Take two of car giveaway promotion boosts single-copy sales at Dominion Post

by Paul Williams        

Partnership with advertiser Suzuki in “The Swift Getaway” campaign entices single-copy buyers, Web site users, and brings in 358,600 entries for the new car give-away.

Click the image to view a larger versionWhile falling as a proportion of overall circulation, single-copy sales still account for approximately 40% of The Dominion Post’s total circulation. Over the course of the last year, while subscriber volumes have increased, single-copy sales have continued to decline, placing greater expectations upon single-copy sales promotions to really drive incremental sales. 
In 2011, we ran our INMA award-winning “Great Car Driveaway” single-copy sales promotion, whereby we gave away five Suzuki Swifts during five weeks. This was a resounding success with a total of 274,000 entries, resulting in a lift in newspaper sales over the promotional period.
We again wanted to run a promotion over the traditional holiday period to boost retail sales across what is typically a very slow news period. Based upon the success of the previous promotion, we developed an extensive proposal and new exciting campaign concept for Suzuki, “The Swift Getaway.” Upon Suzuki’s agreement, this promotion again allowed us to give away a brand new Suzuki Swift each week for five weeks.
The promotion started on December 19, 2011, and finished on January 22, 2012. Each day, there was a unique promotional code that readers were required to enter, either via text (SMS) or Web, with a bonus promo code in our weekend edition. Readers needed to purchase a copy of the newspaper each day to find the promotional code for that particular day, with entries for each day closing off at midnight, keeping the promotion fresh and dynamic.
The Swift Getaway promotion was a huge success, with the allure of winning a new Suzuki again clearly resonating very well with readers. A strong creative, consistently used across all campaign materials, was key.
We received 358,600 entries, up 31% over the Great Car Driveaway promotion, which in itself, was record-breaking at the time. Of these entries, just under half were via our masthead Web site, so the promotion was very effective at driving Web traffic and providing a trial of our news Web site.
Retail sales were also very strong over the promotional period. Against a backdrop of declining single-copy sales, newspaper sales for the five weeks of the promotion were up 11.2% over the five weeks prior, resulting in an incremental 101,268 newspaper sales. Average daily sales were up across all days of the week. As there were no particularly strong news events over the period, we feel confident that the promotion was instrumental in driving the newspaper sales growth.
The campaign was extensive, encompassing press, community newspapers, radio, online, street posters, e-mails, and retail point-of-sale material, all with a powerful and consistent look and feel for maximum campaign impact.
The Swift Getaway has been a huge success, driving a very high level of reader participation, an increase in single-copy sales, and growth in traffic to We have also been able to collect information on non-subscribers for subsequent subscription marketing purposes, which will further grow newspaper sales.

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