Are on pack promotions passed their shelf life?

Becky Munday, CEO of Mando and Past Chair of the IPM shares her thoughts.


Every year there is fresh marketing developments which disrupt the way we think and the way we sell. Making us think twice about conventional marketing methods.

Furthermore, the market place is becoming littered with promotions which over promise and under deliver, ruining this reliable and extremely effective way to engage.

Buckle your seatbelts
As a prime example, Walker’s ‘Spell and Go’ promotion; was offering 20,000 holidays if you collect a winning combination of letters but in reality only 796 holidays were won. With a real lack of bums on seats, this promotion was subsequently banned by the ASA after more than 100 consumers complained that the trips on offer were virtually impossible to win.

So, what is going wrong?
It’s simple. Deliver on your promise.

If you say you have beers back at your house, make sure you do – and make sure they are cold ones.

When promotional messages have a huge prize fund and it gives the idea of thousands winning – ensure a reasonable percentage actually do or put on the coffee machine and brief the PR team.

Should brands be discouraged to do promotions?
In short no, of course not – it’s a proven method to sell. Promotions present countless benefits such as data collection, increased product trial and competitive advantage. Consider the McDonald’s Monopoly, there is a reason they run the promotion year on year, it drives sales and there is consistent winners all coming together to provide an essential cog in its personality. Typically, we expect a much higher engagement rate for promotions, which run year on year – demonstrating the power of running transparent and realistic promotions.

How to get promotions right. Forget the short term
Understandably, ROI is a key motivator for any promotion but see it as an investment strategy and strive for something more meaningful and accept people will need rewarding.

The value of engagement and memorability far exceed the initial costs – of giving Dave from Cheshire his White Renault Clio. After all, the more people who win, the increased number of who people will believe in your promotion and consequently your brand.

Compliance isn’t enough
Striving to be compliant – is the same as passing up to your exam for a pass. Being prize compliant should be mandatory not something, you achieve so you can then just get your message onto the shelves.

Bring the party
By rewarding more consumers, you will attain a higher response rate and create a much happier consumer base. Bring traditional together with modern. Why can’t promotions be customer centric? Create rewards, which have the customer in mind and a promotion, which gives a genuine chance to win.

Cover the risk so your consumer can receive more
Brands shouldn’t be discouraged to promote – they should be encouraged to push for rewarding more. The very premise behind fixed fee sales promotions is allowing your brand to deliver on its promise and to reward as many consumer as possible within budget. Furthermore, it can allow you to further understand your audience, explore promotional response rates and deliver rewards which satisfy your audience.

Promotions should be designed with the participant in mind and configured to engage, please and inspire your customer base– not to just tick a compliance box and short-term gain.

For information on how to make your promotion a success and how a risk managed solution can empower your offerings please get in touch.

You can link-in with Becky here and find out more about Mando at



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