Straws, Slots, and Schnitzels – Unlikely Promotions with Winning Results

When contestant Viola Authement discovered she had grabbed one of the red-and-pink-striped grand prize straws at Sonic Drive-In, she was in shock. Sonic’s first national promotion, “Luck of the Straw,” used different colored straws to offer various levels of prizes, including gift cards and a grand prize trip for two to Las Vegas with the chance to win $168,894 cash.

Sonic’s strategy was to tie the grand prize into their popular drinks by offering consumers the chance to win one dollar for every SONIC drink combination available – totaling $168,894. Authenment’s straw was one of fifteen offered for the Las Vegas trip, giving her a high probability of winning the guaranteed cash prize. The promotion generated media impressions for Sonic and a lot of interest from the public, undoubtedly helped by the creative idea to use straws as a way to determine the winners.

Marketers are always trying to differentiate their brand and product, and sometimes utilizing a unique promotion vehicle is exactly what is needed to generate the buzz and traffic desired. The chance to win a life-changing prize always captures attention and maintains interest, allowing the promotion to stand out.

“You’ve got to put a prize out there better than the next guy,” said a representative for Al Lamb’s Dallas Honda. “People were lined up outside the door during our grand opening for the chance to win our $50,000 Ultimate Garage Giveaway.

Clear Channel Chicago’s sponsor McDonald’s wanted a way to increase sales during late hours, so they placed SCA’s JackPot™ Machine, a Vegas-style promotional slot machine, inside the restaurant and invited customers to pull the handle between 9 and 11 pm for a chance to win $1 Million. “It was really enjoyable for the listeners to have a cool and different promotion,” said a Clear Channel representative. “The promotion helped motivate listeners to make McDonald’s their late night food destination.”

Wienerschnitzel is currently giving customers a chance to win $1 Million by finding the winning words “Wiener” and “Schnitzel” on their corndog sticks. Each stick is printed with either a code to be entered online for cash prizes or an instant win prize such as free corn dogs. The popular “Cash in on a Corn Dog” promotion is now in its fifth year. “Combining our everyday value and our fan-favorite Corn Dogs with fun contests and giveaways is our preferred way to reward our loyal customers,” said a representative for Wienerschnitzel.

In a crowded marketplace, campaigns often need a little something extra to shine. Adding a chance to instantly win an attention-grabbing prize that interests your client base is a great way to ensure your promotion will be successful. Call your SCA representative today to find out what you can do to amplify your next promotion.

Should I Self-Insure My Promotion?

Giving back to your customers is a great business decision – it shows customers that you’re willing to reward them for their patronage, while also serving as a great way to boost sales or other forms of engagement. Many companies use redemption or conditional rebate programs to stimulate business and reward winners, with prizes such as airline tickets, free products, or even cash. With proper planning, everyone wins, right? The company sets aside the assets needed and doles them out accordingly. But, if the promotion becomes too popular, it could be a financial disaster.

One promotion disaster with a large redemption miscalculation was with Hoover in 1993. The vacuum company had too much inventory on hand and needed to liquidate it. To entice potential customers, the company awarded airline tickets to those who purchased products over £100. What Hoover underestimated was the appeal of the airline tickets instead of their low product prices. Ultimately, the division of Hoover responsible for the promotion was estimated to have lost more than $50 million.

Companies should never be scared of having a promotion that’s too successful. After all, standing out and achieving media exposure is the reason you’re considering a promotion in the first place. SCA Promotions offers over-redemption coverage to ensure that a successful promotion will be celebrated with champagne … and not budget cuts to cover the unexpected costs. SCA will determine the estimated amount of redemption, and if redemption goes over the estimated amount, we will pay for the difference. No gimmicks or hoops to jump through, just assurance that if your promotion catches fire you’ll still be able to sleep at night.

A recent promotion gave an Ashley Furniture HomeStore in a small Texas town national media attention overnight. The furniture store offered its customers a FULL REFUND on purchases from August 16 through August 27 if the Aggies won by 10 points or more. This resulted in more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS of free furniture but since Ashley Furniture HomeStore secured promotional risk coverage, they experienced ZERO risk to their bottom line. The store owner and marketing team could sit back and relax while they reaped millions of dollars in free publicity with featured broadcasts in media outlets like ESPN, Fox Sports, Yahoo, and Good Morning America.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore achieved record sales, bolstered brand loyalty, and garnered millions of brand impressions – a clean sweep for an exciting promotion. “Our store had the best month of sales in the eight years it has been open,” said a representative for Ashley Furniture HomeStore. “More than 600 people bought items during the promotional period totaling more than $1 million in sales.”

