The McCains promotion offered a staggering £3million worth of prizes including 10 Mini Cooper cars, hundreds of spa retreats and thousands of beauty treatments and piglet adoptions! However following complaints from the public, the ASA ruling in July 18 found that the on-pack promotion , “significantly exaggerated the likelihood of consumers’ chances of winning prizes,” and that “…the promotion was likely to cause unnecessary disappointment and concluded that it had not been conducted fairly”. The year-long promotion involved unique codes printed on more than 53 million packs. Enter the code on a website, and the system will tell you whether you are a winner. In the end via an algorithm – imagine a roulette wheel with 1,870 slots (53 million divided by 28,815, the number of prizes on offer) of which only one is a winner. This is marginally fairer than pre-allocated pack codes – but only just. In the end only 160 of the 28,815 advertised prizes were claimed, representing less than 1% of those on offer, and none the Minis or other star prizes.
The cause of the problem is purely down to the low odds of winning at just one in 1,870, combined with the fact that only 2 or 3% of purchasers typically enter an on pack. Inevitably they were not going to give away many prizes.McCain argued that the algorithm method was commonly used and had been approved
by the Institute of Promotional Markeing (The IPM), and that their Terms & Conditions and packaging clearly stated that “Although all prizes will be available to be won, there is no guarantee that all prizes will be won”. However, the ASA felt that the overall impression created by the promotional material was that there was a significant chance of winning and all the prizes would be made available which was misleading.
Being able to offer millions of prizes, and only paying out for a few prizes, that are often covered under Fixed Fee arrangements, may seem appealing but you run the risk of disappointing millions of your consumers – and incurring the wrath of the ASA.
A far better alternative is to seek to give away the stated prizes and one of the best and easiest ways is to use a Winning Moments mechanic. Instead of a route that seems to promote losing, Winning Moments is a much cleaner and fairer way of running exciting instant win promotions that give away all the prizes, generating public trust and love for the brand. The way it works is simple. Assume that there are 100 prizes, over a month. An independent third party (PromoVeritas) selects 100 moments (day, hour, minute & second) at random across the promotional period and the prizes are each randomly assigned to these ‘moments’. Then when an entrant submits their code to an entry site, an API checks with the secure server as to whether the entry time is the first on, or first after one of these Winning Moments. If so, then that entrant is a winner and told instantly. If the prize for that time period has already been claimed, then they are a non-winner. If no one enters between two Winning Moments, then the first prize is can either be rolled over to the next Winning Moment time period, or added to a Wrap Up draw at the end of the promotional period.
Why use winning moments?
To find out more about using Winning Moments, or for advice on all aspects of running promotions anywhere in the world contact PromoVeritas at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 203 325 6000