The ten best competitions of 2019

As we come to the end of another busy year of comping, I like to look back at the year’s promotions and ask the members of my Lucky Learners Facebook group for their feedback on this year’s hits and misses.

One of the things that tends to make a competition popular with compers is if there are lots of chances to win – in hourly, daily or weekly draws, or at winning moments! Regular, ongoing prize promotions are much more appealing than a prize draw with a single prize. Combinations of format work well too – so if we’re unsuccessful in the instant win, we could still win something in a prize draw at the end of the promotional period. 

So, here’s our top ten of 2019, covering creative competitions, on-pack promotions and prize draws.  Some were chosen for their uniqueness, some because they were lots of fun, and others because there was a really good chance of winning a prize!

1. Subway Summer

Subway launched a big summer promotion in 2019, and all you had to do was scan the QR code on their paper cups. You could enter every day and there were 3,285 prizes including city breaks, Apple watches, cameras, speakers, Amazon vouchers and so much more. Lots of SuperLucky readers won inflatable hot tubs – although despite entering every single day I wasn’t lucky in this one at all!

Reader feedback: “The best promotion in my opinion was the Subway Summer competition. It had plenty of decent prizes and a lot of winners!” 

Pringles Take a Bite Win a Flight

2. Pringles Take A Bite, Win a Flight

After its popularity in 2018, Take a Bite, Win a Flight returned in 2019 – 71 daily winners won a single return economy class flight from the UK to an international airport of their choice (worth up to £1500), plus £500 spending money. To enter, all you had to do was share a photo of yourself munching on a Pringle. Winners were chosen at random each day. Several SuperLucky readers got lucky, and Cloud Nine Incentives managed the prize fulfilment brilliantly.

Reader feedback: “My favourite was Pringles – we had tickets booked with Thomas Cook and Cloud Nine went above and beyond to make sure we got replacement flights!”

British Airways High Life promotion

3. British Airways High Life hampers

BA celebrated their centenary by giving away a hundred luxury hampers worth £1,000 each in an easy to enter daily prize draw which I featured on my Instant Wins and Daily Draws list. Several SuperLucky readers were winners!

Reader feedback: “I loved the generous High Life magazine competition… I was lucky enough to win and it was full of fabulous stuff!”

Lidl Movie Moments promotion

4. Lidl Movie Moments

Lidl Movie Moments first launched back at the end of 2018, but it proved so popular they decided to run it throughout 2019 with four prize draws, each one with a whopping 2,500 family Cineworld tickets up for grabs! To enter, you had to spent at least £40 in store and then upload your receipt photo to the website. Will it return for 2020? Let’s hope so!

Reader feedback: “I didn’t have to pay for the cinema at all this year because of the Lidl promo!”

5. Olivia Burton & Cadbury Roses – ‘Take Time to Give Thanks’

London jewellery brand Olivia Burton designed a special limited edition Cadbury’s Roses tin – and gave a thousand away on Instagram. To enter you had to share a photo of someone you wanted to thank – and use #TakeTimeToGiveThanks in the caption. Every day they chose winners, and each winner was sent two boxes of chocolates – one to keep, and one to pass on to a friend. Not only that, ten entrants also won a limited edition watch! It was a lovely way to encourage people to spread kindness and gratitude, and I was delighted when a SuperLucky reader sent me one of her prize tins to say thanks.

Reader feedback: “The Olivia Burton Roses one was lovely – I liked that it was a prize to keep and a prize to gift!”

Kellogg's Elf on the Shelf promotion

6. Kellogg’s Elf on the Shelf

Although it was almost a carbon copy of the 2018 promotion, the cheeky Elf on the Shelf prize was a huge favourite of SuperLucky fans this year. It was easy to enter, all you needed was a code (not unique!) from the back of a promotional Kellogg’s cereal box, and then you could enter 3 times a day. There were a fantastic 972 prizes given away.

Reader feedback: “I really enjoyed the Elf on the Shelf competition. We have had fantastic fun with the elf and the DVD hasn’t stopped playing!”

Brockmans Gin Press for Gin

7. Brockmans Gin Facebook Live

Brockmans Gin have been running this exciting and fun promotion for a few years now (I was one of the early winners!) but it’s become very popular with SuperLucky readers. It’s a combination of a Treasure Hunt, plus online giveaweays during a Facebook Live. They choose a city, and give away regular clues to a specific location there – if you’re the first person to physically get to that location and say to the Brockman’s rep “I want to press for gin!”, you win 12 bottles of Brockmans. While the clues appear on screen on the Facebook Live, those watching from home can also guess the location for the chance to win a bottle of Brockmans gin every 10 minutes.

Reader feedback: “I love the online hunt and how you genuinely get behind whoever is running to the win spot!”

