Spooked by recession?

Posted on October 24, 2011

Categories: Blog

Contests, Coupons and Comedy can be a howling success

“Trick or treat?”

For marketing to be effective in a recession, the trick is to offer a treat.

The treat might be a coupon, a chance to win a contest, or just comedic entertainment.

A good example is a Halloween micro-site we’ve created for Promotion In Motion candies. Visitors are invited to guess the number of candies poured into a jack o’ lantern. Four popular candies are featured: Sour Jacks, Cookie Dough, Sqworms, and Sun-Maid Chocolate Raisins. You should visit the site to appreciate the comedy — the animated ghastly hand that pours the candies, the audio of a werewolf howling, the spooktacular background…

For consumers, it’s the recession that is truly frightening. You don’t have to be an expert on consumer psychology to know that people go online because they seek: escape from the daily grind (comedy), financial relief (coupons), and a chance to win a future reward (contests).

Contests and sweeps can be a great way to associate your product with something very positive – winning a grand prize. But the prize doesn’t have to be all that grand. A barrel of cash isn’t the only thing that tickles the imagination. For example, for our Halloween giveaway the prize is 100 Fandago bucks for movie-going, and secondary prizes of candy.

The main thing is to have a contest that seems like fun. That’s why a catchy name is helpful. For example, our video contest for Welch’s Fruit Snacks is called “Jinglicious” – people are invited to submit a short video of their singing about the candy, for a chance to win $1,000 and an iPad.

Equally important, a contest or sweeps should be easy to enter. For Vlasic pickles “The BBQ Quiz and Giveaway.” The key word was “giveaway.” People immediately understood that they could win just by entering.

The idea of the contest, and the specific prizes, should turn on your targeted demo. For Sour Jacks candy we created “the Flyaway Sweepstakes” for a chance to win a trip to X Games.

Coupons are a traditional enticement but, when you can use 3-D animation, music and SFX, there’s no reason an online coupon should seem Old School. After all, frugality is chic now.

So, beat the recession by giving consumers what they seek: contests, coupons and comedy.