! 😛

  • Man I love the ideas that come out of the Googleplex. Its a brilliant idea. Will provide more benefit than is immediately apparent.

  • This is a great idea. Anything that gets kids more involved is worthwhile, but can you imagine the kid that gets to proudly walk around his or her kindergarten class next year as the Google logo designer.

  • melissa kosnac

    Does your school have to register or can i just send my doodle in by myself????

  • Awesome way to introduce the younger generation to google. Genious.

  • Ariana

    Totally sounds like fun, as long as nobody cheats, or does like Dean says. I am entering. This is going to be GREAT.
    I wonder what pic will win? Most likely some spoiled kid who submitted, like, a bazillion entries under different names. Oh well. Worth a shot!

  • Kiekorikokoro

    I agree with Ariana. Sooooo fun! I hope the logo has something cute in it, like Kero-chan! (referring to Card Captor Sakura)! Or maybe even something like Masha, or Ucha(referring to Tokyo Mew Mew) floating next to the word”GOOGLE”
    AAAAAAAH! Sooooo many good ideas!! Mine! Will NOT share!!

  • Kiekorikokoro

    I agree with Ariana. Sooooo fun! I hope the logo has something cute in it, like Kero-chan! (referring to Card Captor Sakura)! Or maybe even something like Masha, or Ucha(referring to Tokyo Mew Mew) floating next to the word”GOOGLE”
    AAAAAAAH! So many good ideas!! Mine! Will NOT share!!

  • Kiekorikokoro

    oooooooops…..posted twice!

  • Dian

    This is a great way to get ppl involved.Creative.

  • Amy

    What a wonderful idea! Who came up with it? Please tell me, so I can KILL THE PERSON. IT IS RETARDED AND WILL BREAK THE LITTLE KIDS’ HEARTS WHEN THEY FIND OUT THEY DON’T WIN, AFTER THEY SET THEIR HEART ON IT, AND THEY THOUGHT THEIR PICTURE WAS THE BEST IN THE WORLD. You see, that’s the problem with contests. The people who don’t win……are sooooooo disapointed. Got it?

  • Kaity

    I am SO doing this contest! I really need money for college and my school’s computers look like they were found in a dumpster! And Amy, I understand what you are saying, but contests like these are something people want and maybe even look for. I know that I am thankful that the people at Google are giving kids like me this wonderful oppertunity. Sure we’ll be disapointed if we don’t win, but it won’t be the end of the world. You know what I mean?

  • Matthew

    I am in thus contest at my school and I want to know what kind of laptop do we win I hope it is a macbook pro I thought it might since google is so tight with apple and I am writing this on it iPod touch so you can tell I love apple

  • a Gurl

    Hey this is a good idea but I hate it when competitions are so broad, I think it would be easier if they only opened it up to one grade level… that would have made it easier on themselves too! I think they will be surprised the number of entries they get and you could probably guess that they won’t look too hard before excluding some pretty good ones from the contest.

  • a Gurl

    I’m doing the contest also, and I appreciate that Google is supporting it, but like I said… even though I would love to win, because I definitely need that scholarship and would love a laptop and having my design on the website, I don’t want to think of all the kids that will be entering or that will be crushed when they don’t win. I’ll be looking forward to May 22! I really want to see the outcome of it all

  • Here’s another great online contest for kids to enter:

    Tiger Woods Fist Pump Challenge

    Tiger Woods has launched an online contest designed to help young people identify and share their greatest achievements. As part of the Challenge, Tiger is asking young people everywhere to share their very own Fist Pump Moments with the world via To share their Fist Pump Moment, children are asked, with their parents’ permission, to visit, and submit a video including their name, age, Fist Pump Moment, significance of that experience, and end with a fist pump. Those without video access can post an essay style entry. Video and written entries will be voted on by website visitors with prizes going to the highest ranked submissions. Prizes include iPods, Tiger Woods ’08 EA Video Games, and gift cards.

  • That is great to get the kids involved. But you know the parents will be scribbling like crazy!