By May 20, 2013on
We’re lucky to work on absolutely brilliant prize promotions here at Spark & Fuse and just recently a particular project brought great joy to our office. As part of a campaign to encourage the UK to get walking, Tesco Magazine launched a competition offering schools the chance to win a visit from Britain’s Got Talent winners, Ashleigh & Pudsey, plus pedometers for every pupil at the school!
It was our role to ensure the competition was compliant in the first instance and then oversee the judging process, providing an independent judge with just the right sort of experience to help select the winning entry. As we were also responsible for prize fulfilment, once chosen, we had to call the lucky winner – a mum in Brighton to tell her the great news; Ashleigh and Pudsey were going visit her child’s school! It was one of those phone calls where everyone in the office stayed really quite so we could all hear her squeals of delight.
And not only did we dispatch pedometers to the winning school, we sent pedometers to every pupil at three runners-up schools, too. Over a thousand children benefitted from this great competition.
You can read more about Ashleigh & Pudsey’s visit to the winning school here at Tesco Magazine online http://www.tescomagazine.com/blog/pupils-have-talent.html
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By May 14, 2013on
I regularly contact winners as part of our prize fulfilment service and last week I was given the exciting job of getting in touch with winners of the Tesco LYNX Space Academy National Challenge. I can honestly say that this is the most exciting project I have ever worked on! I must have checked all of their details at least ten times before finally having the courage to click ‘send’. But why would I be so nervous? Well it’s not every day that you get to tell someone that they might be going into space!
The lucky winners have been invited to the LYNX APOLLO National Challenge at a top secret location in London and will take part in physical and mental challenges to see if they have what it takes to reach the next round at a Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida. They will then compete against other runners up for the ultimate prize – a trip to space.
Good luck to all of the competitors, and fingers crossed maybe one of the lucky winners that I contacted will find themselves hurtling into space!
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By February 27, 2013on
We asked comping queen Di Coke (@superluckyDi) for her favourite Mother’s Day prize promotions… and this is what she said…
Here are my top ten Mother’s Day prize promotions for 2013. The easiest to enter are the prize draws, but if you have a photo of your mum and can write a few words about the special lady in your life, there are several more creative competitions you can enter too. Due to the effort involved, entry numbers will be low – and often the winner is chosen at random so you don’t need to worry about composing a masterpiece!
1. Win your Mum a Brazilian!
Viva Brazil has twenty prizes of a Mothers Day meal up for grabs in their draw – their restaurants are in Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff. Enter at www.vivabrazilrestaurants.com/events.asp before 7th March 2013.
2. Simply the Best
GoSeeDo have a tiebreaker competition at www.facebook.com/goseedouk. Tell them why your mum is the best and the entry judged to be the most inspirational will win a £50 experience voucher – you could take her to the Shard! Closing date is 8th March 2013.
3. A Meal Out for Mum
Vileda are giving away a bouquet, champagne and chocolates plus a £150 restaurant gift voucher to one lucky mum – to enter, upload a photo and a reason why your mum should win on their competition app at www.facebook.com/ViledaUK. This closes on 4th March 2013 and the winner is chosen at random.
4. Special Delivery
DHL are giving one mum a pamper hamper – say in 50 words why she deserves to win at www.dhlservicepoint.co.uk/hamper.htm. Winner will be drawn at random after the closing date of 10th March 2013.
5. Thanks a Bunch
If you could win any prize for your Mum, what would it be? Leave your answer as a comment at www.theprizefinder.com/blog and one entrant drawn at random will win a £35 Interflora gift card. This closes on 10th March 2013.
6. Be a Beauty Queen
Here’s an unusual prize from Ocado: six lucky mums will win delivery of a beautician to their home on 7th or 8th March 2013 to provide a beauty treatment, plus an Ocado goodie bag. Tell them all about your #OcadoBeautyQueen at www.facebook.com/ocado - this closes on 3rd March 2013 and winners are picked at random. Note that the nominated Mum must live in an Ocado delivery area!
7. A Handmade Prize!
Win your mum a £100 shopping spree and a meal at Handmade Burger Co in their prize draw – simply enter your details and your local restaurant at www.handmadeburger.co.uk/mothersday by 10th March 2013.
8. Bouquets for Bumps
If you know someone special who’s ALMOST a mummy, check out www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk, where every day until 9th March 2013 they’re choosing ten mums-to-be to receive a bouquet of flowers. This is a judged tiebreaker competition and you need to sum up in one fabulous word what flowers would do for her.
