Pepsi Uses Text to Win (SMS) for Oscar Sweepstakes

The soft drink giant has been involved with mobile marketing since the very beginning. Pepsi knows well that their target audience is highly mobile engaged.

    “We’ve found that consumers are more willing to engage in a promotion via SMS than other methods of entry because it’s quick, convenient and now an   extremely commonplace form of communication,” said Gina Anderson, director of media relations at PepsiCo, Purchase, NY.

This mobile sweepstakes is well made because it fits the promotional moment well. This sweepstake runs with Regal Cinema during the pre-movie commercials. Moviegoers are instructed to send a text message with the code found on their Pepsi soft drink cup to a shortcode for a chance to win instantly.

The components that make this mobile sweepstake likely to succeed are:

  1. Right timing– During the pre-movie commercial run when moviegoers are awaiting the feature film.
  2. Target- Young demographic of moviegoers who are well aware and very comfortable with using text (SMS) messaging.
  3. Channel: The easiest and fasted way to enter a sweepstake is through texting in (text-to-win).
  4. Incentive: Participants will know right away if they have won one of instant win prizes or they remain entered to win the grand prize trip to the Oscars.

Good job Pepsi!

5 Lessons from Ad Tech New York

I traveled to New York on Nov. 7th to attend Ad: Tech. a conference billed as the “largest digital marketing event worldwide.” Since I’m in technology and marketing, I decided to see what I could learn.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The main reason I attended Ad:Tech was to network and build business leads from the advertising agencies attending—our core clients. Ad:Tech was huge, more than 400 business booths and 10,000 attendees. With that volume I was sure I’d meet many NYC ad agencies…so I thought.

I soon realized there were only 12 “creative/ad agencies” and only 3 were actual full-service agencies. Not the large group I expected. Long story short, for business prospecting, I was in the wrong place. I had to formulate a new strategy on the go or assume a time and money loss, tuck my tail in, and fly back to Miami with nothing to show for the effort.

Once I realized this, I decided I was going to focus on talking to as many people as possible to learn what they did and see what I could learn. I would also go to all the keynotes and presentations. Instead of business development, I worked on strategic research.

Five Things I learned at Ad:Tech New York 2013

1. Why doesn’t the ultra premium Cristal Champagne (or other luxury brands) advertise to the hip-hop loving minority market? Hip-hop loves luxury items; they mention them in their lyrics and show them on their videos. One reason why large luxury brands don’t invest a lot of ad capital on marketing to minorities is because they represent a very small portion of the overall market. If brands are going to pay for ads, they may as well aim for the lion’s share of the market. The other reason I learned is that large luxury brands don’t want their products associated with minorities. Their belief is that if you associate your brand with one group, you will disassociate your brand from another group. But what I found more interesting is that none of these luxury brands have a problem accepting minority dollars for their products.

2. Translating a commercial into Spanish so it can “target” Hispanics is not Hispanic marketing. Brands that target minorities should ensure their message has an authentic feel that resonates with the minority target. This is key to engaging the minority customer (or any customer). The point is, don’t just translate your ads to the language the minority target speaks, this feels disingenuous and fabricated. Create ads that truly “speak” to them. Ads that acknowledge the cultural differences and reflect the current realities of their day-to-day lives. This will increase the odds that the target audience will relate to your message and the benefit of the product.

3. “We know who you are, where you shop, what you like and we’ll suggest what you should buy next.” Ad network technologies responsible for placing the ads you see online are far more advanced, intelligent and hyper targeting capable than most marketers realize, understand or invest their budgets on. For now, the advertising technology meal feels like a buffet for one. The benefits will get clearer for marketers as time passes and these new benefits are adopted.

4. According to Kevin Jonas, ex-member of the Jonas Brothers band turned marketer, Millennials only care about three things:

  • a. Looking good. Does your brand or product make me look cool? Does it improve what I think of myself or what others think of me? Think of brands like Oakley, American Apparel or Lrg.
  • b. Feeling good. Does your product or service make me feel good about my purchase? Does it improve my health or appearance? Think of brands like Kashi or Bolthouse Farms.
  • c. Doing good. Does your product support the causes I care about? Is it environmentally friendly? Does it support my local community? Think Toms, Patagonia or Warby Parker.

Mr. Kevin Jonas directed the marketing strategy for the Jonas Brothers band and he said Millennials did not like getting advertising pushed on them. They like to “discover” products and services. If they liked your product, the reward was that they would share it with their friends on their social networks. Powerful reward!

5. Orange pants. I wore a pair of orange slacks to Ad:Tech and thought nothing of it. It turns out that in a networking setting they became a great conversation starter. People just approached me and commented on the orange pants and that got us talking about business. If you can wear something that stands out like handkerchief, a pin, a hat or a parrot on your shoulder, people will approach you to talk about it and they will remember you for it.

Bottom line, what I think was the most important lesson here is that in business, as in life, the best-laid plans can go astray. What you do from that point on can turn an apparent failure into an opportunity.


One Direction Instant Win Sweepstakes Via SMS Entry Is What Makes You Beautiful

Mondelez (Trident, Stride and Dentyne) is targeting the chewing-gum-loving teenagers who are also the largest text-(SMS)-messages-loving demographic. Using SMS text messages as the sweepstakes entry method is a no brainer. SMS also makes truly an “instant” win sweepstakes. You text in and you get an immediate response saying whether you won or not. See screenshots below.

All this is supported by a mobile optimize entry form and a desktop entry form. Mondelez does a good job at executing this sweep.

Crunch Pak Mobile Coupons Back-to-School Promotion

Mobiel Coupons

  • Crunch Pak, an industry leader in fresh sliced apples, is offering a back-to-school promotion via its electronic billboard in New York City’s Time Square.
  • Consumers can “text the word APPLES to the number 65047” for a special offer. When consumers do so, they will be sent a link to a coupon for $1 off any size package of Crunch Pak sliced apples.
  • Tony Freytag, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Cashmere, WA-based company, said in a press release. “We are excited to see the response and we’re fairly certain no other produce company will have this type of back-to-school promotion this fall.”
  • Crunch Pak is giving the digital coupon a unique number in order to track the redemption rate and measure how many people view and respond to messages on the billboard.
  • Marcos Menendez, chief executive officer of Momares, the company managing the electronic coupon for Crunch Pak, said mobile coupons perform very well in terms of redemption.
  • “Mobile sweepstakes, contests and coupons are the most effective way to build a database of mobile customers,” Menendez said in the press release. “Our mobile coupon campaigns average 10 percent redemption rates; text (SMS) coupon delivery rates are 95 percent.
  • Mobile coupon program customer retention rates are 98 percent, which means there is a very low unsubscribe, opt-out rate,” Menendez added in the press release. “Mobile coupons are stored in the customer’s mobile phone and are carried with the customer to the store. Coupon code can be offered for redemption or a barcode mobile coupon shown for scanning.”

Mobile Coupon Program Results for Retail Summary

Mobile coupon by text SMS message with coupon code
  • Our mobile coupons campaigns average 10% redemption rates.
  • Text (SMS) coupon delivery rates are 95%.
  • Mobile coupon program customer retention rates are 98%. (very low unsubscribe, opt-out rate)
  • Mobile coupons are stored in the customer’s mobile phone and are carried with the customer to the store. Coupon code can be offered for redemption or a barcode mobile coupon shown for scanning.
  • Mobile Sweepstakes and Contests are the most effective way to build a database of mobile customers.
If you are interested in setting up a mobile sweepstake or adding mobile coupons to your marketing, contact us at