From the vault - Best SP ever

The entertaining and interactive campaigns came out tops when P&I canvassed readers in its best SP ever poll, says Bhavna Mistry.

The big idea: when it came to voting for your choice of outstanding promotions, this was the uniting factor for the thousand-plus discerning P&I readers who logged on to P&I's bestSPever intiative.

Some 1,665 of you logged on to the bestSPever.com site to vote for your choice of most outstanding campaign from a list of 50. The full results are set out on the following pages, but the top five campaigns - Weetabix House, Ribena's Win a Donkey, Cadbury's Creme Egg Mystery, and Heinz's Win a Home - reflect just how important that big idea has become when it comes to successful and enticing work.

"All the campaigns listed have factors that pick them out from the crowd.

But it was those campaigns that broke the mould and almost created the promotional mechanic which rose to the front of the list," says Nigel Owens, now business director at RMG Connect and formerly client services director at STO Response, the WPP shop which created the bestSPever website.

What they also have in common is the fact that they all captured the public imagination with creative that was entertaining and interactive, today's prerequisites of successful activity.

The bestSPever initiative launched in June with the objective of finding the most outstanding promotions as voted by marketers across disciplines and categories. From your votes, we've graded those promotions that you believe make the best SP ever. Given that the judging procedure relied on the collection of people whose knowledge and expertise in marketing is second to none - our readers - these top campaigns should be rightly proud of their achievements.

1. WEETABIX HOUSE

Like most of the players in the multi-billion pound cereals category, Weetabix is a sales promotion aficionado. But when it launched its House promotion at the end of February 2002, it was breaking the mould.

The push, through Dialogue, was flagged up on-pack and gave consumers the chance to win prizes from a stash of goodies worth £1million in total. What made this activity stand out in the cereal category was the online element.

While the internet had established itself as a defining feature of the promotional marketing landscape, it was still being used as an additional channel, offering the same promotions on pack as online, rather than utilising it as the major element. And cereals were still pretty much trading off the tried-and-tested mechanics of coupon collector schemes, in-pack giveaways and self-liquidating promotions to shift product.

Weetabix House built on the insight that the internet was a perfect vehicle for its core family market, and used that to drive its promotional activity.

Creative focused on a fictional Weetabix house online, looked after by Fred the security guard and Doris the housekeeper.

The house had six rooms in total - a garage, kitchen, kids' den, lounge, study/gym and shed - with each represented on a different pack design.

The prize giveaway was detailed on-pack, with information about how to enter on the back. Consumers were given a code found inside promotional boxes with which they were then directed to the website. Fred guarded the house while the code was entered to see whether it was a winner. Winning codes gave the consumer access to the house where they could wander through to view all the prizes.

As with any online campaign, the issue of security was a major concern, and was addressed by asking for paper verification: winners not only had to enter the code and choose their prize online, but they then had to send off their printed code on a form found on-pack.

The house showcased 3,500 prizes in total, which provided the impetus for consumers to "get in there early to get the pick of what was up for grabs" says Jerry Higgins, then group promotions manager at Weetabix.

Supporting the promotion was an above-the-line campaign devised by Banks, as well as POP and further in-store material.

So the House promotion had friendly characters in both Fred and Doris, which encouraged playability. It ran across all pack sizes to encourage repeat purchase. And coupled with the advertising support, it was set to achieve its twin objectives of converting new and lapsed consumers at the same time as retaining the loyalty of its regulars.

As Mark Whitmore, director of Swordfish, said in his review of the campaign for P&I, it ticked the boxes in his three Ps rule for prize draws: prizes (how much do I want one?); probability (what are my chances of winning?); and playability (how much fun is it?).

It worked for consumers too. The promotion increased sales by seven per cent, breaking all previous Weetabix records; average weight of purchase increased by seven per cent, and it generated more than 730,000 entrants who spent an average of eight minutes on site viewing on average seven pages. It also picked up the Grand Prix, platinum, a gold and bronze at the 2003 ISP awards, making Weetabix that year's most successful promoter.

2. RIBENA WIN A DONKEY

It started with 10 people meeting at GlaxoSmithKline's offices, including representatives from Ribena's brand team, customer marketing, sales, ad and below-the-line agencies. On the agenda was a brainstorm for tactics on Ribena's Shrek 2 licence. The result was Ribena's Win a Donkey, through Billington Cartmell.

