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On prizes and participation

November 1, 2011

One of the things I’ve been looking at recently is prizes and promotional strategy.

The thing that has been fascinating me in particular is this question: where does the tipping point for participation lie?

Something small enough that you feel that you have a chance of winning, or something big enough that it represents something that you simply wouldn’t achieve on your own?  Something that it doesn’t take you too long to enter, or something that requires some thought and imagination?

But then it isn’t just size of the prize, I’ve got a hunch that it’s a lot to do with relevance as well.

Today I saw this ad for the New Covent Garden Soup range, with a message about a prize on offer: “Win a Farm!”

(Incidentally, there don’t appear to be any more details on the main New Covent Garden website, instead everything is on this microsite)

I can understand that this prize would be supporting their brand message – all about homegrown, wholesome and British – but it does seem to jar with who they are targeting.

This is a brand whose product is all about convenience; bringing those qualities (and very nice soup) to people who don’t have the time to grow their own veg or prepare soup from scratch. Why would these people want a farm?

In fact, when you read the small print the prize is actually £500,000 in cash. And my hunch is that is probably much more useful in the long run to the majority of people who are buying the product … and more motivating.

What’s the most motivating prize you’ve seen recently? (Mine would be the asos FashionFriendsy – £500 a month to spend on site for the full year, for me and three friends.  It certainly feels more relevant to my interests, and demonstrates perhaps that the brand gets what I want from them)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2011 1:43 pm

    Ribena did ‘win a donkey’ a few years ago (just googled and it was in 2004!)…and it was actually a tie up with Shrek 2. On offer were 10,000 inflatable Donkeys (from the film) and a grand prize of ‘ownership’ of a real, live donkey living at a donkey sanctuary, plus £1K to pay for going to visit it.

    The case study claims that this all resulted in incremental sales of £8M http://www.marketingagencies.org.uk/case-study/440.html

    • November 1, 2011 2:06 pm

      Haha! Nice! Thank you for the link – very interesting. Especially when they highlight the relevance: “children being genuinely excited about winning a real donkey”. You can see how that would appeal (as well as tying in with the brand values) and the idea of having the visits to see it paid for makes it feel more special and less hassle.

      Although, maybe it’s just me that doesn’t dream of one day owning and running my very own farm… ;o)

      Any idea how Ribena calculated the incremental sales as being down to the prize and not just the tie-in with the film?

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