Your company doesn’t have to calculate and assume risk. Not only does it require specialized knowledge and experience to calculate the odds accurately, but assuming too much risk is a quick path to red ink and an accounting department scrambling for cash. Promotions are a tried and true method to gain new business and reward current customers. If you already have a promotion lined up and simply need a fixed budget, or if you’d like to build a complete promotion from the ground up, contact us today and we’ll work with you to complete your goal. With more than 28 years of promotions experience in a number of industries, we are more than prepared to make both your customers and bottom line happy.

Start Up Your Auto Dealer Promotions

The Internet has revolutionized how consumers shop for cars. Face-to-face car selling now resembles something like speed-dating – consumers know what they want and where to find it, and they come armed with information on prices, reviews, recommendations, specifications, and more. If you don’t meet the customers’ expectations for service, they’ll move right along to the next dealer until they find the deal that’s right for them.

With leverage shifted entirely in the buyer’s favor, how do you stand out from the competition to entice prospects to visit your dealership? SCA offers a library of proven promotions to drive traffic, improve visibility, and build recognition for your dealership in the local community.

One of our most popular promotions for gaining attention in the community is our hole-in-one contest. Many organizations use golf to raise funds for worthy local causes. With SCA, you can offer golfers the chance to win a new car if they sink a hole-in-one. The increased excitement surrounding the grand prize will help the organization raise funds, and you’ll get positive press if someone wins. For an even bigger splash, dealers can engage fans of local sports teams with on-field promotions, such as field goal kicks, half-court shots, and more. The buzz around these promotions is palpable – one SCA promotion for Carmex ended with LeBron James bear hugging the contestant and resulted in 35 million You Tube views.

Of course, nothing beats old-fashioned dealership foot traffic. For dealerships that want to woo customers directly to their showrooms, send direct mail pieces. Together with SCA Promotions’ prize coverage, your mailers entice readers with the potential to win a new car, no strings attached. There are many different ways of promoting this incredible prize, from scratch-offs, to matching driver’s license numbers, to a potential winning key included in the mailer. You may have heard rumblings that direct mail is ineffective in the 21st century, but our case studies show that they’re a boon for car dealers.

If your customers are active in the digital space, you can follow other dealers who lean on SCA’s social media promotions to generate traffic to their website or identified social media pages. We also offer innovative promotions using PrizePad, in which you deploy iPads throughout your dealership. Roaming employees can not only bring promotions to customers, offering them the chance to win instantly with interactive games, but they also will collect demographic information for future marketing efforts.

Regardless of your location, audience, or size, SCA Promotions has the promotional offerings to entice your customers. All of our promotions are tailored to your objectives and budget. Contact us today to begin building your promotion.

Jumpstart Your Media Promotions

Not many industries are as fiercely contested as the radio and television markets. During booking and sweeps season, every ratings point matters in the battle for local or national airwave supremacy. Offering your audience the chance to win life-changing cash and prizes is a proven way to differentiate your station while attracting listeners, viewers and sponsors alike.

Radio Promotions

Over the past 28 years, SCA has fine-tuned our radio promotions to ensure that listeners tune in to your station and increase your market share.

  • Lucky Bucks: With a Lucky Bucks promotion, a listener could win big with just a dollar bill. Colorado station KKMG-FM offered $1,000 prize if a listener had a dollar bill with a serial number that matched the number read on-air. If the same dollar bill was a winner several times throughout the contest, the holder of the bill could win up to $100,000. The promotion helped to solidify KKMG’s number one rating and generated extensive TV and print exposure after they had a $100,000 winner.
  • Birthday Bash: WWZZ-FM in Washington, D.C. offered listeners $1 Million during Spring Book in order to boost ratings and generate publicity. Each day, the station announced a month. Callers whose birthday fell in that month called in and won $1,004 instantly. They then provided their birthday, with a successful match earning them $5,004. If the day was correct, the caller could predict the birthday year for the $1,000,004 prize. In addition to awarding $1 Million, the station generated tremendous publicity and increased its audience share.
  • Television Promotions

    Television is facing challenging times. The internet, mobile devices, and other media sources have pulled viewers away from their TVs, and viewership and ratings are down almost across the board. Sweeps are more important than ever, and program directors are making critical decisions to squeeze ratings from the competition and to hold onto their existing audience. Many stations rely on big-money promotions during sweeps week to both engage and reward viewers with the chance to win big cash and prizes.