The objective was to rack up £5.6million in incremental sales. The Ribena team focused on the donkey because "it was the funniest character" and helped the drink to achieve standout from other Shrek activity, said then brand manager Beth Allen.

The ubiquitous donkey ran on pack across Ribena's entire product range.

The top prize was a real donkey (from a sanctuary) as well as thousands of prizes of cinema tickets and three-foot inflatable donkeys. The top prize winner also received a £1,000 travel allowance to visit their donkey, and the push was supported with fully integrated PR, cinema, viral, website, in-store and TV advertising.

Love it or hate it, the push was a huge success, delivering incremental sales of £6.86million - 22.5 per cent over target - and scooping three gongs at the 2005 MCCA awards.

3. ANDREX FREE BEANIE PUPPY

Think Andrex and you think puppy. Man's best friend in miniature is inextricably linked with Andrex, symbolising the softness and strength that are at the core of the brand. The puppy has featured in nearly 120 commercials since its introduction in 1972, helping to drive a market leadership that spans more than 40 years.

Promotionally, too, the puppy has delivered for Andrex. The brand's bean puppy self-liquidating promotion, which launched in 1999 through SMP, asked consumers to collect four proofs of purchase and send £2 to claim a beanie puppy. The campaign exploited the long-term brand association between Labrador puppies and the Beanie Babies phenomenon.

In addition, the push incorporated some deft touches: the puppy came with its own carry pouch, and consumers could name their puppies and have that name lasered on to a birth certificate The budget was £910,000 based on an initial order of 400,000 beanie puppies.

Redemption levels topped a million, resulting in a 3 per cent share increase during the promotional period, which drove volume share to 32.9 per cent.

Some 12 million rolls of Andrex were sold, with a 12.5 per cent increase in purchase frequency.

4. CADBURY'S CREME EGG MYSTERY

As much a national event as a promotion when it ran in 1984, the Cadbury's Creme Egg Mystery was the result of a masterful big idea from Triangle.

The agency came up with the first of the treasure hunt ideas that are still favourite brand ruses today - think Mercedes' Pirates of the Caribbean hunt which ran over summer. Twelve Faberge-style eggs were hidden in secret places all over the country. Customers sent in 12 wrappers to claim a book of clues.

Someone came across one of the £10,000 eggs by chance, generating huge amounts of publicity and firing the public imagination. People started hunting for eggs all over the country and there was an uproar when treasure hunters even started digging at Stonehenge.

It generated Cadbury's highest-ever brand share for Creme Eggs, said Triangle founder Roger Hyslop, who was apparently still getting entries 15 years later.

4. HEINZ WIN A HOME

Heinz has a heritage of on-pack instant wins with big prizes and Win a Home followed in the tradition of pushes such as Car A Day. That push came in at number two when P&I canvassed the great and good of the industry for their best ever SPs some six years ago, because of its status as the first big instant win.

By the time Win a Home, through Dynamo, hit shelves for a six-month run in October 2003, Heinz was a consummate on-pack player and splashed the push on a total of 285 million cans across three of its key ranges: beans, soups and pasta.

The aims were to raise awareness and increase average weight of purchase in the face of a declining category, as well as maintaining its premium price positioning.

On offer was the chance to win one of four Crest Nicholson homes. The instant win mechanic featured a specially designed cradle inside the winning cans that opened up to reveal a golden house. The activity was supported by two bursts of a dedicated TV ad, as well as press and PR activity.

A second-tier of prizes allowed consumers to collect labels for branded Heinz crockery.

According to Heinz central marketing manager Angus Peterson: "Within the first 11 weeks of a six-month campaign, we had generated positive ROI and achieved 85 per cent of our volume target. The promotion demonstrated our support to retailers and delivered real volume growth on the products it supported. It was positive on awareness and penetration, and provided excellent additional display in store, which gave us standout."

