Consumer sweepstakes serve as an effective marketing tool for brands to reward their customers and also increase awareness and engagement (among many other benefits you can read about here). This year however, sweepstakes have taken a unique role as the COVID-19 pandemic forced consumers to miss out on many common events and activities. Brands have stepped in to help consumers enjoy the things they missed out on during quarantine with interesting and creative sweepstakes rewards. Continue reading for our list of five unconventional sweepstakes from 2020 that helped us stay positive during the pandemic.
Blue Bunny Funlightenment
The Blue Bunny brand is known for fun…and especially summer fun, but with COVID-19 affecting many summer plans, they partnered with MRi to create excitement for their customers during this unprecedented time. Using our consultative approach and our Consumer Connect software, MRi identified the purpose of a summer promotion for Blue Bunny. In addition to being exciting, fun and timely, the promotion had to drive awareness for the Blue Bunny brand and engage their customers. The Blue Bunny Ice Screen Truck Sweepstakes was the perfect promotion to bring some much needed fun back to summer!
With a purpose identified, our team at MRi got to work developing an exceptional promotion strategy for Blue Bunny. In order to bring Funlightenment to Blue Bunny customers on a tight deadline, a sweepstakes promotion was the best solution. This summer, many families had to miss out on summer activities, including catching a movie at the cinema, due to theatres being closed or out of fear of going to a theatre. To bring summer theatre fun directly to their fans’ homes, Blue Bunny gave consumers in select cities a chance to win a private movie theatre screening in their driveway with the Blue Bunny Ice Screen Truck- which was also packed with sweet snacks for the perfect movie watching experience! Those that didn't win (or did not live in one of the select cities for the Ice Screen Truck) could enter Blue Bunny’s instant win game promotion in the Funlightenment series: a ticket exchange, where fans could upload their canceled tickets for a chance to win exciting prizes instantly.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted a lot of plans. One of the most gut wrenching events affected by the pandemic was Weddings. Months or years go into planning a couples special day, and this year everything changed as venues were forced to close and couples scrambled to find a solution. Enter Busch. The beer company wanted to give back to all the couples who had their wedding affected by these unforeseen circumstances.
In April, during many states’ stay-at-home orders, Busch ran a social media sweepstakes where affected couples could win a year's worth of Busch. By writing how they plan to celebrate despite the circumstances on instagram or twitter with a photo of themselves and the hashtags #BuschWeddingGift and #Sweepstakes, couples could have a chance to win in this unique sweepstakes. And no doubt, a year's worth of Busch would help the lucky winning couple with their celebrations, even if it's just the two of them at home!
Chips Ahoy, Sour Patch Kids Prom
In addition to weddings, another big milestone was severely impacted by the pandemic: Prom. Prom is a huge celebration that marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next for many high school seniors. Unfortunately, schools all over the United States were forced to switch to remote learning, and even more, some schools ended the school year early. With school being virtual and social distancing in place, prom seemed impossible, but not to the Chips Ahoy and Sour Patch Kids Brands.
The two brands recently partnered up on the limited edition chips ahoy sour patch kids cookies. They joined forces to promote their cookie and give back to those that missed out on their prom. Students (ages 17-20) who had their prom canceled could enter on the sweepstakes microsite for a chance to win one of the 1000 tickets. Why would they want to go to the virtual prom? Because it was hosted by DJ Steve Aoki! In addition to the live virtual event, Chips Ahoy and Sour Patch Kids gave students the chance to win a prom do-over for them and their classmates once restrictions are lifted.
Birthdays during quarantine were certainly shaken up. People of all different ages had to get creative to celebrate their birthday during the stay at home orders. From zoom parties to driveway car parades, many found a way to celebrate despite the situation. Planters wanted to reward those who may not have been able to celebrate their birthday the way they wanted to. As a follow up to their superbowl commercial, where Peanut Jr first appeared as a reincarnated Mr. Peanut, Planters announced that Peanut Jr had grown quickly and was celebrating his 21st birthday during quarantine.
To celebrate Peanut Jr’s birthday, Planters gave consumers who had celebrated, or would be celebrating, their birthday during quarantine a chance to win $2,100 in an exciting and unique sweepstakes. By tagging @MrPeanut and tweeting a their dream birthday gift in fewer than 10 words, with the dedicated hashtags (#MakeMyBirthdayNuts and #Sweepstakes), fans had a chance to win!
Pepsi Tailgate in a Box
Finally, as our last example, Pepsi’s Tailgate in a Box was a unique promotion targeted at football fans across the country. With the controversial start to the NFL, because of all the COVID-19 restrictions, many stadiums are not allowing fans. With this restriction, in addition to state gathering limitations, numerous fans felt like they couldn't celebrate football the way they wanted to. Tailgating is an iconic way to celebrate football season and gather with friends, family, or even just fellow sports fans you met in the parking lot outside your team's stadium. Pepsi’s Tailgate in a Box sweepstakes wanted to return the tailgate feeling to lucky football fans.
By visiting the sweepstakes page of Pepsi’s madeforfootballwatching.com campaign website, Pepsi fans have a chance to win one of twenty “tailgate in a box” kits. According to Marketing Dive, “Valued at nearly $5,000, the package includes a 16-square-foot tailgating box that comes equipped with an outdoor projector, custom cornhole sets and a variety of Pepsi products.”
We hope that these five sweepstakes examples inspired you. It’s easy to see this pandemic for all the marketing challenges it presents, but there are also ways for brands to get creative with their marketing, like these five brands (and many more) have. Marketing Resources has been in the promotional marketing business for over 25 years and has worked with the worlds top brands. Contact us for promotion strategy, development, management, execution, and more. With our four step IDEA process, we can help your brand Identify your promotion’s unique purpose, Develop an effective strategy, Execute the campaign flawlessly, and Analyze the results in real-time.