3 Holiday Instant Win Game Ideas That will Have Your Customers Jumping for Joy {UPDATED for 2022}

Holiday instant Win Games

As marketers prepare for another holiday season, it can be hard to brainstorm ways for your brand to stand out amongst the crowd when everyone is throwing their best marketing at consumers during the holidays.

It’s no wonder, too. The holiday shopping season is, by far, the biggest retail season of the entire year. Now, it begins earlier and earlier (did you see some of those awesome sales back in October?), and is more and more competitive. This year, economists expect overall spending to increase over last year, with gains across in-person shopping and e-commerce. For more on what to expect out of this holiday shopping season, check out our 2022 retail trends guide here.

This is where promotional marketing shines. What better way to get your consumers engaged than an instant win game. Instant win games are fantastic marketing tools for increasing brand awareness, engagement, sales, and data tracking.

Have specific needs or goals in mind already? Our experts have over 25 years of experience working in promotional marketing and can help you with any step of your promotion, from strategy to execution.

Advent Calendar Instant Win Game

For our first creative holiday instant win game idea, we have an instant win advent calendar. advent calendars have been a holiday classic since the early 20th century. Recently, advent calendars have been reinvented to appeal to older consumers (vs children) with things like wine or beer advent calendars. This opens an opportunity for more than just children’s brands to create an Advent calendar promotion. Think of different ways your brand can creatively leverage the popularity of advent calendars.

An advent calendar instant win game might look like this: each day consumers can “open” their digital advent calendar on your promotional microsite and win something from a variety of instant win prizes.

Since advent calendars give a reward each day until Christmas, we recommend having a variety of low, medium, and high-value prizes (with the former being more common). This way, your brand keeps consumers engaged over a longer period of time. The chance to win a high-value prize at any time entices consumers to come back and engage with your brand again and again, fostering greater brand loyalty.

“Secret Santa” / Charity Instant Win Game

Another common holiday tradition your brand can play with is secret santa gifting! There are multiple creative ways brands can run a secret santa-inspired instant win game for the holidays.

One way to creatively run a secret santa instant win game is to involve a charity. Holidays are the time for giving after all! Picture this: with each purchase during the promotional period, consumers have a chance to instantly win money (ranging from low to high value) to go to a charity of their choice from a list of partnered charities for the promotion, so they can become a secret santa for someone in need. With 70% of consumers considering it “important” for brands to take a “public stance on social and political issues,” this type of promotional campaign is an excellent way to connect with your consumers on a more personal level.

Your consumers expect you to represent similar social values as them. Brands that successfully integrate their values into everything they do have greater success and impact their bottom lines, while also doing real social good.

12 Days of Christmas Instant Win Game

For our last creative instant win game idea, we offer a 12 Days of Christmas Instant Win Game. Similar to the advent calendar instant win game idea above, this program includes 12 days of instant win chances for your consumers. Remember, a benefit of this type of campaign is its longevity. By offering a new gift or prize each day, your brand effectively motivates consumers to engage with your brand repeatedly.

The only thing better than a customer? A loyal one.

However, shake things up with this idea and get creative with the prizes by keeping them related to the theme of “12 Days of Christmas”. For example, on day three, a toy company may give customers a chance to win plush french hens. Or a fashion brand may create a limited-edition shirt or hat with an artistic rendering of the three french hens.

Alternatively, instead of having the prizes themed around the gifts featured in the song, you could increase the number of prizes with each day of the instant win game. For example, a brand may give away different numbers of prizes each day like this:

  1. On the first day of Christmas 1000 instant win prizes
  2. On the second day of Christmas 2000 instant win prizes
  3. On the third day of Christmas 3000 instant win prizes
  4. And so on…

This means as the days get closer to Christmas day, customers have higher chances of receiving a prize. This helps build excitement and also keeps consumers engaged throughout the entire program.

