Consumer Contests – A few examples

The Bombay Dyeing contest: A consumer contest successfully carried out by Bombay Dyeing in the 1990s offered over Rs 1 crore in prizes. The contest carried 25 first prizes – 25 Ambassador Cars. In addition, there were over 60,000 other prizes. The entrants had to rank the top 10 Indian film stars from a series of 12 names. Entrants had to complete a slogan on Bombay Dyeing fabrics. And each entry had to be accompanied by a recent cash memo for Rs 100 worth of Bombay Dyeing fabrics. A panel of judges decided the winners on the basis of the most popular ranking (which was computer done) and the quality off the slogan.

The company had an outlay of Rs 1 crore towards prizes, and Rs 50 lakh towards advertising budget for the contest. And the company planned to generate Rs 9 crore worth of immediate sale of Bombay Dyeing fabrics. The contest was given wide publicity through advertising in 11 languages throughout the country. The contest was co-sponsored by Cine Blitz, the film magazines. The advertisement agency Hindustan Thompson Associates took three months to design the contest and prepare the relevant materials. Four months were allowed for participation and on the whole, the sales promotion campaign took 10 months for completion – from the concept planning to final announcement of prizes.

Nescafe’s Nescheque contest was another widely publicized consumer contest. It attracted over four lakh entries. The contest designed by the agency, Clarion, carried Rs 10 lakh in prize money and spent nearly Rs 3 lakh on POP material. The advertising outlay for the campaign was around Rs 32 lakh. The campaign generated Rs 1 crore worth of sale during the contest period.

The campaign had another effect apart from bringing in extra sales. A competing brand of instant coffee, Brooke House was getting introduced into the market during the launching period of the contest. It proved to be a wrong entry time for Brooke House; the contest deflected the consumer’s attention from Brooke House.

The Nescafe shake contest offered Rs 5 lakh as total prize money, with Rs 1 lakh for the first prize. The total number of prizes ran to nearly 21,000. The advertising outlay for the contest was around Rs 20 lakh. The contest had a specific objective: to make consumers aware of Nescafe as a cool summer drink in addition to its traditional image of a hot beverage.

Cadbury’s announced fabulous prizes – round the world economy class air tickets for two adults and two children plus Rs 1 lakh in prize money. There were other prizes too – Ambassador Cars, TV, videos, refrigerators, cameras. The participants had to submit a minimum number of Cadbury’s wrappers and coin a jingle to participate in the contest. The campaign not only helped to increase the sales of Cadbury’s; it also helped them to counter the competition from Amul, who were introducing new flavors and improved packaging.

Bajaj – ‘Scratch the card’ contest: In a move to push scoter scales Bajaj launched an end-of-the-millennium scheme with 70,000 prizes on offer and Rs 1 crore cash as the top prize. To quote Bajaj: The objective is to push scoter sales which have been flat and to grow the market. Also, they wanted to create excitement for the scooter buyer especially at a time when traditionally sales are slower. The prizes on offer equal one month’s sales.

The contest was on for just one month. The procedure: every buyer of a Bajaj scooter (the range comprises the Super, Chetak, Classic, Bravo or Legend) during the contest period will find a scratch card in the dickey of the new scooter. ‘Scratch the card and you find your prize, much like saying, open sesame.