Ten Steps For Planning Brand Contests


Honda Civic’s awesome trips Sweepstakes contest “Custom Honda Rides- Awesome Trips”, gives a chance to win a custom Honda Civic Sedan designed and autographed by Demi Lovato or a custom Honda Grom motorcycle designed and autographed by Nick Jonas, or a trip to Europe to meet Nick Jonas.


Contests can engage audiences with a theme or with a context increasing the interactions with your brand. In another example Kerastase, a popular Haircare brand encourages audiences to share their curls in a selfie contest, encouraging audience participation.


Ten Steps For Planning Brand Contest


Set Your Contest Goals

Start with defining your goals. Choose a goal that is closest to the metric that  you are trying to achieve results for. Is your goal Brand Awareness, Brand affinity, Conversions, Increased Web Traffic, Obtaining User Data or Increased Reach and Frequency or Impressions.

Pick a Contest Design

Pick the Contest Design that works for your Campaign goals based on the key metric.

Determine the reason you are running the contest. Is it for a new product that you would like to build awareness for or are you looking at engaging audiences, introducing a limited time offer or would like to build affinity for your brand with an existing campaign.


Decide Your Calls To Action

Select Your Calls To Action. Define what would you like the user to do after interacting with your post. McDonald’s has introduced the contest with messaging centered around  a Special price Combo and launch of new “Strawberry Lemonade”.


Define Contest Targeting

Define your Target Audience. Who are the key audiences for your Contest. Depending on your goal you can define your Target.

Decide on Contest Messaging

Decide on your contests’ key message or Takeaways for the consumer, this will flow from the campaign rationale. If the campaign rationale requires that your consumers think about your brand in a certain way, the key messaging in your contest should be designed to deliver the message.

Articulate the keywords For Discovery

Articulate the keywords and Hashtags that are mandatory for your campaign discovery. Build the same in your messaging.

Choose Contest Tactics and Channels

Choose the right tactics for your contest, the tactics depend on your budget your brand  and contest design. If you plan to go with a contest that requires User Generated data the a suitable tactic for your brand will require to create a buzz for your campaign. This could mean engaging a social media celebrity, co-brandng or any buzzworthy posts that can make your contest go viral.

Choose the channels that you would use to promote your contest and  the channels where you would host your contest. Include the Terms and Conditions link and host the link on your brand’s site or micro site. Depending on the channel determine the key communication elements such as “Facebook Video post” and “Twitter Post”. Decide on Organic Social Media and Paid Social Media elements. Choose the right creative sequence for maximum impact. Create a flow chart of messaging for different use case scenarios.

Decide Your Contest Budget

Your contest budget will cover for the contest design cost, cost for promotion and distribution on social media, depending on tactics and paid media as well as any creative and web development contest. If you are using a software vendor, you have to build in the cost for the same.

Measure With Metrics

Determine the metrics that you are trying to achieve growth for include the key metrics in order of priority i.e. conversions, visits, Engagement, Interactions. If you are introducing a price off, build in the metrics for the new price or new launches.



Collaborate and Roll

Bring in all stakeholders up to speed with the contest details, agree on all the Terms and conditions and Brand guidelines , define the critical success factors and the barriers to success and how to overcome the same.




McDonald’s Sweepstakes With A Hundred Million Prizes


MonopolyPeel and Play offers hundred million food and cash prizes, from Medium Fries to 1 Million Dollars with 2016  Money Monopoly Game. McDonald’s earlier ran a Sweepstakes contest with a chance to win USD 500,000 every week and the Tickets to an NFL game and cash. McDonald’s money monopoly game has a mobile first approach with a focus on app only reward of USD 50,000. All through the contest period from March 29 to April 25 in-restaurant, and Online from March 29 till May 9 , the participants can win an instant prize by peeling the game piece or collect and win for each property as per the monopoly rules on Playatmcd.com.


With a one in four chance of winning the game focuses on the App with a chance to win USD 50,000 in cash prizes. The game requires users to find the missing online puzzle pieces to win an instant prize or a cash prize with Collect and win option.

McDonald’s  introduced McPick menu that is a value meal option for a  limited time only offering customers more flexibility.


Seven Ways For Engaging Holiday Shopper For Non-Gift Purchases


Candy and Food is the second most important planned purchase category during the Holiday Season. According to a survey done by Prosper Insight, as high as 56 percent of consumers planned to take advantage of offers that are available by way of Price Discounts on non-gift items during the Holiday Season. All spenders spending during the Holiday Season anticipate spending USD 230 during the holiday season on Non-Gift items, with as high as 90 percent planning to buy Candy and Food. Food Retail Brands and Food Brands targeting the Holiday Shopper with Product Offers, Content Marketing and Social Media posts have engaged the Non-Gift Holiday Shopper on Social Media Channels with Content and Holiday Season Packs.




