My Best Promotion
December's My Best Promotion comes from Fionn Dolan, sales director of Bright Promotions, Navan, Ireland. He related a story where Bright Promotions designed a barside incentive program for a well-known beverage brand to reward end-users for trying its new drink. The program involved oversized gum ball machine-like devices set up as point-of-sale displays at 500 different bars, each loaded with gifts for the bartender to hand out each time a customer ordered the promoted beer. The gifts were packed into small, 55mm plastic capsules and included a small flier along with the promotional item.
While successful, Dolan's promotion was not without its struggles. He had to overcome indecisive clients, a tight timeline and even faulty equipment. Dolan shared his thoughts on said struggles, as well as the details of planning a gift-machine promotion overall, in this month's My Best Promotion.
Promo Marketing: What was the promotion's goal, and what did you do to make the goal happen?
Fionn Dolan: The goal was to introduce a new drink and brand to market, and have drinkers try it. We did this by developing a promotion that gave immediate added value and delight to the person trying the drink.
PM: What kinds of items did you use in the promotion, and why?
FD: We developed a functional point-of-sale dispenser that sat in a prominent position behind the bar. The dispenser was significantly large enough to be noticed and draw attention to the new drink. Contained within the dispenser were 50 plastic capsules around 55mm in diameter. Within each dispenser was a micro-flier providing details about the drink, as well as a product-relevant advertising gift. These included keyrings made in the shape of the bottle, a bottle opener, a stress toy and a puzzle.
Once a customer bought the drink, the bartender could easily reach into a tray at the bottom of the dispenser and take out a capsule. For health and safety reasons, the dispenser was designed in such a way that only one capsule came out at a time, thus ensuring there weren't accidentally capsules all over the bar floor.
PM: What was the best decision you made with this program, and why?
FD: Though reducing our own margins, to pay good suppliers a little more for peace of mind that we would get what we wanted and when we needed it.
PM: Did you run into any problems with the promotion, and if so, how did you overcome them?
FD: The original prototype dispenser was handmade. When we received the bulk order we found some very minor differences, however, and these differences were sufficient to hinder the free flow of the capsules. We then had to come up with an idea to modify the dispenser. We did this very successfully.
PM: Any other advice or insight you'd like to give related to this promotion?
FD: We should have pushed the client more on decisions so as to give us more production time. If working on a complex project with an element of the unknown, give the client a deadline by which to make decisions, and let them know the repercussions if they do not meet it.
Want to be considered for a future segment of My Best Promotion? Contact Michael Cornnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-238-5449 for a list of questions and other details.