Friday, November 13, 2009

Targeted Group Eats Up Restaurant Gift-Card Promo

Most people would associate Scotts Lawn Service with a thick, green lawn but probably not with a thick, juicy steak. However, last summer, selected Scotts customers got just that – or any other meal they wanted – when the company paired up with for a gift-card promotion.

John Lewis, director of segment marketing for Scotts, says the company worked with Anthem Marketing Solutions to identify customers who were likely to cancel their lawn service during the summer. "Our attrition model takes into account historic cancel data to assign a likelihood of cancellation along with a predicted timing of cancel," he adds.

Customers in that segment received a direct mailer that offered them a $25 reward if they registered with Scotts online or a $50 card if they registered and signed up for automatic payments. Those who did got a gift card in the mail or an e-mail with a code that could be redeemed at more than 12,000 restaurants nationwide.

"Most of our customers who took advantage of the opportunity simply redeemed the card and enjoyed dinner on us," Lewis says, "but the few who we did hear from told us that they were surprised to receive this type of offer from their lawn-service provider and were delighted to receive this extra benefit for no additional cost."

Scotts had hoped the promotion would increase retention 5% over their control group, but the program resulted in a whopping 26% increase versus the control. "This promotion far exceeded our expectations from a results standpoint," Lewis says. "We plan to initiate similar programs in the future."

Muscle Milk Flexes During Fashion Week

During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in early September, passersby in New York were asked to pose in front a circus mirror. (You know, the kind that makes you look skinny.) Two brand ambassadors for 100-calorie Muscle Milk beverages then challenged people to make the altered image a reality by trying their product.

At a nearby GNC location, by Bryant Park, live models posed as mannequins in the storefront window. As part of its "From Cute to Catwalk" live window takeover, Muscle Milk's seemingly plastic women posed while brand ambassadors handed out free samples to the public.

The brand then armed 20 key influencers with a Muscle Milk Fashion Week survival pack. It consisted of a Nike sports bag with Muscle Milk Light, Muscle Milk branded lip gloss, a $100 Nike gift card and a Muscle Milk shirt.

All of these efforts were aimed at keeping busy models, designers, celebrities and members of the media fueled during Fashion Week, via CytoSport Inc.'s ready-to-drink protein-enhanced beverage. Samples were handed out at five key locations, including salon venues, the IMG Fashion Lounge and the Lu Biscuit Cafe.

The campaign is part of the brand's commitment to the promotion of a healthy image and active lifestyle. "Promotional items allow us to relay our messages to targeted consumer groups. For example, at New York Fashion Week our shirts read, 'Ready to Wear, Ready to Drink,' speaking about our Muscle Milk Ready-to-Drink Nutritional Shake, which is perfect for on-the-go fashionistas," says Shane McCassy, lifestyle marketing manager for CytoSport.

Jones-ing for Promotional Products

This summer, Jones Soda proudly proclaimed that it was "the official soda of the road trip." To prove it, the premium soda brand teamed with Griffin Technology to reward people for sharing their most creative photos taken while traveling across North America.

Using Twitter, travelers were asked to make a post with the hashtag #roadtripjones and include their destination or itinerary. Photos and videos could then be uploaded at and hashtagged through Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Ten winners received one of 10 Griffin iTrip AutoPilots, and 10 photos from their journeys were selected to appear on Jones Soda bottles internationally. The grand prize winner also received a $500 shopping spree at The promotion wrapped up on August 28.

During the summer, the Jones Soda RV hit various locations during a 10,000-mile journey throughout the country, tweeting all the way (@Jones_Soda_RV). Consumers who caught up with the RV or stopped by the soda company's national headquarters received bumper stickers and coupons.

Jones Soda has a long history of giving out branded items and will continue to do so, says Josh Groff, brand manager for Jones Soda. "It is a badge of identity for people who wear and use gear branded with the Jones Soda logo – it's how they distinguish themselves from the crowd," Groff says.

The brand, which has a partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, gave away T-shirts before the NFL team's home opener last year. This year it gave out schedule posters. "By making these personal connections with our fans, they each become brand ambassadors," says Groff. "It is an efficient way for Jones Soda to expand awareness, and it is extremely effective because it is done in a viral and genuine way."

Hanes Wants Us All to Be "Passionately Pink"

For anyone who has ever wanted to create their own beautiful T-shirt design, Hanes provided their big chance. Through October 26, the top-selling, Michael Jordan-fronted T-shirt brand invited consumers to become "passionately pink" in the fight against breast cancer.

Original T-shirt designs that offered messages of hope, love and support were entered to win a weekly $100 Hanes gift card in mid-August. Twelve finalists' designs will be featured at between November 11 and November 25. The grand prize winner will be announced on December 7; the grand prize is a $250 gift card and a T-shirt with a screen print of the winning design.

Entrants were invited to use the Web site's graphics tools to create their own design. Each week the first 30 people who participated received a free shirt from actress Sarah Chalke, best known from the TV series Scrubs. (She got into the act by creating her own design, which was also for sale.)

The competition was created to launch Hanes' Pink Collection, as well as to raise awareness and support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The Pink Collection line of bras, panties, socks and shirts was available at select stores and at

Hanes announced earlier this year that it had donated a quarter of a million dollars to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It became the official apparel sponsor of Passionately Pink for the Cure. Hanes will make a $5,000 donation in the shirt design winner's name to a local affiliate or the Susan G. Komen global headquarters.

Chalke said in a statement that she was excited to be "a part of an amazingly dedicated network. Awareness is the best prevention, and this program encourages people across the country to join the fight against breast cancer in a truly meaningful way."