Here are Marketing Ideas For engaging the Non-Gift Holiday Shopper


Plan an Offer – Krispy Kreme’s Day Of The Dozens Offer

DozenKrispy Kreme “Day of The Dozens Offer” is one of a kind offer that gives shoppers the ability to redeem an offer from a Facebook Post.
The offer can be redeemed online with an email sent directly to the shopper. Krispy Kreme’s Day Of The Dozens offer gives a dozen doughnuts free with the purchase of a dozen doughnuts. Titled the World’s Tastiest Coupon can be redeemed on Dec 12, 2015. The social media conversation for the offer can be followed on #DayOfTheDozens.

The offer is mailed to the user from Facebook Offers for customers who click on the CTA in Facebook post and can be claimed online and shared on Facebook.


Key Takeaway: Launch a limited time offer with a seamless shopping experience that is likely to best resonate with your audience, while they are out gift shopping.
Introduce New Packaging – KFC’s Holiday Packaging


Kentucky Fried Chicken introduced Seasonal Packaging to add holiday cheer for customers looking at adding festive spirit to their meals, complete with Christmas decorations and all that is required to get you in the holiday mood. KFC has introduced Door Delivery services with Door Dash on Demand. DoorDash will  deliver from KFC restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Orange County, with delivery expanding to other cities in the coming months.

Kentucky Fried Chicken has earlier made a splash with Colonel’s Road Trip during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.



Key Takeaway: Launch a limited time holiday season packaging  that is likely to best resonate with your audience to evoke emotional connect within a context. Increasing social media engagement with planned events can remind audiences about the role of your products in your customer’s lives.


Extend Your Campaign – McDonald’s Extends All Day Breakfast Campaign and Introduces Holiday Pies

McDonald’s launched the next phase of All Day Breakfast Campaign with GIF Tweets that make All Day Breakfast appropriate for meals all day long, with the tagline Get Breakfast anytime. McDonald’s reintroduced Holiday Pies for a limited time, engaging audiences with a product that is likely to resonate during Holiday Season. As reported by AdWeek, Mc Donald’s has seen success with the launch of All Day Breakfast, successfully straddling the Lunch segment, with Breakfast menu items.

A new study by market researcher NPD Group marks some of the first available data regarding the fast food chain’s all-day breakfast, the Wall Street Journal reports. The study found that a third of McDonald’s customers who bought breakfast beyond the previously established hours had not patronized the chain in the month prior to the initiative’s October start. All-day breakfast went into effect two months ago after McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook implemented the plan to meet customers’ demands. NPD used receipts from over 27,000 survey participants in the month before and after the launch to determine its results. Most survey participants who ordered breakfast did so during lunch hours. The new initiative tended to boost the overall cost of the meal, as 61 percent of those customers also ordered lunch items, according to the study.

Key Takeaway: Extending your campaign at the time when audiences are exploring options helps your content get discovered and can be an appropriate moment to remind them about any new products that you have on offer.
Create Non-Gift Content – Hershey’s Kisses and Content Marketing 

Hershey’s Kisses has created a series of engaging Social Media Tweets with DIY Content ideas, Recipes and GIfs that remind the social shopper anout the products in a holiday marketing context.

Entertaining is a segment where Food brands can use interesting and engaging content for non-gift holiday shoppers.


Key Takeaway: Promoting your content on social media channels can increase interactions for your brand while they are gift-shopping to convert new customers for your brand with engaging non-gift content.
Promote Your Loyalty Program – Starbucks Brings “Starbucks For Life” Back

Starbucks reintroduced “Starbucks for Life” offer on signing up for the Loyalty Program, “My Starbucks Rewards” . The program encourages sign up for the Loyalty Program at the time the audiences are most likely to be looking forward to offers for the socializing trend marking the shopping season.

Promote A Special Price Pack or Offer -Wendy’s 4 For $4 Meal

Wendy’s Social Media Posts remind audiences about the 4 for $4 meal which serves as a reminder for the shopper or the customer looking for non-gift shopping options, while they are out Gift-Shopping.


Launch a Contest – Dunkin’ Donuts Jet Blue Tickets Contest

Dunkin’ Donuts introduced JetBlue Tickets for the season with packaging that gets the users in Holiday mood with contest prizes that are targeted at engaging the non-gift spend from the Holiday Season Shopper.

McDonald’s and NFL Team Up For Game Time Gold Sweepstakes



Prizes McDonald’s Game Time Gold Sweepstakes brings one of a kind holiday season bonanza giving out,a grand prize a check for USD 500,000 every week and two Ticketmaster® 2016 Regular Season Tickets for regular home games. The other prize being given out every week is a 2016 Hyundai Tucson Sport. The Sweepstakes lasts for four weeks and engages audiences through the Game where the lucky team is announced, after every Sunday Game.

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