If you’re a Pinterest fan, you can enter to win £100 to spend on jewellery with Sphere of Life - create a ‘For my Mum’ board pinning at least one Sphere of Life item. Comment on their competition pin at http://pinterest.com/mysphereoflife/ with a link to your board before 3rd March 2013 and the most inspiring board will win!
10. Sweet Success
Finally, if you’re on Twitter then you could win a year’s supply of jam! Tweet a message to @duerrs1881 telling them what the best thing your mum has passed onto you is – use the #SpreadTheLove hashtag. Enter before 9th March 2013, and even though they’re calling this a prize draw, terms say the winner will be picked on merit.
For regular updates on where to find the best prize promotions, read Di’s blog at www.superlucky.co.uk
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By January 21, 2013on
After all the excitement of Christmas everyone at Spark & Fuse HQ is in need of a pick-me-up to beat off the January blues and help us stick with our New Year resolutions. So we have pulled together some prize promotions to do just that.
If, like us, you are on a health kick in 2013 then visit yourhealthyliving.co.uk/win to be in with a chance of winning a selection of natural health goodies, register to enter online, or simply send an email or a postal entry – make sure you include the Free Draw Code. Closes on 28th February 2013.
Looking to get into shape this year? Then why not enter this prize draw to win a copy of Zumba® Fitness Core on Nintendo Wii™ and get kitted out in the latest vibrant Zumba® apparel. Just answer a simple question and register to win. Draw closes 25th January 2013.
In need of a total makeover then enter facebook.com/niceneasy to win a two-night break in London for two people including travel, accommodation, a shopping trip with a personal shopper, a makeover with a top hairdresser, a professional photoshoot, dinner and £1,000 spending money. You will need to have a facebook account to enter and will need to nominate the person who has shared the best beauty tip to enter. Draw closes 31st January 2013.
Do you need a kick-start to your beauty regime after a little too much food and drink over Christmas? Then this could be just the thing – CN Traveller are offering one lucky winner a personalised skincare programme at QMS Medicosmetics’ flagship store on Sloane Square, London. Including a 60-minute deep-cleansing facial, a 90-minute ‘classic collagen’ facial to revitalise skin, and a 90-minute ‘oxygen’ facial to boost circulation. The prize also includes a three-month supply of QMS’ innovative nutricosmetics Intravital, a supplement that targets skin regeneration from within. Visit Condé Nast Traveller to enter and answer a simple question – there is a link to a clue if you are a little stuck – then submit your details online no later than 31st January 2013 for your chance to win.
No New Year resolution?
If you fancy getting away from the chilly weather then this is the prize draw for you. Visit Walkmag.co.uk and enter your details online to win a fabulous holiday to Dominica. The prize includes a five-night stay with breakfast at Castle Comfort Lodge, near Roseau, return flights and all internal transfers, excursions on the Waitukubuli National Trail with Experience Caribbean, whale watching and a guided one-day tour to local sites and attractions. Draw closes on 20th February 2013.
That’s it for this month and as always please let us know if you win anything! We’ll be back in February with our Valentines prize promotions.
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By October 12, 2012on
The nights are drawing in and at Spark & Fuse HQ we have been working hard on our Halloween costumes. The time is nearly upon us to eat loads of sweets, ahem, I mean give sweets to scarily dressed children who knock on our doors trick-or-treating. To help you get into the Halloween spirit we have found some prize promotions to get you ready.
If like us, you have a sweet tooth make sure you visit www.goodtoknow.co.uk to be in with a chance of winning a Haribo Halloween hamper, just answer a simple question. Closes on 17th October 2012.
For those of you who like to be spooked by ghosts then enter this prize draw for your chance to win a Halloween break in the Peak District and a set of two Ghost Walk books. Closes on 15th October 2012.
Looking to entertain your little ones? Then winning some Halloween Stamps could be just the thing. Courtesy of Stampin’ Up, CardmakingandPapercraft.com have six wooden sets to give away for frightening Halloween designs that are not for the faint hearted! Closes on 18th October 2012.
Or if your kids are Scooby Doo fans then you will need their help answering this simple question to win some spooky Halloween DVD’s including Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King, Pooh’s Heefalump Halloween and Spongebob Squarepants Halloween. Closes on 27th October 2012.
For those looking for the perfect family Halloween day out then tickets to ‘Witches and Wizards’ Halloween at Blenheim Palace could be just the prize for you. Closes on 19th October 2012 (we think!).
