The ten best prize promotions of 2021
As we come to the end of another year, I like to look back at the year’s prize promotions and ask SuperLucky readers and the members of my Lucky Learners Facebook group for their opinion on this year’s hits and misses in the world of comping!
So, here’s our top ten prize promotions of 2021. This year’s list includes prize draws, photo comps, text comps, apps and instant wins. Some were chosen for the unique format, some because they were lots of fun, and others because there was such a fantastic chance of winning a prize! How many of these comps did you win a prize in? I managed 6/10!
1. PayPal Christmas
PayPal’s amazing Christmas promotion has made thousands of winners happy in the last couple of months of 2021, with weekly prize draws for PayPal credit ranging from £25 up to £10,000. Entries in the draw were earned every time a PayPal purchase was made, but there was also a free entry option online where you could simply tick a box to get 50 draw entries per week. Winnings appeared by magic under the Rewards tab on PayPal apps, and several SuperLucky readers were over the moon to find £250 credit there! A really generous promotion to end 2021.
Reader feedback: “The Paypal draw was so generous, and really helpful towards the Xmas shopping! I also love that winnings can be used for charity donations as well as shopping.”
2. MatchPint Heineken Check-in Challenge
The MatchPint app helps you find local pubs showing live sports – they teamed up with Heineken for a generous Euro2020 themed instant win promotion between May and July 2021. To take part, you had to visit your local participating pub and ‘check in’ using the app. Then you tapped to see if you’d won a prize instantly! You could share referral codes with friends to get bonus entries. Prizes ranged from Heineken merchandise to replica match balls and of course, match tickets! Dozens of SuperLucky readers won tickets to last 16 and semi final matches.
Reader feedback: “The MatchPint instant win was exciting, and seeing England in the Semi final of the Euros was something that money couldn’t buy!”
3. Blossom Hill Unfiltered Friendships
Running over 4 weeks on Instagram, entrants shared a photo of themselves with a special friend using the #UnfilteredFriendships & #TogetherLetsBlossom hashtags – each week fifty random entrants were rewarded with an instant camera and wine. One overall grand prize winner (a Lucky Learner!) enjoyed the ultimate Unfiltered Friendships Experience with a weekend getaway, £3,000 shopping voucher, £500 restaurant voucher, beauty tech bundle, cocktail making class and a meal cooked by a professional chef!
Reader feedback: “Another feelgood promotion from Blossom Hill, with an amazing top prize. I loved seeing all the entries from friends on my Instagram feed.”
4. Nestlé Win a Sunshine Break
Nestlé promotions are always popular with SuperLucky readers – they have lots of great cash, voucher or holidays to be won, and winners need to show proof of purchase to claim their prizes. SuperLucky readers loved the Win a Staycation Every Day promotion in spring, but the summer Win a Sunshine Break prize draw (also called ‘Sofa to Sunshine’!) was even more popular, probably due to the epic top prizes of a tailor made £10,000 holiday for five grand prize winners! There was also a £1,000 cash prize awarded in a prize draw every day for 56 days.
Reader feedback: “It was an unbelievable thrill to win one of the top prizes in the Nestle ‘Sofa to Sunshine’ competition. It has meant I am now going on the holiday I’ve always dreamed off, but thought I could never afford. All for the price of a packet of sweets!”
5. Pringles Stack’n’Share
For the third year running, Stack’n’Share makes the top ten list! This super easy selfie competition is certainly a favourite with SuperLucky readers, and once again it lasted for 4 months in 2021. Entrants created a stack of three different flavour Pringles, then took a selfie with their stack, and shared on social media with #PringlesStackNShare. Winners were chosen at random each week – the prize this time was a Pringles branded Fujifilm Instax camera and film, and in total 484 prizes were given away!
Reader feedback: ”I loved the Pringles stack’n’share competition, an Instax camera was on my wish list and it’s such an easy competition to enter especially if you enjoy Pringles!”
6. Silver Spoon, Billington’s & Allinson’s Bake for Love
The Bake for Love instant win promotion featured on a range of Allinson’s, Billington’s and Silver Spoon products. There were an amazing 10,228 prizes to be won, including three kitchens, 225 KitchenAid mixers and thousands of lovely personalised cake tins!
To accompany the instant win, @BakingMad also hosted an Instagram prize draw giving away a KitchenAid every week to a random entrant who had shared a photo of their baking using #BakeForLove.
Reader feedback: “Bake For Love was such a generous competition. I hope we see another similar competition next year and get another chance to win that coveted Kitchenaid!”
7. Tesco & Heart FM ‘share your mayhem’ text in prize draw
I’m a big fan of radio competitions, because they offer a really good chance of winning if you’re brave enough to go on air! One of my favourites this year was the extraordinarily generous promotion that Tesco ran across regional Heart stations, awarding dozens of £1,000 gift cards on the drivetime shows in October and November. To enter, listeners were asked to send a text (charged at standard network rate) with a story of mayhem they’d dealt with that day. Winners were chosen at random and called back to tell their story on air. This added a creative and fun twist to the usual ‘Text WIN with the answer A or B’ style prize draw!
Reader feedback: ‘It was fun to think of stories for Heart’s mayhem promotion, and I was delighted to win a £1000 gift card!’
