The ten best competitions of 2018

Which competitions and prize draws impressed you most this year – and which didn’t live up to expectations? I asked the members of my Lucky Learners Facebook group for their feedback on this year’s hits and here’s our top ten, covering creative competitions, on-pack promotions and prize draws.  Some were chosen for originality, some because they were fun to enter, and others because there was such a good chance of winning! Generally though, you’ll see that a comper’s favourite type of promotion is one which offers multiple chances to win – in hourly, daily or weekly draws, or at winning moments!

So without further ado – introducing 2018’s top ten prize promotions…

1. Pringles Take A Bite, Win a Flight

Pringles ran several promotions in 2018, but Take a Bite, Win a Flight was the favourite with my readers. Pringles awarded a prize European flight (worth up to £300) every hour from 11am – 7pm for 75 days – a total of 600 winners! To enter, all you had to do was share a photo of yourself munching on a Pringle. Winners were chosen at random each hour – if you were persistent and entered every day you had a brilliant chance of winning. Lots of SuperLucky readers were clever and also got their partners and friends to enter too, then booked their prize flights to travel together with help from Cloud Nine Incentives, who managed the prize fulfilment brilliantly.

2. Carabao Cash

Energy drinks are certainly an acquired taste, and many compers weren’t too thrilled to taste Carabao when entering the generous on-pack Carabao Cash winning moments promotion! For this one, unique codes were printed underneath the ring pulls of promotional cans – although you could turn the ring pull 180 degrees and lift with your fingernail to see the code without taking it off if you didn’t want to drink the stuff! The cans were hard to find at the start of the promotion, meaning that almost every entry was a winner. Instant cash prizes ranged from £5 up to £50,000 (two of my blog readers each won £10,000!) and were paid directly into the winner’s bank account.

3. AutoTrader Goals

As if an England match could get even more exciting, AutoTrader managed it by giving away a CAR for every goal England scored in the World Cup. All entrants had to do was post on social media with #AutoTraderGoals after a goal was scored! But AutoTrader underestimated England’s success in the tournament – by the time we were knocked out, they had given away twelve cars costing over £200,000!

4. Doritos & Pepsi Perfect Match

For the Perfect Match promotion, entrants needed to buy two Pepsi or Doritos products and pop the codes in online – BUT Pepsi codes weren’t unique, so it wasn’t necessary to keep buying new products for each entry. All prizes were awarded on a winning moments basis – top prizes were 300 TVs, then 40,000 Pepsi glass and Doritos bowl sets and thousands more coupons for free products – it was almost impossible not to win!

5. EE & Heart Family Challenge

Heart FM’s Faces for Florida creative photo competition has been in the top ten for the last two years – but although this year’s FFF was once again excellent, a new challenge was introduced in the summer that was even more fun! Heart teamed up with EE to host the #HeartFamilyChallenge – they gave a list of challenges, and entrants had to submit a photo or video taking part in them. The first competition in summer offered a huge £2,000+ technology bundle to the five winners (I was lucky enough to win one with a video of my family attempting the family flossing challenge). The Family Challenge returned in October with a Halloween theme – and then again in December with a Christmas theme and eight huge £3,000 prizes (five of which went to talented members of my Lucky Learners group). A dream promotion for creative compers!

6. Heinz win £57 every hour

Heinz gave away over £20,000 in cash prizes in their Z Factor promotion –  all that was needed was a barcode number from a specific Heinz Beanz product, and you could enter once a day. From 9am to 5pm each day there were 8 hourly draws, with a random entrant winning £57 in each one!  A simple idea and a relatively small prize – but with so many chances to win, people loved it!

7. Belvita Win a Nutribullet

For Belvita’s on pack Nutribullet promotion, all you needed was the barcode number from promotional packs to enter on their website. Each week 72 entrants were chosen at random to win a Nutribullet blender – with over a thousand prizes awarded in total, a lot of my readers got lucky with this one!

8. Amazon Santa’s Locker

Santa’s Locker returned again for 2018, and although a Treasure Hunt style promotion can never keep everyone happy because it’s location specific, it can be exciting to work out where the prize is and to get in touch with any friends you have near it! For three days in December, Amazon tweeted seven clues a day with a location and a clue to the locker name. The first person to get to the locker and put in the code won the prize inside (this year’s prizes were Kindles and Echos).

Amazon Santas Locker is back!

9. Freddo’s Big Adventure

Freddo’s Big Adventure was advertised in independent retailers – all that was required to enter online was the barcode number from a Cadbury Freddo (or Chomp, Fudge, or Buttons) and you could enter daily. The prizes, awarded to entries after winning moments, were ‘adventures’ ranging from zookeeper days to Go Ape sessions, supplied in the flexible form of Virgin Experience Day vouchers.

10. Doritos Win £500 every day

Pepsi and Doritos are usually pretty generous with their promotions, and for this Doritos winning moments promotion there were thousands of cash prizes up for grabs, in addition to 110,500 vouchers for a free pack of Doritos! Prizes were paid by cheque and there was no limit to the number each winner could claim. I imagine supermarket staff were relieved when this one finished, so they didn’t have to deal with any more compers waving fistfuls of coupons!

Near misses…

SuperLucky readers enjoyed the inventive Great Oreo Cookie Quest – but unfortunately too many glitches in the app meant it didn’t feature in the list.

Dairylea’s Super Cool or Super Cheesy promotion also saw a lot of winners, but a technical problem meant it took a long time for some to receive the prizes they’d won.

…and the WORST competitions of 2018?

