The power of promotions without borders

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As globalisation makes the world around us smaller and more accessible it is sensible for brands to centralise their marketing strategy across markets and locations. If you can stretch a single campaign across multiple countries it maximises your marketing efforts, but if it is a prize promotion, it can also lead to some serious legal problems – so what are the benefits?

What is legal in one country could be breaking the law in the next. Some countries require prior government registration, or a notary to oversee winner selection, others require the payment of taxes on prizes and so on. No two countries – not even in the EU – have the same rules or laws. Add in the specific rules for social media platforms and the latest laws for data protection and it becomes a complex legal minefield – something that PromoVeritas are experts at carefully navigating. But before you get turned off, let’s remind ourselves of why it’s worth the effort of running cross-border promotions;

  1. Bonus Budget

The obvious benefit of a cross-border promotion is that you only require one core idea and one agency to plan it and to run it. The creative, advertising and point of sale can all be translated and localised across multiple countries consistently – you don’t need to be a mathematician to work out that this can deliver real cost savings!

  1. Connecting with customers

By running your promotion in multiple countries, you’re also increasing the potential reach and connecting with customers who may not usually be on your marketing radar. With the right approach, you can collect vital information as part of the promotion, adding to your core databases and allowing you to discover even more insights into your customers and their buying behaviour. You should also consider the impact of the ‘word of mouth’ effect – everyone who enjoys your promotions will no doubt tell their friends to enter, too, further widening your audience and potential customer base.

  1. Brand awareness

Promotions are tangible representations of the brand and can really make a difference to brand perceptions and propensity to buy. However, sales in some countries might be too small to justify the creation of an on-pack campaign.  However, match up a few small countries with similar legal frameworks, and you can make it work, financially and creatively. Just look at the next Pringles on-pack promotion to see how many countries and languages they run the same campaign in! Not only can you stretch the prize fund across many, but you will be projecting a consistent brand message across all participating countries and by definition social media and other advertising channels.

  1. Sponsorships

A cross border promotion is the perfect way to leverage a core brand asset or a global sponsorship deal. For instance, Pepsi support their sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League via promotions on their Lay’s crisp brand that encourage fans from across Europe to ‘share their cheers’ via social media – a perfect promotion to harness the passion and community of the championship.

Know the law

But take care – you need to know the laws in your target countries, they need to have a suitable legal environment. Some, like Italy, cannot be part of a cluster, because their law says that prizes offered in a promotion in Italy must be awarded to residents of Italy. And in Brazil, a legal permit will only be issued if there is a clear statement of how many prizes will be given away in Brazil – which is impossible if there is a shared prize fund for multiple countries.

There a lot of ‘problem countries’ like these, but there are also many countries where the principle of shared prize funds and cross-border promotions will work. You just need help to navigate your way through often out-dated and conflicting national laws. The PromoVeritas team regularly carry out easy to understand legal reviews on behalf of agencies and brands.  We offer advice on the simplest way to run cross-border promotions, pointing out any pitfalls well in advance. Just remember that most things are possible and worth it – for instance, we have helped Pringles run dozens of prize promotions across the Middle East and Europe, saving them money and helping them to create engagement and sales in completely more new territories each time.

On board with cross-border?

As you can probably tell we are big believers in the power of cross-border promotions. Of course, as with any promotion, there are potential sticking points, and challenges, but the benefits certainly outweigh them, it just takes a bit of pre-planning and clever guidance. To find out more about how PromoVeritas can help your team contact us on 0203 325 6000 or email

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