Contests (competitions that require some skill) and sweepstakes (which are chance-based) can generate customer interest in your business, but you have to watch the way you run them. Government regulators at the state and municipal levels monitor contests and sweepstakes avidly, since they're based on a blatant appeal to the latent greed in all of us.
At the national level, advertisers undertake such events because they get attention from both consumers and the media. Make the prize big, glamorous or intriguing enough, and you'll draw attention.
Excerpted from Knock-Out Marketing: Powerful Strategies to Punch Up Your Sales