A Guide to the Caption Contest!
Stop - hold on! Caption Contest is back! This is not a drill... I repeat… Caption Contest IS back!
Yes, you’ve heard it right here. It is back and better than before. I’m sure you wonder how exactly but first let me give you a recap of what the contest involves and how this guide will help you in future rounds of this exciting comeback.
In the past, I was always unable to take part in the contest. Either I didn’t know when the next competition would start, when the votes began, or even think of a good enough caption for when I did know. There was always something stopping me from being successful in this old but never forgotten game of wit.
Let me tell you first hand that I now know how to get into the Caption Contest and best of all, how to get a trophy, rare item and avatar out of it. Carry on reading if you would like to be in on this secret.
Luck plays a very small part in it. Yes, the team receive a lot of captions from us and yes, they can only choose a select few, but there’s more to the game than luck!
The recipe of being eligible to partake in the contest involves a pinch of luck, a handful of wit and the motivation to succeed.
I don’t want to blow my own trumpet but I find myself a rather funny person – others, however, may not agree. It can be a little dry, it can be a little sarcastic, but that’s a little me. You don’t have to be dry, sarcastic, or me… you just need to be you.
Write whatever comes into your head first. Really, the first thing… I dare you! That’s what I did and that’s the entry TNT chose to be in the competition. Crazy, huh?
What is the Caption Contest?
The caption contest is a contest ran by Neopets where a picture is presented to you. It can involve anything and anyone from Neopia from Hannah to Kavi the Orange Kiko from Tubular Kiko Racing! All you have to do is look at the picture and form a caption that could be associated with it. That can involve what the characters are saying about the scene, the narrator’s point of view, how you feel… the possibilities are endless!
In my case, the pictures involved a Orange Kiko (Kavi) on a float in the swimming pool with an Elephante jumping into it. In the background, there was also a Bruce with sunglasses lying on a deckchair and another Elephante which looked like she was singing.
My first thought after seeing the picture was “Geronimo!” - it’s a common thing to say when you’re jumping into something. I put a spin on this phrase by letting the Elephante that is jumping into the pool say “Geronimo” but the Kiko interrupts out of fear and screams “Noooo”! This sounds like the Kiko is finishing the Elephante’s sentence. Funny, right? … You had to be there ;)
How long does a round last?
One month! The first week (from the 1st of every month) is dedicated to users submitting their captions for the contest. After that, the team pick their favourite captions to feature in the competition. The remainder of the month can then be used to gain votes. The winners of the round are then announced at the end of the month.
How does the voting system work?
You can vote for one entry every 4 hours. You don’t have to vote for the same entry again but it could sure help them in the long run! Don’t forget that you can also vote for yourself – don’t let your votes go to waste!
I’m not a big fan of looking at other people’s past entries as this alters my view of the current entry. It makes me write like them and that’s not very me. These are some tips that I hope you will find useful for your caption making days. The second one will be contradicting to what I have just said:
- Do not look at other people’s entries. Write the first thing that comes into your mind. Send it. Do this until your entries don’t sound as funny as they ought to be. Do not send the same caption twice – they hate that.
- Do look at other people’s entries. Draw inspiration from past entrants – maybe there’s a certain type of humour the team like in particular? Are all the entries short, long, the perfect length? Don’t copy their entries but let it allow you to think outside of the box.
- Can you relate it to a Neopian day, character, land or event? Do it!
- What do you think the characters would say in the situation they are in? What would you, in particular, say?
- Be different. If inanimate objects could talk, what would they say?
- Don’t involve dark humour or anything violent or offensive. You can be funny without it.
- Make sure your caption revolves around the picture provided. It needs to make sense.
- Try to avoid chat speak. Nobody understands it anymore and it’s not how you’d vocally speak to someone anyway. Stick to good grammar, the kind they taught you in Neoschool.
- Again, send multiple unique entries. TNT will only accept one but allow you to send many – so take advantage of that! It’s well worth it.
- Lastly, be witty, be funny, be yourself.
Yay, your entry was accepted and you’ve made it to the voting stage! Now, what?!
- Advertise! No… before you get carried away – Do. Not. Create. A. Board. This is completely against the rules and is considered spam. This even includes Games, Spotlight and Charter.
- If you would like to (you need to!) advertise then leave a link to the Caption Contest in your NeoSignature and something along the lines of “Spare a vote for me?” to let people know that you want their vote. Easy, right?
- With that in mind, chat on the boards like you normally would! Give people advice on games, avatars, quests, pets etc. Whatever it is – hopefully they notice your Neosignature and spare a vote for you!
- If you’re in a guild, make sure you take the time to converse with your guildmates. That’s another positive to add to active guild chatterers like myself. ;)
- Don’t forget a little reminder next to your link about how you can vote every 4 hours. A lot of people assume that they can only vote once daily or even just once for the remainder of the competition. That is not true and you need to make sure everyone else knows that!
- Leave a link on your userlookup, petpage and pet lookup. Somebody might stalk your pages and kindly vote for you in the process!
- Vote for yourself every 4 hours. It all adds up.
- Do not trade votes with someone from say the Art or Customisation boards. This is not allowed!
The last tip I would like to give you is to lower your expectations only slightly. If there are times where people have said that they have voted for you but your vote count hasn’t increased – then they probably haven’t. Take it on the chin and carry on with your day. You don’t need their vote anyway. :*
If you’re entering the contest, you’re most likely in it for the prizes, right? I wouldn’t blame you if you are because they are pretty great!
Now, how can you win them? What can you win?
Here is where the votes come into play. Captions that garner the most votes win the contest. The top 25 captions (the ones with the most votes!) can win from 5000-10000np, trophy, item and two different avatars (more on that later). The amount of neopoints depends on where you rank by the end of it. The item that you get is chosen randomly so you can win anything from a codestone to a paintbrush!
You may be wondering how TNT decide on which winning entries get which trophies. Here’s a little breakdown of how your rank in the competition affects which trophy you get by the end of it:
- Gold – Rank 1st-5th
- Silver – Rank 6th-12th
- Bronze – Rank 13th-25th
Whoa, look at that elusive avatar… the one with a Blue Grundo wearing sunglasses… the one that says funny… the one that supports how witty you are! This is proof that you are funny. To get this avatar you need to be in the top 25 when voting ends. Not only that, but this avatar is only awarded for every tenth round.
Don’t be too discouraged. Aside from a cool trophy, neopoints and a rare items, there’s another reason to enter the other rounds of Caption Contest! There’s another avatar – one that we have never seen before. This will be awarded in every round and I have yet to get my hands on it!
Thank you for taking the time to read my article regarding the Caption Contest. I hope that you found it useful. If it has helped at least one of you then I know that my job over here is done. Congratulations if you have gotten into the Caption Contest after reading this. If you haven’t been successful yet, then don’t worry! There is always next time! :) Happy caption creating!