Balloon giveaway
Balloon giveaway

SPARK CEO, Dave Pearson, looks back on some iconic sales promotions…..

Great sales promotion campaigns can be so much more than a short-term tactical sales booster. They can illustrate the character of a brand and cement its positioning with the consumer. They can attract new customers for the first time and renew old acquaintances. They can achieve “free” advertising through column inches and online exposure (hello McDonald’s Monopoly!) and can generate reams of social content too. So the best promotions can take on a life of their own.

While I don’t think I’m quite an “old-hand” yet, I have been around long enough to have seen some brilliant campaigns. Remember the various piggy bank giveaways from what used to be called high street banks? Most had a go at one stage or another. Or what about the classic Kellogg’s collector promotions for Corgi cars or Tony the Tiger cereal bowls (we never had enough in our house!). The Cadbury’s / National Trust Easter Egg Hunts were (and still are occasionally) brilliant too, and a great partnership for both.

In the hedonistic 90’s at the height of Britpop, I remember Guinness running a brilliant on-trade campaign where the giveaways were wigs of various recognisable England players, so there was the Seaman and the Gazza (a neat sidestep of licensing rules too!).

My favourite though is one that’s run a few times in a controversial comic with a loyal readership that I think was perfect for the brand and its audience. The Viz “free balloon” promotion was a cracker…………how did they give it away? They stapled it to the cover. Brilliant.

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