Have digital media lead to increased brand promotion durations?

Win Your Share of R500,000

Win Your Share of R500,000

Jungle Oats (by Tiger Brands) is currently running an on-pack promotion titled ” Win Your Share of R500,000 in Grocery Vouchers”, which broke in August 2009 and runs until 31 December 2009. As can be seen, the promotion runs for 5 months.To enter, a consumer has to buy a participating pack size and sms (at a cost of ZAR1.50) the promotional code inserted on the inside of a pack lid to a specified number and stand a chance to win a R1,000 grocery voucher.

2 years ago, a typical FMCG brand promotion would run for maximum 3 months. Back then, Brand Managers argued that consumers tend to loose interest in average promotions that run for too long. What added to argument is a practical issue that retail outlets cannot allocate in-store promotion space to one brand for too long given a large catalogue of brands and pack sizes stocked, a good number of which brands want a moment in the promotional sun for as long as they can get it (and also be able to afford it).

Lately though, I have noticed a trend where more and more run-of-the-mill FMCG brand promotions are executed for longer than 3 months at a time. The particular change with these promotions is that sms entry mechanics are used fairly extensively to keep them going long after they have lost in-store promotion space.

To answer the question whether digital media have lead to increased brand promotion durations, my answer is yes. While the jury is still out on the level of consumer interest in sms-driven promotions that run for longer than “normal”, there are sound reasons behind the appetite by Brand Managers to increase the life of their promotions.

Three reasons are worth mentioning. Firstly,  a longer-running promotion helps to leverage more effectively the brand’s “new news” in the market, and this can contribute positively to share of mind. Secondly, running a promotion using sms entry mechanics may be cost beneficial if it is run longer as the anticipated larger entry numbers will result in sms entry fees charged helping to defray costs of setting up, running and managing the dedicated sms line. Lastly, longer-run promotions allow Brand Managers to order bulk packaging material and thus bring down promotional printing costs.

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