Here’s How Popular Brands Used Contests To Build Awareness

Understanding consumer behaviour is one of the key important factors for every marketer before implementing any marketing strategies. Interestingly, it is not just the quality or price that drives a customer to purchase a product. They tend to remember and connect with brands that keep them engaged. Contests are a tried and tested strategy to engage brands with their target customers, acquire new customers, build awareness, drive purchases to even persuade the trials of newly launched products. A study by HubSpot shows that every contest campaign results in a 34% average increase in the number of new customers. Here, we highlight some notable contests hosted by these brands, showcasing the impact of this engaging marketing approach.

1. Kellogg’s

Kellogg’s ran a campaign to collect first-party data by creating a simple yet engaging instant-win contest for its brand Cheez-It. The consumers were encouraged to play a Spin The Wheel contest after registering with their email. Participants could spin the wheel online for a chance to win a host of prizes in real time. Through this contest, participants had the opportunity to instantly win various prizes, including a $5 prepaid card, a $5 Fanatics reward, a year's supply of free Cheez-It, and an additional chance to 'try again.' The data collected during this campaign not only enhanced Kellogg's understanding of its audience but also provided valuable insights for more targeted and effective marketing efforts.

2. Pepsi

In 2020, Pepsi ran a promotional initiative showcasing four renowned international football players - Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Mo Salah, and Raheem Sterling. Titled as ‘Pepsi, For the Love of It’ the campaign was designed to provide a comprehensive cross-channel digital experience to increase customer engagement and drive brand recognition. Pepsi introduced special limited edition Pepsi cans with scannable QR codes for this campaign. When scanned, the code loaded AR versions of the players on users’ phones. This immersive experience allowed participants to engage in virtual kick-up contests, and their scores could be shared seamlessly across various social media platforms.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb adopted a “Buzzfeedish” approach with their Design Personality Quiz. In this quiz, users were asked to pick a room, colour palette, personality, and activity preference through 8 rapid-fire questions ultimately revealing their design personality. This quiz also provided the option for users to share their results with friends to maximize the fun. This creative contest not only facilitated product promotion but also enhanced Airbnb's visibility on social media platforms. As a result, the quiz successfully drove increased web traffic to Airbnb, demonstrating the effectiveness of this interactive approach in connecting users with the brand.

4. Tim Hortons

Since its inception in 1985, Tim Hortons' iconic Roll up the Rim contest required participants to purchase a coffee, roll up the rim of the paper cup, and check for potential prizes. However, post the pandemic, Tim Hortons eliminated paper Roll Up The Rim cups and digitalised the contest. To participate one had to buy a Tim Hortons product to access entry to the contest by scanning for Tims Rewards with their Tim Hortons app or physical Tims Rewards card in store, or purchasing eligible items on the Tims app or online. Known as digital rolls, the contest involved rolling up the digital version of the cup. Furthermore, Tim Hortons has partnered with several other brands to offer vacations, electronic appliances and subscriptions to the winners.

5. M&M’s

In 2010, the popular chocolate candy brand M&M’s launched a chocolate-coated pretzel flavour. To promote this and also engage with their customers they created a digital matching puzzle featuring M&M’s candies. To win this contest users had to find a pretzel image hidden in a colourful field of M&M’s. The contest helped build a remarkable awareness of the brand across social media. This included garnering 25,000 new likes on the brand’s Facebook page along with 6,000 shares and 10,000 comments.

There was a time when customers to participate in a competition, had to buy a newspaper, make cut-outs, or collect the wrappers and mail them to companies hoping to win a prize. Now, online contest platforms like Tadaang make the process easier, providing interactive contests that bring mutual benefits to both brands and customers.