BEST OF THE REST

6. Brand name: McVitie's
Agency: Catalyst
Campaign: Dunk for Britain

7. Brand name: Quaker
Agency: Haygarth
Campaign: Snack Bar Amnesty

8. Brand name: McDonald's
Agency: The Marketing Store
Campaign: Monopoly

9. Brand name: Ribena
Agency: TBA
Campaign: Harry the Lime

10=. Brand name: Coca-Cola
Agency: ZGC
Campaign: Coke Auction

10=. Brand name: Coca-Cola
Agency: BD-Ntwk
Campaign: Win a Player

10=. Brand name: Nescafe
Agency: Billington Cartmell
Campaign: Love Actually

10=. Brand name: Tetley's
Agency: Perspectives (STO Response)
Campaign: Kick for a Million

14. Brand name: Innocent
Agency: In-house
Campaign: Supergran - Keeping Little Bottles Warm at Christmas

15=. Brand name: Dove
Agency: Triangle
Campaign: Dove Firming 2004 - Real Women

15=. Brand name: Tesco
Agency: In-house
Campaign: Computers for Schools

17=. Brand name: Cadbury's
Agency: Triangle
Campaign: Txt n Win

17=. Brand name: Walkers/Comic Relief
Agency: Marketing Store
Campaign: Whoopee Cushion promotion

19=. Brand name: Daily Telegraph
Agency: IMP (now Arc)
Campaign: Telegraph Fantasy Football

19=. Brand name: Kellogg
Agency: Blue Chip Marketing
Campaign: Wake Up Your Mind - Free Microsoft Encarta Challenge CD

19=. Brand name: Texaco
Agency: HHCL
Campaign: Buried Mercedes cars

19=. Brand name: Walkers/The Sun
Agency: Marketing Store
Campaign: Free Books for Schools

23=. Brand name: Department of Health
Agency: Iris
Campaign: Sex Lottery

23=. Brand name: Hovis
Agency: Dynamo
Campaign: The Great White Prizes promotion

23=. Brand name: McVitie's
Agency: Marketing Drive
Campaign: Maths Stuff for Schools

26=. Brand name: Ariel
Agency: Arc
Campaign: Championship Whites

26=. Brand name: BA
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Campaign: The World's Biggest Offer

26=. Brand name: Shell
Agency: Glendinning
Campaign: Shell Make Money

29=. Brand name: Pot Noodle
Agency: Triangle
Campaign: Find a Poodle in Your Noodle

29=. Brand name: Walkers
Agency: The Big Kick
Campaign: Win an iPod

31=. Brand name: Tango
Agency: Triangle
Campaign: Shout Down non-Tango Drinkers

31=. Brand name: Walkers - Quavers
Agency: The Big Kick
Campaign: Pokemon Giveaway

33. Brand name: Carling
Agency: The Marketing Store
Campaign: Carling Football Stuff

34. Brand name: Tango
Agency: Triangle
Campaign: Tango Football Shrine

35=. Brand name: Berol*
Agency: Perspectives (STO Response)
Campaign: World's Shortest Bestseller

35=. Brand name: Tango
Agency: HHCL
Campaign: Tango Horn

37. Brand name: Golden Wonder
Agency: Logistix
Campaign: Pogs

38. Brand name: Esso
Agency: McCann Erickson
Campaign: Esso World Cup Collection

39=. Brand name: Marmite
Agency: Dialogue
Campaign: Marmite Grid Game

39=. Brand name: Peperami
Agency: Ammirati Puris Lintas
Campaign: Fanimal - Unoffical World Cup Mascot

41. Brand name: Sainsbury's
Agency: Team LGM
Campaign: World Cup Medals Extravaganza

42. Brand name: Sainsbury's
Agency: Team Marketing Communications
Campaign: Feast of Football

43. Brand name: Dutch Meat Board
Agency: Black Cat
Campaign: Smash the ú1m piggy bank

44=. Brand name: Boomerang Media
Agency: Swordfish
Campaign: Hunt for the Golden Boomerang

44=. Brand name: Mastercard
Agency: Arc
Campaign: Priceless promotion

44=. Brand name: Nestle
Agency: In-house
Campaign: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

47. Brand name: Coca-Cola
Agency: BD-Ntwk
Campaign: Win Music Downloads

48. Brand name: John Smith's
Agency: Carlson
Campaign: Raffle - Top Prize a Pint of Bitter

49. Brand name: Comic Relief/Sainsbury's
Agency: Team LGM
Campaign: Comic Relief

This list is based on the results of P&I;s best SP ever initiative,
an online poll undertaken in conjunction with STO Response and via text
through Kodime.

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