Sometimes someone comes up with a great idea and the only weakness in the idea is that it relies on the weather. In this case, a sports betting software operator decided to buy 7,000 golf size umbrellas which had in very large print their website address, telephone number and the tag line “bet on sports today”.
The idea was that instead of spending money on a national television commercial during a football game, they could get better advertisement at a fraction of the cost by using umbrellas.
The execution of the promotion would have female models at all of the entrances of a stadium giving out umbrellas to ticket holders for free. The only uncertain part was that the promotion would have to be done on a rainy day. The theory was that as the rain would start to fall, people would open their promotional umbrella and when the television crew would film the crowd, that company would get instant television advertising via the opened umbrellas!
Since hiring a crew of model and someone to manage them had to be done in advance, that company relied on the weather channel to give them the best day to run the promotion.
On game day, the weather was perfect for umbrellas as it was a cloudy day and according to the weather channel, there was an 86% chance of rain. All of the umbrellas were passed out and everyone in the company was waiting for the rain to come.
The rain never came…
Giveaways and contests are a great way to bring attention to your brand or company. People love to win and get free stuff which is why stores and businesses know that this is a good way to get to a clients’ heart. One department store in Costa Rica decided to give pressure cookers to every person that came and bought $50 worth of merchandise in their store.
Someone in marketing did the math and figured that based on the store’s daily sales, they would need around 100 pressure cookers. The store’s marketing department did everything right to promote this giveaway by letting people know about it via newspaper, internet and radio ads.
On the day of the promotion, it looked like this promotion was a winner. There was actually a line of people waiting for the store to open that day to get their free pressure cooker. Within hours, they had run out of pressure cookers and that is when things turned ugly.
Customers were demanding their pressure cookers and unfortunately, the marketing genius behind the promotion forgot to add to the promotion a disclaimer that would protect the store in case they ran out of stock. Since they did not have such a disclaimer, the store ended up having to give out vouchers to receive the pressure cooker at a later date. The total number of pressure cooker they ended up giving out was a whopping 432!
Even though they got a lot of publicity out of the promotion, it took them 2 months to get back their return on the promotion. The good news though is that it did increase brand trust for the store.
The moral of the story is to always make sure to have the proper promotional terms and conditions that also include a disclaimer unless you want to end with a very low return on investment.