Walkers Spell & Go
With most of us still recovering from the Game Ready promotion, Walkers have launched an onslaught of media coverage for ‘Spell & Go’. But what’s it all about, and will they really be giving away the 20,000 holidays that the promo packets suggest? I investigate….
- There’s a unique code printed on the back of every promotional Walkers packet (single bags and individual bags from multipacks)
- Input this code at www.walkers.co.uk/spellandgo and it’s instantly converted into a letter
- Each letter is added to a dashboard where it will be used to spell out holiday destinations
- Collect every letter in a destination to win a 7 night holiday there for 4 people
- Bonus letters will be released in TV adverts, in the press and on social media – screenshot or photograph these and upload to the website to add them to your dashboard (start with this advert on Facebook for a letter A, and watch carefully when the Jeep door opens!)
- Enter a maximum of five codes each day
- Swap up to five letters during the promotion (random swap, or a specific letter swap with a friend)
- In addition, 250,000 promo packets contain a winning sachet (sachets are only distributed among the individual packets, NOT multipacks)
7 day holidays for 4 people, with flights and accommodation, to these locations:
- Group A (3,000 long haul holidays available to be won): Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kerala, Koh Samui, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Kuta (Bali), Marrakech, New York, Osaka, Phuket, Sri Lanka, Tokyo – or you can have a £4000 voucher
- Group B (17,000 short haul holidays available to be won): Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Budapest, Corfu, Crete, Cyprus, Florence, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Majorca, Munich, Nice – or you can have a £1500 voucher
Instant win sachet prizes:
- 150 x Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses
- 150 x Sony Bluetooth speakers
- 150 x Sony Camera
- 150 x Kobo eReader
- 400 x Veho Pebble Smartstick portable charger
- 85,000 x eBooks
- 15,000 x holiday reads from WHSmith
- 150,000 packets of crisps
The rare letters
We’re just two weeks into the promotion, but from chat on Facebook and Twitter it’s clear that there are three rare letters, and most players need just a K, C or D to complete a destination name and win a holiday (K for long haul, C/D for short haul). I’ve only input 15 codes and my dashboard is just a K away from my dream trip to Tokyo!
T&Cs for this promotion state that the holiday prizes are ‘available to be won’ rather than ‘will be won’ – so no ‘winning moments’ this time! This is quite a common way for an instant win to be run, although it can be rather misleading. A couple of years ago, Compers News Editor Steve and I had an interesting meeting with Jeremy from PromoVeritas, who explained various instant win formats and terminology.
Although the Spell & Go terms and conditions don’t explain the exact mechanism PromoVeritas are using to award prizes, it may well be a format where they start by calculating how many flashed packets they expect to be produced during the lifetime of the promotion. Googling tells us about 10 million packets are produced each day by Walkers, and the promotion lasts over 100 days, so there may well be over 1 billion promotional packets! And usually with this kind of promotion, the total prize fund of 20,000 holidays is what will be won if every one of those 1 billion unique codes is input on the Walkers website – which of course will never happen (if every holiday was won, that would cost Walkers around £37.5 million!)
Let’s look at those available prizes again – 3,000 long haul trips, and 17,000 short haul. A letter K will win you a long haul trip, but the chance of you getting that letter K to win a trip may be as small as 1 billion divided by 3,000, or 1 in 333,000. The chance of getting a C or D for your short haul trip is better at approximately 1 in 59,000. Or to put it another way, we could estimate that every 50,000th unique pack code entered on the website will reward its owner with the letter they need to win a holiday. Of course, I’m just making presumptions about how this type of promotion works, and guessing at the numbers, but it certainly looks like there’s a rather tiny chance of a win compared to their generous Game Ready winning moment promotion, where the prizes were guaranteed rather than available to be won.
It’s also been noticed that Walkers have splashed a lot of cash on the accompanying promotional activity – TV ads, camels in London, daily holiday giveaways for Sun Perks members, and Gary Lineker popping up here there and everywhere! There’s going to be a special event in Manchester (9 May and 19-22 May 2016) where people can make a letter shape with their body to win a letter for their dashboard – but what are the chances of that letter being a C, K or D, I wonder?
Yesterday @Walkers_Crisps also tweeted about a Tesco exclusive ‘Unexpected Item in Bagging Area’ promotion, where 84 lucky shoppers at Tesco stores (find the list of 84 here to see if there’s one near you – you might well be disappointed!) will each be surprised by a Walkers representative when they buy their crisps, and win a holiday there and then.
— Walkers Crisps (@walkers_crisps) April 26, 2016
All this extra fuss seems like a way to distract from the lack of prizes in the main promotion if you ask me… but what do you think?
Finally, I would suggest keeping hold of your packets too – on Twitter, Walkers initially told people they didn’t have to keep hold of them, but then changed their mind when someone pointed out that the T&Cs stated we should. And if there is an error in the system (which happens rather too frequently with instant wins!) and it suddenly gives out 10,000 letter Ks, Walkers might possibly be looking for a way to reduce the number of holiday claims – and asking for the packets would be the easiest way to ensure that!
Is your dashboard just missing a K, like everyone else? Are you going to continue buying the crisps? Have you heard of any winners? Leave a comment to let me know!
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy my guide to purchase necessary promotions, tips for winning on-pack promotions – and check out ‘Di’s Prize Buys’ on YouTube for more current purchase competitions!
UPDATE 3rd June 2016 – I’ve heard of three people who have got a letter (C, D or K) to win a holiday. Be wary of anyone claiming to be swapping or selling the winning letters though – it’s likely they’re bluffing!
UPDATE 11th July 2016 – Spell & Go is now in the news as the Advertising Standards Agency are investigating the promotion as a result of five complaints. Screenshots apparently showing the source code for the ‘random swap’ part of the website (code which excludes C, K and D from being generated) have been circulated on Twitter:
I’ve now heard of about 10 winners, including a good friend of mine, who won a trip to Cyprus! That’s still nowhere near the 20,000 advertised though…. it will be interesting to see what Walkers tell the ASA!
UPDATE 17th August 2016 – the ASA have ruled that the ‘Random Swap’ aspect of the promotion ‘was misleading and likely to cause unnecessary disappointment to consumers’ because Walkers did not state in the T&Cs that the swap mechanic was designed never return a C,K or D. See the ASA ruling here.
Want to know how many holidays Walkers actually gave away? Read “The Truth About Walkers Spell and Go”