Engage Your Consumers This Holiday Season

With so much commotion surrounding the holidays, an instant win game can be the perfect solution to help keep consumers engaged with your brand vs other brands. These three ideas are just a start! There are many other ways to get creative with your instant win game, including different variations on the themes above. Instant win games are a great tool to engage and excite consumers. The instant gratification of receiving a prize can help strengthen your customers’ positive perception of your brand. As experts in the promotions business for over 25 years, Marketing Resources Inc. has created many instant win games over the years. View our case stories to learn more. If you want expert help with any aspect of your holiday instant win game, from strategy to execution, contact our experts today.

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Systems and Network Administrator

About Us

Marketing Resources, Inc. is a leading promotional marketing agency that specializes in purpose-driven promotions. With over 25 years in the business, MRi helps brands Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze promotions and marketing projects that consumers love. We’re a team full of committed, passionate, solutions-driven, hands-on, and innovative individuals who collaborate to bring success to our client’s programs.


The System and Network Administrator plays a critical role on the MRi Digital team, and overall in the success of our company. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and technical support of complex Linux servers, Virtual Infrastructure and Systems Management, and maintenance and support of end-user systems. You’ll be working closely with our teams on client projects and making sure our internal systems are updated and secure. 

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

In this role, we’re looking for that person who does not accept average.

You will help us create the best digital, promotions, products, and campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. MRi takes pride in our ability to constantly push the boundaries of development in the digital promotions space, and you will take an active role in working closely with our client services, business development, creative, and project management team to guide, develop, and deliver exceptional work for our clients and partners.

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Design, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, monitor, and tune performance of Linux-based servers and infrastructure, both internal and client-related promotions.
  • Provide support for problems and issues that come up from our clients, vendors, and internal teams.
  • Examine and audit various server logs and determine if any corrective action is required.
  • Review releases of new operating systems and evaluate the implementation in the enterprise.
  • Install, configure, and maintain server firewall and other security software.
  • Identify and provide technical resolution for potential security breaches, then establish and monitor security and apply appropriate fixes.
  • Implement and maintain technical solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity of enterprise and client systems.
  • Select the ideal server hardware for the company’s needs and administer physical server hardware, including repair and replacement of parts as necessary.
  • Monitor and maintain proper end-user system security by ensuring operating systems and software are up-to-date and applying patches as necessary.
  • Maintenance and support of all end-user service accounts including Office365, Google Workspace, hosted VoIP accounts.

The Essentials

  • 1-2 years of experience in Linux server administration in a small to midsize environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or minimum 4 years of related work experience.
  • Able to effectively plan, deploy and administer Linux servers in an enterprise environment.
  • Strong familiarity with Linux OS, Windows, macOS, application, and hardware troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with VMware ESXi and XenServer/XCP-NG, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, and Docker.
  • Networking and Storage – Familiarity with pfSense (*BSD pf) firewalls, Ubiquiti network gear, Synology NAS equipment, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP file protocols.  TCP/IP, UDP, and VLAN. configurations to manage networking and storage.  
  • Ability to compose thorough and clear documentation on routine tasks, standard operating procedures, and other documents beneficial to team members.

You’ll stand out if you have experience with

  • Debian-based Linux or Ubuntu operating systems, roles, services, concepts, security, permissions, middleware, and facilities required. (e.g. SMTP, NFS, SMB, iptables, LVM, LUKS).
  • Amazon AWS S3, EC2, and ElasticBeanstalk required.
  • Samba4 as an Active Directory Domain Controller, Administering Active Directory through. the use of GPOs and OUs.
  • Supporting Windows and macOS systems.
  • Scripting concepts and methods with competence in at least one relevant language (e.g. Bash, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • Internet clients/servers/protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, MTAs (e.g. Postfix).
  • An ability to explain complex technical processes in a more simplified version to team members, clients, and partners.
  • Experience with IT project management practices and techniques.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

The Perks

  • Medical insurance options
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(K) plan with company match
  • Flexible remote work policy
  • Paid sick days
  • Generous vacation and paid holidays

Interested in applying?

Send Resumes to resumes@marketingresources.com