2018 Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest Begins Aug. 20
What is the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin? Nominate a product Aug. 20-31, 2018!
We make some pretty cool things in Wisconsin: motorcycles in Milwaukee, military vehicles in Oshkosh, lawn mowers in Horicon, furniture in Arcadia and real, natural cheese in Plymouth, among so many others. Last year, Wisconsinites cast nearly 200,000 votes in the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, run by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). About 150 products were nominated by companies, workers and everyone in between in 2017, and there is no doubt that even more products will be submitted this year.
What do you think the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin is? In 2016, the inaugural year of the contest, Harley-Davidson’s Milwaukee 8 engine took home the grand prize, topping Johnsonville sausages and Fincantieri Marinette Marine’s Littoral Combat Ship, which is built for the U.S. Navy. During last year’s contest, a bracket-style tournament determined the top four! Oshkosh Corporation’s Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) brought home the grand prize. The JLTV beat out Mercury Marine’s Joystick Piloting System, the Ariens Sno-Thro (a Wisconsin necessity in winter) and Generac’s XC Generator.
This year, the contest will begin Monday, Aug. 20, and nominations will be accepted until Friday, Aug. 31. The first round of voting, which will determine the top 16 products that will participate in Manufacturing Madness, will be from Monday, Sept. 10 to Sunday, Sept. 16. The top 16 will be announced the following Monday, Sept. 17.
In the weeks that follow, two more rounds will take the competition from 16 products, to eight products, to the top four! A final round of voting will take place Tuesday Oct. 2 to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and the winner will be announced at the State of Wisconsin Business & Industry Luncheon that same day. The top four products will be invited to display that product at the Luncheon.
After each round, the companies and products that move onto the next will be announced during a live broadcast via Facebook Live. So, if you want to stay up to date on all the details throughout the competition, make sure to like WMC by visiting our Facebook page. Products can be from anywhere in the manufacturing industry, as long as it is made here in Wisconsin. Additionally, the company does not have to be headquartered in the state, as long as it has a presence and the final product is assembled here.
WMC also encourages companies to nominate their own products. Then go out and earn votes. In the past, companies have encouraged employees, clients and those in their local community to cast votes. Some have appeared on local television or radio shows to brag about the product they make and last year’s winner, Oshkosh Corporation, purchased a digital billboard along the interstate promoting the JLTV as the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.
These and many other marketing ideas can and should be implemented for a company to win. And do not forget the power of social media. Getting a post to “go viral” might push your product into the finals. To nominate a product, come back to madeinwis.com from Aug. 20-31.
Check out the 2017 Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin nominees:
Click the graphic below to see all the nominees.