Visa Great British High Street promotion

8. Visa Great British High Street

Visa encouraged shoppers to go out and shop in store rather than online in their Great British High Street promotion. With every Visa receipt, you could text the transaction code to 60002 – and instantly win up to £1,000. They also incentivised shopkeepers to take part – if a winning entry was a purchase in an independent shop, the shopkeeper won the same prize too! There were a generous 285 prizes, ranging from £100 to £1000, and lots of SuperLucky readers were lucky.

9. Jet2 Passport to Discovery

Although many SuperLucky readers would argue that the Jet2 Party Plane was 2019’s best competition, I don’t believe any promotion including a public vote should ever be praised due to its unfairness, so it won’t be featuring in the top ten. However, I would certainly agree that the Party Plane was definitely the best prize of the year!

Anyway, Jet2 did give away a LOT of other prizes this year too, and back in January their Passport to Discovery promotion offered 50 holidays to listeners of Heart radio stations across the UK – all you had to do was share your funniest holiday moment. Just a couple of weeks later, they gave away another 45 holidays in their Discover Somewhere New promotion. I’m looking forward to seeing what Jet2 have up their sleeve for 2020!

Reader feedback: ” I loved the Jet2/Heart 50 holidays mainly because I won one! But also because you had to choose the airport/destination that you were interested in before entering – which probably reduced the number of entrants!”

10. Swizzels Snap Your Summer

Swizzels gave us a good excuse to take our Love Hearts and Drumstick lollies on holiday! ‘Snap your summer’ required entrants to take a summery photo featuring a Swizzels product, and share on social media with #MySwizzelsSummer. The entries were judged – there were daily prizes of Swizzels merchandise, and the best entry overall won a £5,000 holiday voucher!

Near misses…

There’s never enough room in a top ten to mention all the great promotions out there!

Creative compers told me they loved the regular photo and video family challenges on Heart FM (and of course Faces for Florida, which has featured in the top ten twice before!), and the £70,000 given away in Capital FM’s #WinAWage and Radio X’s #SetMeFree photo comps definitely needs a mention. And Costcutter’s Find the Golden Mic selfie competition was a nice way to encourage people to shop in store!

Personally, I loved Cadbury’s online White Creme Egg Hunt – partnering with other brands to ‘hide’ creme eggs was innovative and fun, and it gave winners the chance to try the delicious white creme eggs without having to tear wrappers off in the shops!

…and the WORST competitions of 2019?

Interestingly in 2019, there were no prize promotions that really made compers’ blood boil! We did get fed up of Win a House competitions which didn’t sell enough tickets (surprise surprise!) – as did the ASA, who received a lot of complaints about them! Rip-off ‘Pay to enter’ prize draw websites popped up everywhere (see my post on Pay to enter sites – are they gambling‘) and unfortunately there seemed to be more scam promotions than ever.

Here are three comps that got the thumbs down from SuperLucky readers…

Hello Panda Win £50

Unisnacks offered a £50 prize to the first 250 people to collect 50 different bubble stickers from Hello Panda chocolate snack boxes. With a hundred different stickers available, and only one in each box, it would require the purchase of at least 50 boxes of chocolate treats. Unsurprisingly, the ASA branded the promotion advertising as ‘irresponsible’.

Belvoir Sip & Dip

Belvoir’s Sip and Dip promotion advertised 3,003 prizes to be won – but in small print on the promotional collars it stated ‘not all prizes are guaranteed to be won’. It was an algorithmic (or as I like to call it, misleading!) instant win promotion, where all prizes would only be awarded if every single code from the promo collars was entered online. Belvoir must have realised that hardly any of the prizes were being won, so partway through the promotion they actually changed the terms and conditions to add a ‘late entry draw’ with 193 guaranteed prizes. Hopefully for their next promotion they won’t go down the ‘available to be won’ route!

And that’s it for my list of 2019’s best and worst prize promotions! Leave a comment to let me know which were your top comps this year – and did you win a prize in any of the ones I’ve mentioned?

3 Responses

  1. Jeremy stern from PromoVeritas says:

    Thanks for the list. I always enjoy reading it as it highlights the consumer view of the work that our industry does. Broad agreement on the top ten. Subway was big and fun. Pringles was very generous and well handled. I might have added the Cadbury Hunt the White Egg and for those with keen eyes the latest Pringles campaign of the Singing Can
    Proud that PromoVeritas were behind at least half of the top ten -making sure that they were run right.

    By way the list is called “competitions”, but none actually featured skill. They are of course “promotions”!

    • Di says:

      Thanks for your feedback Jeremy! I loved the White Creme Egg Hunt (especially eating my prize white creme egg at the end of it). I hope PromoVeritas have some more fabulous prize promotions (and competitions, of course!) planned for 2020!

  2. Jane says:

    Jet2 are amazing with their competitions! I won their Easter competition getting a highest score on their Facebook game. It was one of the best package holidays I’ve had and we are going to be booking with them for future holidays! Their PR works 🙂

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