Think you’ll need some help to recover after this year’s night of ghosts and ghouls? Then enter this prize draw to win a Yankee Halloween Candle, you’ll just need to answer a simple question in order to take part. Closes on 31st October 2012.
Feel free to send us pics of your costumes and pumpkin carvings - can you better our very own extreme-pumpkin-carver Fuse’s attempt above?!
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By September 28, 2012on
We’re all well aware of the success the lottery funding had on our athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics but what are YOUR chances of actually winning big with the national lottery?
To tie into the promotion of their exciting GAME ON competition the team at Greentree has been pushing buttons on their calculators to find out the odds of an entry winning GAME ON, as opposed to spending £1 on a lottery ticket, every week for the rest of your life. The GAME ON prize is up to £150,000 of fully installed business systems and so we thought we’d share their findings with you…
The odds of you winning the national lottery are 13,983,816 :1, that’s based on buying one ticket per week for the next 35 years. Doing the maths, that means that an individual buying a lottery ticket every week could possibly win the lottery once in next 270,000 years. That’s about the length of time the human race has existed on the planet, give or take the odd 30,000 years. So the odds aren’t exactly stacked in your favour.
Compare this to GAME ON, the chances of winning the prize of up to £150,000 of Greentree software, fully implemented, with two years of Cloud hosting are incredibly better.
Based on say 100 entries into GAME ON, with all other things being equal, that’s a 100 to 1 chance of winning from the start. But the odds are actually much better than that – for a well thought out, concise entry, that clearly details the pain that the company is going through with their current business systems, and solid explanation of how winning GAME ON would benefit their business, the odds are stacked in the entrants favour.
If we apply the Pareto Rule, (the 80 / 20 rule) to all entries into GAME ON it means that 20% of all entries into GAME ON would be of top quality and worthy of the judges’ serious deliberation, with the remainder falling by the way side. That now makes an entry’s odds of winning now 20 : 1, and if then an entry is selected as finalist the odds fall to 10 : 1, all other things being equal.
However, the better the entry the better chances that entry has of winning the BIG prize. After the public voting period the eventual winner will be announced based on a combination of the public vote and a final vote by the judges.
The moral of this story is simple. Entries into GAME ON have an excellent chance of becoming a serious contender, being a finalist and becoming the ultimate winner of the competition:- they need a good strong and compelling story as to why they should be the winners of GAME ON.
Forget the lottery, it’s really a tax on the mathematically challenged and inherently hopeful. The probability of winning the lottery is about the same as Elvis arriving in Trafalgar Square in UFO on a Wednesday afternoon …
… so will this stop us Spark & Fusers buying lottery tickets? As inherently hopeful (rather than mathematically challenged), probably not.
But will it encourage us to enter GAME ON? Most definitely.
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By September 14, 2012on
So the days of flip flops and summer dresses are behind us for another year. At Spark & Fuse we’re digging out our winter woollies and tucking into mugs of hot chocolate. Fuse has already been spotted in her wrist warmers (!) to ensure she doesn’t strain her cold muscles while she clatters away at her keyboard.
To help ease your transition into Autumn, we’ve dug out a number of prize promotions with great prizes up for grabs that will help you stay warm in the chilly weather.
If it’s a cosy blanket you’re after, then make sure you visit Sawdays who have £500 worth of vouchers to spend on blankets or throws up for grabs, thanks to their friends Atlantic Blanket Company. Closes 21st September.
Those with a sweet tooth should take note of this promotion. It’s a monthly giveaway and three lucky people will win two GALAXY mugs and a range of delicious GALAXY Hot Chocolate. Just answer a simple question to be in with a chance of winning. Closes 30 September 2012.
One we’re all going to enter into this one to win £3,000 worth of state-of-the-art wet underfloor heating from Robbens Systems. To be in with a chance of winning, simply enter your details below before 4pm on the closing date of 31st October 2012.
Or if you’d fancy just escaping the cold completely this is the one for you. You could win yourself a holiday for two to Mauritius worth £10,000. To enter you’ll need a copy of Condé Nast Traveller October 2012 issue, turn to page 194-195 of the October 2012 issue, and identify the national park and country where the photograph was taken. Make sure to send your entry to arrive by 31 October 2012.
For those that want to jazz up their winter wardrobe try your hand at winning a pair of Pretty Polly tights. You’ll need to sign up for updates to be in with a chance of winning. It’s a monthly draw and you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the home page for details.
For those looking to jazz up their winter wardrobe with more than a pair of tights, then check out the White Company’s prize promotion. You could win an Autumn wardrobe up to the value of £1,000 with The White Company and a Coach handbag.