Quaker’s Show us your oats was considered by the majority of SuperLucky readers to be the worst promotion of 2018. It started off so well, with ten generous £10,000 prizes on offer to the best porridge photos, but many felt the advertising – featuring a bowl of porridge topped with a smiley banana face – was misleading, when realistically the ten winning entries looked like professional magazine photography! It also appeared that one winner – a food stylist – had previously published her entry, which the ASA investigated. Although the ASA decided the terms had not been breached, Kellogg’s decided to award an additional £10,000 prize that week to keep their fans happy.  If they do something similar in the future, perhaps awarding smaller cash prizes to a mix of random and judged winners would work better.

Highland Spring H2oomph offered the chance to win one of 10,000 experience prizes. Entrants had to input a code from a bottle, but also upload a photo of the code – if you’ve ever tried to take a photo of a faint code printed onto transparent plastic, you’ll know it’s not easy! They found out instantly if they’d entered during a winning moment. But the packaging and advertising didn’t specify how long this winning moment was – and therefore consumers had no idea what the chance of winning was. I complained to the ASA, and before long the information was added to the FAQ page – each winning moment was one second long, meaning that each entry had a 1-in-1296 chance of winning. We can presume not many of those 10,000 prizes were awarded! The ASA ruled that ‘the promotion was misleading and caused unnecessary disappointment for participants’.

The White Creme Egg promotion got a huge amount of coverage in the press – limited edition white Cadbury Creme Eggs were planted in shops all over the UK, and if you found one, you’d won a cash prize! But of course this resulted in grubby little fingers nationwide peeling creme eggs before buying them, and piles of damaged unsellable chocolate eggs in supermarkets. PLUS – the lucky £2,000 egg was never found! But despite that, white creme eggs are returning from 1 January 2019 – and this time round, eight of them are worth £10,000. Let the wrapper-ripping commence….

And that’s it for my list of 2018’s best and worst prize promotions! Leave a comment to let me know which were your favourites this year – and how many of these top ten promotions did YOU win a prize in?

17 Responses

  1. Karen T says:

    Pringles Take A Bite Win A Flight was amazing. My husband won first, then I won, then my daughter won and my son who refused to take part decided if we had all won he’d have a go, and he won too! Booking was super easy and Cloud Nine were amazing, getting us all sat together on the same flight. Because of the free flights, we were able to have our first family beach holiday abroad and had an amazing week in FuerteVentura

  2. Dee C says:

    I won a nutribullet with belvita. I love when comps are open to ROI residents too as there are so many closed to me. Well done on all your wins guys, here’s to a lucky 2019.

  3. Cheryl Lewis says:

    I won in the Pepsi/Dorito, nutribullet and the bonne maman flask comp, can’t complain!

  4. Kathryn Hipkin says:

    Four. Did best on Carabao, a total of £435 and about £350 of that profit, won 5 x £5 on Doritos plus loads of crisps but we have printer problems, wish they would send a code to the phone, my husband won £57 on Heinz, and I only won once on Freddo but we went to Go Ape at Dalby Forest – tho my 2 said it was a mighty long journey and they’d prefer Matfen next time. We had to go there because it was a Junior Go Ape experience and Matfen doesn’t have one. Still, they had fun when we got there.
    Don’t think i entered the others except for the Auto Trader car comp.

  5. Vanessa F says:

    Congratulations to all who won. It just shows that these types of purchase necessary comps can be very lucrative.
    I don’t enter many, mainly because living in a small town in rural Northern Ireland most promotional items don’t appear in shops sometimes for months after the promotion begins.

    • Di says:

      Do you look for the NI ‘No Purchase Necessary’ route in the T&Cs Vanessa? Quite a few of my readers have won with that – particularly for the more expensive qualifying products!

      • Vanessa F says:

        I had great luck in the recent VISA Great British High Street comp, winning 4 x £100 prepaid VISA cards, all through NPN entries.

  6. Anna Lord says:

    I didn’t realise the Pepsi codes for the Perfect Match codes weren’t unique! Was this clear in the ts & cs?

    • Di says:

      It wasn’t clear in the T&Cs – and there have been several similar competitions this year. T&Cs suggest that ‘batch codes’ are unique, but of course it’s a ‘batch’ of products that get printed with the same time code so they’re not unique!

  7. Mr George Williams says:

    I won £57 with Heinz, and had a huge pile of Doritos in the cupboard by the end of their competition.
    Would loved to have won (but didn’t) the Carabao competition, having entered at different times of the day and night!

  8. Rebecca Beesley says:

    Love this round up. To be honest, I don’t really do many purchase necessary comps unless it’s a food product I’m going to need/eat anyway – might look out for a few more in 2019. Missed the pringles one altogether so did an entry into the wrap up draw for that – although didn’t win. The Ribena one was also good this year – by entering late each night we did end up with lots of coupons for those ready-to-drink ribena bottles.

  9. Kellie McIntyre says:

    Won 2 x Pringles flights, 2 x Heinz £57, bowls/glasses a plenty, Freddo – 3 x trampoline experiences, a nutribullet, mountains of doritos and ended up £50 up on Carabao -can’t complain! 7/10

  10. Debi Gillard says:

    I have never bought things just to enter comps. I entered the pepsi / doritas a few times (using codes from the net) and won 2 or 3 small prizes. I invested in 2 Freddo bars right at the end of the promotion and won twice. I might try a few more next year but certainly not going to spend loads in the hopes of winning. Good luck all.

  11. Sandra Clarke says:

    I won on four of these comps – the best being Doritos where my family netted £2000! Plus of course loads of free bags – all our visitors went away with a bag full of Doritos! The Kelloggs Elf on the Shelf was a good one too – there must be loads of happy children with one of the lovely boxes of goodies.

  12. Kevin says:

    never won any Oh well heres to a better 2019

  13. Clare says:

    I only won on the Doritos pepsi comp. I have a cupboard full of glasses and bowls lol.

  14. Derek Wilson says:

    I won 5 out of those 10 comps – not bad going!

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