Overview of this campaign
The Sunday Star-Times is Fairfax Media New Zealand’s national Sunday publication, with single copy retail sales making up 54% of circulation. While subscription circulation was steady; single copy sales had seen a decline of 17%. We wanted to create a campaign to counter the overall downward trend in retail sales. We partnered with Mattel for the offer: ‘Buy the Sunday Star-Times from Countdown supermarkets or Z service stations and get a free Hot Wheels Car’ (RRP $2.99).
The promotion ran for the first three weeks in April 2013. The objectives of the Hot Wheels promotion were to drive retail sales in participating channels, as well as achieving Mattel’s objective of creating awareness of their new range of Hot Wheels cars. To achieve these objectives we needed to create a campaign that stood out visually from the busy retail environment that caught shoppers’ attention, drawing them in to the newspaper stand to take up the offer.
The gift with purchase needed to be desirable to a wide audience and of a high enough perceived value that shoppers felt compelled to take up the offer for each week of the promotion. Hot Wheels cars are an iconic and much loved collector’s item in New Zealand. Mattel provided over 30,000 cars free of charge to Sunday Star-Times to use for the promotion. In return, they received an extensive promotional media schedule, with huge noise across the country.
The Hot Wheels cars were displayed in branded bins alongside the Sunday Star-Times newspaper stands in Countdown supermarkets and Z service stations - usually at the store entrance or near the checkout (or both in large stores). Print and digital creative was completed in-house, using bold colour and simple messaging to cut through the retail clutter. Radio ads and television commercials were created by the creative agency which had a strong call to action.
Results for this campaign
Amid the declining market for newspaper sales, this campaign achieved a massive 29.1% copy sales increase for the period of the promotion within the participating stores, amounting to an additional 8,016 copy sales over the three weeks.
Z service stations saw a 38.4% (3,061 copies) lift and Countdown achieved a 25.3% (4,956 copies) increase. This equated to an average lift for each Sunday of 2,672 copies (1,020 copies in Z service stations and 1,652 in Countdown supermarkets).
This increase in sales provided a much needed circulation boost for the Sunday Star-Times and for Mattel, the promotion provided excellent brand impact at store level, as well as via the extensive above the line campaign. The promotional campaign included 15 and 30 second television commercials running Thursday - Sunday each week of the promotion; a 30 second radio advertisement; stuff.co.nz home page takeover; feature in the special offer section of the Essential Mums website; and print advertising across Fairfax metropolitan, regional, and suburban newspapers (25 papers nationwide). The campaign achieved high consumer impact through the off-location space in Countdown and Z Stores. With displays in over 300 stores nationwide, the branding and message was seen in high foot traffic locations each Sunday of the promotion which fulfilled Mattel’s awareness and product sampling objectives.