Good luck and happy Autumn!
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By August 31, 2012on
So the excitement is back in East London – and of course further afield, too – with the start of the Paralympics. To add to this excitement the lovely crew at Spark & Fuse have pulled together a round-up of some current sporty and Paralympic/Olympic related prize promotions for you to enter. You’ll want to be quick to get your entry in for the first and last ones on our list as entries must be received today (31st August).
So a drum roll please for our first promotion …. your chance to win a day with the one and only Jessica Ennis. You’ll need to be free on 25th October 2012 if you win so mark that in your diary now! If you’re not lucky enough to win the day with Jessica, you could also win one of ten GB & NI Team Adidas kits. All you have to do is send in your details to Back The Team to enter the prize draw via Facebook.
Fancy heading abroad? Then try your luck at winning a holiday and flights with Nature Valley. To celebrate their role as Official Supplier of Cereal Bars to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games they’ve teamed up with British Airways to offer you the chance to win Family Holidays to Olympic host destinations. Closes 3rd September.
If you’re a fan of Kate Middleton’s style, you’ll want to check out this promotion in Woman Magazine. You can transform yourself into a sporting princess (apparently) with a pendant in the style of Kate Middleton’s Olympic-themed necklace, exclusively from QVC, if you are the lucky winner. There are eight prizes up for grabs including six pendants, two rings and a necklace. Closes 4th September.
If you didn’t manage to get tickets to the Paralympics then this is the one for you. Castrol is running a series of promotions, giving customers the chance to win tickets to some top sporting events including a trip to Sri Lanka to watch cricket plus 1000’s of other sports prizes. All you need to do is enter your details for the chance to win. This one requires a code from promotional packs but doesn’t close until 30th September so still plenty time to take part. Check out out the Ts and Cs first, as some of the prizes have already been and gone (such as Olympic tickets) although there are still plenty up for grabs.
If cycling is your thing (and I think we’ve been recently been given good reason for it to be our thing!) have a look at this prize promotion today. To mark The Cycle Show’s return to Birmingham’s NEC this September, Zest is offering 10 lucky readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to this year’s show, which is open to the public between Friday 28th and Sunday 30th September. Whether you are looking to try out the latest mountain or road bikes, get an autograph from some of Britain’s top pros including Olympians Joanna Rowsell and Ed Clancy as well as Junior World Champ, Lucy Garner, or see top flight BMX riders.
So that’s it for this week. Good luck and don’t forget to let us know if you win anything!
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By August 3, 2012on
When PR expert, blogger and Cybher organiser, Sian To (www.geekisnewchic.com) asked if we would put together a definitive guide for bloggers to help them run prize promotions properly, we jumped at the opportunity. We see so many truly dreadful online competitions and prize draws that we’re quite regularly picking our chins up from the desk. It doesn’t matter if you’re a micro company, blogger or huge corporate, anyone running a prize promotion must adhere to certain rules and regulations. Get it wrong and you could even be breaking the law.
So for our most comprehensive guide on how to put together a prize draw or competition –click here http://cybher.com/12/2012/07/is-your-blog-giveaway-or-competition-legal/. Remember, it doesn’t matter who you are, absolutely no one exempt from industry regulations.
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By August 1, 2012on
We help our clients and promoters create and implement prize promotions and we understand how a promotion can meet their marketing objectives. But what actually makes an appealing prize promotion for a consumer? Is it the prizes, or is there more to it than that? We asked Di Coke comper extraordinaire (she’s won a colossal £200k worth of prizes) who blogs at both www.superlucky.co.uk and who writes for Compers News! to reveal what she thinks makes a competition work, or otherwise… over to Di…
I’ve been a successful comper for fifteen years and it’s fascinating to see how prize promotions have changed in that time. When I first discovered this addictive hobby, it was when the internet was just becoming popular. In the late 1990s I found most competitions on supermarket entry forms, flashed products or in magazines. These days most competitions and prize draws are launched on websites or Facebook; even if I do spot a printed form or on-pack ‘WIN’ flash, the entry method will often be via a website or by text message.
Comping has changed, and the ease of finding and entering prize promotions for free has meant the hobby has attracted a lot more keen fans. There are many different kinds of comper – tiebreaker experts, fast-paced Roboform users, Twitter RT addicts, Facebook Like & Sharers, Texters – with each having a certain amount of time and/or money to dedicate to the hobby. For most of us, comping time is limited, and many that use competition forum listings and autofill software will rarely stop to read the instructions or the Terms and Conditions. Indeed, for busy compers, engaging with the promoter isn’t top of their prizewinning priorities – so how can a brand ensure that their prize promotions are appealing, successful and get people talking on social networks?