8. Smirnoff 21 Secret Diamonds
‘Willy Wonka’ style golden ticket instant wins aren’t my favourite type of competition, because in most cases if the ‘lucky’ products aren’t found (or are found too late to claim!) then the prizes won’t be awarded. Smirnoff’s 21 Secret Diamonds promotion offers the chance to win a £4,000 diamond instantly. But after the promotion ends on 31 December 2021, if any of the 21 diamonds are unclaimed, they will still be awarded in a prize draw from all losing entries. To enter, you buy a promotional bottle of Smirnoff and then pop it into the freezer to reveal the unique code printed on the packaging (or neck collar) – then enter the code online to see if you’ve instantly won a diamond! If not, you can still enter your details for the prize draw. Adding this instant win mechanic was a clever way to make a simple prize draw a lot more exciting! I also appreciated that Smirnoff highlight in T&Cs that There is a 1 in 55,000 chance of winning a diamond instantly. I wish other ‘golden ticket’ type promotions were more transparent about the tiny chance of finding a winning product, and guaranteed to give away all prizes even if the winning codes/vouchers aren’t found.
Reader feedback: “Freezing the vodka bottle to see the code was a really unusual idea for a promotion – and even if you didn’t win instantly, you still got to go into a draw to win one of the 21 diamonds, so all prizes will be won!”
9. Mars Win2Gether
Mars ran two big on-pack instant wins on their confectionery in 2021 (Win2Gether & M&Ms Streaming), both of which allowed entrants to win multiple prizes. SuperLucky readers had a lot of success in both these promotions, but the football themed Win2Gether was a more interesting ‘share with a friend’ format with better communication and prize fulfilment from the agency involved. To take part, you entered your barcode online then watched a short video to see if you hit a prize target. It was a winning moments format, and if you won a prize, you nominated your friend to win one too. Top prizes were £1,000 cash and ‘Meet a Legend’ experiences, there were hundreds of smaller cash and Amazon voucher prizes, and over 100,000 vouchers for free chocolate & sweets. There was also a bonus draw for Tesco shoppers, where five winners won £5,000 cash. A very generous promotion, and I’m sure it kept compers’ cupboards stuffed with free packets of M&Ms all year long!
Reader feedback: “Win2Gether was a fun daily entry to do, had thousands of prizes and it was a nice idea to share your prize with a friend!”
10. Echo Falls Win a luxury pamper night
Echo Falls had distribution issues at the start of their Pamper Hamper instant win promotion in summer, so the coded neck flags didn’t appear on bottles in shops for ages, despite the promotion being advertised on supermarket shelves. They changed the format slightly to allow entrants to take part without a unique code, and the instant winners were asked instead to send through a photo of their receipt to claim the prize. It was the lovely prizes – and the huge numbers of them – that made this winning moments promotion special. 500 winners received a beautifully packaged box consisting of a can of Echo Falls spritz, Neal’s Yard Remedies bath foam, Body Shop Shea Butter, Neom candle, Burts Bees scrub and a tub of pink gin truffles. A real treat!
Reader feedback: “I loved the Echo Falls comp as it was such a lovely prize and great odds of winning.”
There were lots of other fantastic prize draws and competitions that didn’t quite make it onto the 2021 list…
Compers enjoyed purchase-necessary prize draws from Bear YoYos (Go Ape vouchers) and Pedigree/Perfect Fit (Fitbit and tracker collar sets) – although they weren’t happy that proof of purchase was not requested from winners in order to claim their prizes. Nivea’s two purchase-necessary promotions (buy skincare products to win flowers, and buy sun cream to win Instax cameras) had plenty of prizes to be won.
Britvic‘s Grab Cash Every Day text entry instant win was generous, with lots of small cash prizes, but the format was confusing and win confirmations took a while to come through. And the Lucozade & Ribena text comp with daily winners of fabulous summer prize bundles was generous too.
Although M&Ms streaming had lots of winners, several SuperLucky readers had technical issues with the site and couldn’t get the captcha to work! Others said they struggled to get their prize vouchers accepted in the shops, and prize fulfilment was incredibly slow with some SuperLucky readers still waiting for their prizes.
Standard rate text entry prize draws from Tesco were popular, particularly the ones with lots of cash or voucher prizes – and the generous McVities text to win promotion at the start of the year rewarded 250 winners with a year’s supply of their favourite McVities biscuits!
There were a few memorable treasure hunts: Pizza Express golden doughballs was fun, as was Reeses DJ Santa, who toured London giving out chocolate treats and cash prizes. Both of these had location clues shared on social media accounts.
Compers also loved the novelty Warburtons Inflatabagels – 800 of these were given away in a simple Facebook draw!
Lots of compers won with the annual Sainsbury’s Red Nose Day scratchcards, which are a brilliant way to donate to charity while having a great chance of winning if you post off your losing scratchcards for the mop-up draw. And once more, lots got lucky with the Post Office Savings prize draw, which required you to deposit at least £1,000 into a savings account for the chance to win One4All gift cards (I hope this returns again for 2022!)
…and the WORST competition of 2021?
Sorry Walkers, but SuperLucky readers decided the Ghostbusters Afterlife hourly entry instant win promotion was the worst of the year! They found it ‘boring’, ‘awful’ and ‘disappointing’, and weren’t impressed at the time it took for the prize vouchers to arrive (why weren’t they just emailed?). The photo captcha was also infuriating to complete on an iPhone! Hopefully we’ll be back to the purchase-necessary Walkers comps in 2022…
Reader feedback: “Although initially I liked the concept of entering every hour, it was so boring to keep entering I gave up very quickly!”
Yeo Valley Win 100 Brompton Bikes and Trek Win 200 Fitbits also got the thumbs down for being misleading algorithmic instant wins where not all prizes would be won. Trek have refused to send me a winners list for their promotion, so I’ve had to ask the ASA to get involved.
Oh, and I suppose I should mention the Brewdog gold can shambles too – although of course, everything turned out well for the winners in the end… hooray!
And that’s it for my list of 2021’s best and worst prize promotions! Leave a comment to let me know which were your top comps this year – did you win a prize in any of the ones I’ve mentioned here?