There are safe prizes and there are risky prizes. A skydiving gift card, well that’s risky. On the other side, is giving cash. Clearly that’s safe. The unfortunate happenings around Ryan Lochte got me thinking about practicing what we call safe sweeps. One hugely popular marketing tactic for brands of all sizes is the celebrity endorsement. The most popular celebrity endorsements are entertainers, and athletes. Occasionally you’ll see someone from other categories as well. An example is the Winklevoss twins endorsement for a particular brand of pistachios. In case you are drawing a blank on how they achieved celebrity status it was their launch of a concept called ConnectU. Still nothing? Well they claim someone stole the idea and that someone would go on and create Facebook.
Speedo and their relationship with Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte took a figurative and literal dive last week when their celebrity decided to test the concept of honesty is the best policy. Endorsement deal gone. You never want to have any social recognition that starts with a # and ends with “gate,” as in #lochtegate. Social media is the one platform that keeps giving back. In time the marketing team at Speedo will look back and realize it wasn’t that big of a deal but they may not be working there when they do.
Imagine if you will the additional pain the brand would be enduring now if Speedo ran a sweepstakes promotion with a trip to RIO and chance to meet Ryan as a prize. At Fidelis Interactive we practice safe sweepstakes; in fact everything we do is brand safe digital marketing. When it comes to creating a sweepstakes prize structure we’re big fans of prizes that can’t cause harm. Cash and merchandise will make everyone happy. It’s not often that something that is preferred is also actually to execute. It is a fact that 90% of people given the cash option over the prize will take the cash even if it is less than the full ARV or approximate retail value of a merchandise prize.
So fight your temptations to over complicate your sweepstakes prize structure. For other tips on how to avoid state registrations of your sweepstakes please reach out to us. For the latest on changes to state registration requirements please go to our website www.fidelisi.com and fill out our contact form. We’ll promise to keep you informed. Practice safe sweeps, you’ll feel better about yourself in the morning.