Daimler rang in the new year with an online design contest called "Style your Smart." Apparently, the idea of decorating a virtual Smart Fortwo appeals to a lot of people, since 50,000 design ideas we submitted by over 8,000 people from 100+ countries. The winner, pictured above, was submitted by Tamir Shefer from Jaffa, Israel. For his entry, Shefer will get €1,500 (about $2,000 USD) and had his car described on the contest website as:
The winner of the contest meets the philosophy of the brand perfectly and encourages the observer to open his mind. You cannot miss this car due to the artistically high level. It combines the joy of life, humanity and the spirit of the city in a modern, fresh and graphically convincing way. It is urban and human friendly at the same time and shows that cars and humans do belong together.
Not bad. Contest participants could also win cash awards for being active on the company's website, and three other designs drove off with some prize money. All told, Daimler gave out just €5000 (@ $6,800 USD) and received a lot of fan exposure for the money. Well played.

[Source: Smart]
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Open innovation: "Style your smart" design contest: 50,000 design ideas from more than 100 countries for the smart fortwo

Stuttgart – smart's worldwide design contest "Style your smart" implemented the "open innovation" approach in the car industry - with resounding success. More than 8,000 smart and design fans from more than 100 countries took part in the creative contest that ran for a period of around six weeks. On the website www.styleyoursmart.com entrants created more than 50,000 designs for the exterior of the smart fortwo. The winner with the most creative design is Tamir Shefer from Jaffa, Israel. He receives prize money of €1,500.

"The response to this competition greatly exceeded our expectations – in terms of both quantity and quality", says Marc Langenbrinck, Managing Director smart brand and Head of Sales & Marketing smart. "It shows the enthusiasm that the smart brand generates." The contestants exchanged opinions and commented on and evaluated each other's designs with the same enthusiasm and passion that they put into their own designs. There were more than 600,000 online ratings.

An expert jury consisting of five judges selected the four best designs based on the community ratings. The jury members were Annika von Taube, Editor in Chief of the international art and fashion magazine "sleek", the internationally renowned designer Rolf Sachs, Steffen Köhl, Mercedes-Benz Designer and Head of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio, Nicole Israng, Senior Manager Global Marketing Communications & Brand Management smart and Marc Langenbrinck. The winners who can look forward to prizes totalling €5000 were announced today on the website www.styleyoursmart.com.

Dieter Feder, Project Manager in the Business Innovation division at Daimler AG is pleased with the result: "Also after the contest the website still lives on. The community can continue to rate designs and add new ones. The results clearly show that the passion for personalisation and creativity is boundless on Web 2.0."

The idea for the design contest comes from the internal "Business Innovation Community", a Web 2.0 platform on the Daimler intranet. Employees can post their ideas there and their colleagues from other departments and regions can comment on them, rate them and further develop them. "Style your smart" was one of more than 1,300 discussed ideas.