  • Watch to Win: Watch to Win contests are an excellent way to boost ratings during a specific show or time slot. KTUL in Tulsa printed unique codes inside the Tulsa Lifestyle Magazine, which was mailed to 100,000 homes in the viewing area. Each night during the 10pm news, a code was announced and the viewer with that code was given eight minutes to call in and win $8,000. Three people won during the two-week broadcast, ratings increased during the second quarter hour of the newscast, and the station saw an increase in advertiser business – many of them first-time buyers.
  • On-air Promotion: Choosing a promotion with visible appeal will keep your audience engaged throughout your promotion. Windy City Live in Chicago used SCA’s Cash Blast machine to drive ratings and encourage online interaction. Viewers registered online to be one of the four weekly contestants to step into the Cash Blast and grab as much cash as they can. If a contestant caught the bill with the preselected winning number, he or she won $100,000. The promotion contributed to an outstanding May ratings period, in which the show finished number one in every category and won its 9AM time slot.
  • Contact us today to start building the perfect promotion for your audience.

    Recap: Highlights of Promotions in 2014

    It’s been a busy year for SCA Promotions so far and this June, we surpassed the $185 million mark for total cash and prizes paid out on promotions since 1986. We have enjoyed working with our clients on a myriad of contests helping each one achieve their objectives. Here is a recap of some of our client’s exciting promotions so far this year.

    For the second year in a row, SCA’s clients scored big around the Big Game. During Seattle’s second-half opening kickoff return for a touchdown in February, many of our clients and their customers jumped to their feet in celebration, but not for the score. Thanks to SCA’s promotional risk coverage, companies ran promotions leading up to the Big Game with incentives for their customers. If a touchdown was scored on either half’s opening kickoff, SCA Promotions would pay out the prizes or award businesses the money so they could refund their customer’s previous purchases. A total of $400,000 in purchases was returned to both Furniture Mart and Baillio’s store customers. Hutcheson Ford was able to refund the purchase cost of cars bought within the promotional period, which created a flurry of excitement in the area. These types of high-visibility promotions are a great way to drive customers to retailers in all industries.

    In Tennessee, a successful half-court shot netted a winner at a Middle Tennessee State University basketball game. Local store Tigermarket, radio station 104.5 The Zone, and Mountain Dew partnered to launch the half-time promotion. Throughout the season, fans and customers had a chance to win $10,000 at the school’s home basketball games. One student drained his half-court shot, sending him home with big money. The sponsors loved the incremental sales and higher profits during the length of the promotion. It was a win-win for everyone!

    One long-time client of SCA Promotions continues to see amazing results. MacDonald Auto Group in Sydney, Nova Scotia most recently used hockey shot promotions during local hockey games, in conjunction with a local radio station and sponsor Scotia Bank. Two fans who had never held a hockey stick scored from center ice, shooting the puck through a target to win $10,000 each. A few nights later, a fan won a brand new F-150 truck by shooting the puck from face-off dot to face-off dot diagonally across the ice. At the end of the season, SCA Promotions awarded $55,000 in cash and prizes on behalf of MacDonald Auto Group. It’s not hard to see why the auto dealer keeps returning to SCA Promotions for prize coverage. These types of promotions have significantly increased awareness for MacDonald Auto Group, causing sales to increase from 125 new car sales a year to more than 1,000.

    Legendary annual golf tournament, The Byron Nelson, put SCA’s PrizePad™ to use to bolster their attendee database. On the tee box were many golfing greats, but Byron Nelson officials wanted the information of the fans in attendance. Loaded onto Apple iPads, the PrizePad program allowed representatives to roam the grounds freely, letting visitors play games on the device for a chance to win a prize in exchange for entering their information. The initiative netted thousands of names and emails, and a staggering 85% of those opted in for future communications. This information will give Byron Nelson officials an advantage as they seek to expand the event in coming years.

    One restaurant wanted to bolster their slow mid-week sales. With SCA, Chicken Bones Bar & Grill offered a dice roll promotion during their slow weekday nights. Patrons rolled six large dice for a chance at prizes, including a new car from a local dealership, which was parked outside. To win the big prize, six Chicken Bones logos had to be rolled, and US Army Sargent Job Ramirez did just that. He drove home in his Dodge Charger, paid for by SCA. Chicken Bones loved the promotion and results so much that we are implementing even more promotions during 2014.

    If you would like to generate excitement about your company locally, or even nationally, our promotions are a perfect fit. With more than 30 years of experience, we tap into our database to discover what your customers will engage with most. Prize coverage allows you to offer tantalizing prizes for a fraction of what it would cost you out of pocket. Contact us today to begin building your perfect promotion.

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