The best prize promotions of 2016
Over the past few months I’ve been asking SuperLucky readers which promotions impressed them most this year – and which ones left them cold. Our list covers photo competitions, on-pack promotions, treasure hunts, Twitter prize draws and mobile apps – it’s safe to say us compers like a bit of variety! Here’s our 2016 favourites…
Walkers Game Ready
At the end of 2016 most of us associated Walkers with the shambles that was ‘Spell & Go’, but don’t forget about the amazingly generous Game Ready promotion from earlier in the year. With over 40,000 prizes guaranteed to be won after ‘winning moments’, this was a comper’s dream promotion – and I reckon almost every SuperLucky reader picked up at least one football, t-shirt or sharing bowl, with a few even bagging Champions League match tickets!
Heart FM Faces for Florida
This was a fun and generous creative competition to start the year – for four weeks in January, Heart London gave away a holiday for 4 to Florida every weekday on the breakfast show. Entrants had to print off Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton masks, and wear them in a fun photo. The twenty winners put in a LOT of effort, and were rewarded with amazing prizes that included attraction tickets, flights, accommodation and spending money. Even better – winners were allowed to take the trip in school holidays! Pretty much the perfect competition as far as I’m concerned (and you can see my winning entry in Extreme Comping).
Hasbro Müller Kids Corner yogurts
Although the Müller Kids Corner promotion has small prizes – My Little Pony and Transformers toys – there are a hundred to be won every day over a three month period (ending in a few days on 16th December). This 24 hour winning moments promotion gave compers the advantage, with many of us inputting codes at 3am to guarantee a win! In addition, our kids were delighted at being forced to eat special Halloween and Christmas yogurts – what a treat!
Pepsi Max Game Ready
Another huge Champions League ‘winning moments’ promotion from the team at Walkers/Pepsi – using the Pepsi Max app to scan a promotional UCL label, you had the chance to win a PS4 and VR headset instantly. The app itself didn’t work that well – it turned out you didn’t even have to scan the label after the first time, the winning/losing message would load even if you scanned your pet cat! But the excitement level was huge – several PS4 bundles were awarded every day (244 in total) and yet again, we were setting alarms at 3am to try and catch a prize!
A clever little treasure hunt, Shorn Wines had us looking for sheep on Google Street View – if you spotted three black sheep you went into the daily draw to win a box of wine, and also had the chance to win a fridge magnet instantly. But follow the clues across social media (and the SuperLucky blog!) to track down the elusive Golden Shorn, and you could win an iPad. Addictive fun!
Spar Shop & Win
For this one, you just had to spend money in a Spar and upload a photo of your receipt (or input the number) on the Shop & Win website. There were instant win prizes of food & drink products on a virtual scratchcard, plus daily prizes like iPads and Bikes each day – AND a grand prize draw. It made popping to the shops a lot more fun!
Iceland Freezer Fortunes
This prize draw was a simple idea from Iceland – but with hundreds of prizes. You had to upload a #freezie (selfie with your freezer, of course!) to their Facebook page – every day for a week they awarded a £50 voucher to fifty winners chosen at random, 250 in total.
This judged competition ran over a 14 week period last summer, with 650 prizes awarded. Entrants shared their story about Heathrow for a chance to win one of five holidays to Sydney, plus loads of lovely travel related gifts.
Blippar McDonalds Advent Calendar
In 2016 more brands started using apps to host engaging promotions – it’s been a bit hit and miss, because of the huge range of phones and operating systems we use, but most of us are managing to give Blippar a go! McDonalds printed their Advent Calendar on tray liners this year, and for a chance to win a £10 Amazon e-voucher you needed to open up the Blippar app and scan it (or alternatively, point your phone at the centre of the image below from Blippar’s Facebook page!). A small but welcome prize just before Christmas (this one is live until Christmas Eve!)
The National Lottery #MegaWeek
On 27 September, @TNLUK gave away £1000 cash every hour (for ten hours) on Twitter. Having learnt their lesson from the previous year’s promotion (where a simple retweet was required and a few automated Twitter ‘bots’ won prizes), this time they asked entrants to identify the location of a doctored destination photo and reply with their answer. It was ridiculously exciting to see the winners revealed every hour!
Virgin Red was an innovative new loyalty app, and their exciting #VMarkstheSpot promotion offered winners a chance to go to Necker Island to hunt for real treasure! ‘Coins’ were provided online, on social media, on scratchcards in Virgin Holidays & Media stores, and even on Virgin trains – and there was a real buzz on online forums with people sharing tips. A certain amount of coins unlocked a ‘vault’ on the app, with a chance to win prizes – including 1,000 bottles of champagne for the first people to open one of the vaults. Once enough coins were collected, the entrant could access the final ‘Vault 12’ and have a chance to go to Necker Island! Find out what the finalists got up to here.
…and the WORST?
There have been several brands this year that have been incredibly miserly, hiding their ‘instant lose’ promotions behind complex T&Cs that bear no resemblance to the words we see on the packaging. These promotions aren’t scams – but the huge generous prize funds they shout about are misleading. Those thousands of advertised prizes will all be awarded ONLY if every single promotional code is entered on the website – so in most cases we can expect less than 5% of the prizes to be claimed.
I think most of us would agree that Walkers Spell and Go was the worst prize promotion of 2016. The campaign must have cost millions – but the money certainly wasn’t spent on the prizes. In prime-time TV spots, Gary Lineker advertised an amazing ‘20,000 holidays to be won’. And at the end of the promotion, how many had been awarded via the Spell & Go letter-collecting website? A measly 796 – just 4%.
But Walkers weren’t the only Scrooge this year – how about Jarlsberg, whose flashed packs advertised £100,000 of prizes. And how many of the advertised 1,345 prizes did Jarlsberg actually give away? Well, according to the winners list, just a paltry 30 (2%). And I bet most of those were whisks and rolling pins!
And how about Highland Spring, who offered 15,686 prize tennis sets with their ‘Anywhere for Tennis’ instant win? Codes were pre-allocated in the promotion, meaning that your printed code was either a winner or loser. I’m sure you can imagine how many millions of winning Highland Spring bottles were thrown away or recycled without the code being checked – so again, only a tiny percentage of those prizes would have been won (in fact, I’ve only heard of 5 winners so far!)
What do you think were 2016’s best and worst prize promotions? What would you like to see more or less of in 2017? Leave a comment to let me know!