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| October 21, 2014

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.


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