From a promoter’s point of view, it’s the social compers that are worth targeting – those that are using Facebook and Twitter for competitions, but also find time for chat. These compers love to share competitions and recruit friends to their comping cause, and interact enthusiastically on promoters’ pages. If a promoter can engage with social compers then their Facebook page and promotions should be a resounding success. Social compers will post comments and photos, and tweet a Thanks message when they receive their prize. Their friends, on seeing these actions on their Facebook ticker or newsfeed, might be intrigued and pop over to the page to see what’s going on. Hopefully the content will be engaging enough for them to stay and browse for a while, and even interact themselves.
With over 1000 actively comping friends on my own Facebook newsfeed, the type of promotions that I have seen successfully create a buzz and get people talking are:
• Sending on a ‘gift’ to a friend, or choosing a friend who will share the prize with you
• Asking friends to work as a team to win a prize
• Ongoing promotions where a prize is given away every day/hour/week to a random entrant or to the best tiebreaker/photograph
• Instant wins with lots of prizes
Other promotions that can cause a buzz, but in a negative and potentially damaging way, are:
• Voting competitions: they encourage cheating, and the same names win every time, so it’s a better idea to judge or choose at random from all entries with, for example, 20 votes or more (or better still, don’t involve voting at all!)
• Referral competitions where the person who refers the most friends wins (a referral promotion where a fan has to get 2 or 3 friends to sign up, or extra entries in the draw for friends that enter is more effective)
• Games where the highest scorer wins: time and time again we see leaderboards topped by impossible scores, so there’s no incentive for people to play (try doing a random draw from everyone that achieves a certain score instead)
• ‘Like and Share’ competitions, which violate Facebook terms. Some compers love these because they’re so easy to enter, but there are a lot of pitfalls which I cover on my Superlucky blog.
There are lots of ways to connect with fans whilst plugging an online promotion:
• On a Facebook page, sharing competition entries or photos of previous winners can be a really appealing way of connecting with fans, and encourages interaction and chat
• When a Facebook user comments on a status, it appears in the ticker for all their friends/subscribers to see, so it’s always worth asking questions in a status update: ‘If you won our £1000 vouchers, what would you spend them on?’, or ‘What do you think of this fabulous entry into our photo competition?’ for example
• ’Like this post if you want to win a holiday’ is a classic – compers love the Like button and will use it even when it’s not a condition of entry; ensure that the entry URL is obvious though, as some people will think they’ve entered just by Sharing or Liking!
• Compers’ enthusiasm can be taken advantage of, as most of us love to share. Speaking from experience, when I’ve shared a competition link as ‘Public’ on Facebook I have noticed that several of my ‘normal’, non-comping friends go on to enter as well. Make Facebook posts appealing and fun, preferably with a photo. Bear in mind that when sharing a link with no photo, further shares by fans will NOT include the text of the original post – only the link. This doesn’t work at all well if the link is to the prize, rather than the promotion!
• When it comes to prizes, it might sound odd but it does seem people would much rather 100 prizes of £1000 rather than one big prize of £100,000. When huge prizes are given away on Facebook there’s a certain cynicism that rears its ugly head (usually from the non-comping fans!) and there might not be the congratulatory messages you’d expect.
• Most compers do love to see other compers win, so promotions where there are lots of smaller prizes (wine, t-shirts, vouchers, etc.) can be very effective, particularly if the prizes are staggered so there’s a regular flow of fans posting ‘Thankyou’ messages on a page.
• It’s difficult to please everybody all of the time, which is why it’s a good idea to try a variety of approaches to see what type of promotion works best and to give all fans a chance of winning a prize, whether they enjoy an easy prize draw or a complicated recipe competition.
• Always make sure there are clear and easily accessible Terms and Conditions, and that any important restrictions (if a holiday is for 2, or doesn’t include flights for example) are made clear, as most compers won’t even bother reading T&Cs!
• People hate to see cheats winning, so it pays to take steps to prevent them from entering, and also take accusations of cheating seriously – read my blog post about cheating here
• If running a promotion where a product purchase is required, ask for the receipt details upfront at entry stage; some cheeky compers will enter these competitions, then try and beg a qualifying receipt from elsewhere if they win!
There’s nothing I enjoy more than a well-thought out, creative and exciting competition – and if you have one to share, please get in touch so I can help promote it!