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Competitions: are they a win win for shoppers?

One in three households with children under 10 have bought a food and grocery product to enter a competition

At a time when some retailers are moving away from certain promotional mechanics, do competitions provide an alternative way to entice and excite shoppers? Shopper Insight Manager Rhian Thomas investigates. 

First launched in January 2015 and returning in January this year, the Weetabix Weetabuddies competition has captured shopper’s imaginations, again generating thousands of entries.

Running in partnership with Cartoon Network, the campaign encourages participants to create 'buddies' using Weetabix biscuits and to submit photos of their designs, and it's proving to be a great way to engage with shoppers. 

An example of one of the Weetabuddies created by Weetabix to inspire entrants



Competitions that are based upon collecting multiple coupons from pack or from a particular store can be a means of enhancing shopper loyalty.

Recent ShopperVista research has shown that more than a third of shoppers agree that they have collected coupons from food and grocery products that can either be used by the local community or that can be used to redeem a free gift. Our research also found that shoppers with families were more even more likely to have engaged in a coupon, or token, based competition.

 However, the ability to enter a competition alone is unlikely to prompt shoppers to purchase a particular product: just 21% agree that “I have bought food and grocery products that enable me to enter a competition”. This highlights the importance of removing any potential barriers to entry, such as complex entry procedures and ensuring that the competition provides shoppers with compelling reasons to enter to grab their attention.

In terms of the types of competition prizes our research would suggest that high value prizes are not always the most effective. More than 90% of shoppers claimed that they preferred either more medium value prizes, a competition with an instant win or one with one higher value prize and a number of medium value prizes.

So why is the Weetabuddies competition so successful? 

  • The 2015 Weetabuddies campaign was hugely successfully; delivering an increase in sales of 14 per cent (volume) and 4 per cent (value) (January 2015 vs January 2014). Content for the campaign generated 1.5m YouTube views, the brand’s biggest viral success, and the competition received 6,000 entries.1Multichannel marketing
    Weetabix have partnered with Cartoon Network in a campaign which generates increased awareness and equity in the Weetabuddy characters. Entries also feature on packs in-store and on the Weetabuddies website, and on social the use of the #weetabuddies hashtag has encouraged further sharing
  • Supporting parents 
    The Weetabuddies campaign provides parents inspiring ideas on how they can introduce more fruit into children's breakfast in a fun and engaging way - delivering for them as shoppers and their families as consumers 
  • Prizes 
    The exclusivity of the Weetabuddy soft toys enhances their perceived value, while offering several medium sized prizes - a prize value preferred by 30% of our research respondents

Steps for success 

Competitions can be a great way to engage with shoppers. Here are our four steps to success with competitions: 

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Make it easy to enter
  3. Ensure redemption is quick/immediate 
  4. There should be a good chance of winning 

1. Source: Weetabix

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