Overview of this campaign
The challenge facing us at the opening of 2014’s third quarter was how we were going to maximise retail sales across the APN ARM media footprint. As such, a new promotional concept was sought to capture the excitement and interest of readers. Its core objectives were to:
- Increase retail sales across the two weeks of the promotion period
- Inspire excitement in the community
- Engage our major retailers, with the additional aid of prominent displays
The Free Seeds Giveaway was germinated, and timed to coincide with the dawn of spring. The campaign launched across our twelve key regional markets in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. With 12 types of flower and herb seeds available for collection through the campaign, the promotion was inspired by the season of growth and rejuvenation. A different variety of seed was available each day, from basil on Saturday 13th September to petunia on Saturday 26th September. To collect each day’s packet, readers were required to purchase a copy of their newspaper and cut out a token inside, which would be exchanged at their local participating newsagency. It was that easy! Well-known supplier Mr Fothergill’s stepped in to supply the seeds to newsagents two weeks prior to the launch date.
To strengthen the campaign and engage budding young school-age gardeners, we ran the Sunflower Colouring-in Competition where readers could win herb and sunflower kits. The colouring in page ran on the same day that we published the token for the sunflower seed.
With front-page pointers, a strong online campaign and eye-catching creative executions – including a basil-scented front page on launch day across all twelve markets! – the Free Seeds Giveaway made full use of APN ARM’s print and online network. The result connected with and inspired locals to get up, get out and get growing… and, of course, get a hold of our daily community newspaper products.
Results for this campaign
By generating excitement with locals and retailers, the Free Seeds Giveaway made a real impact – so much so that the campaign generated a 1.5% improvement in the retail circulation line over the promotional period. Community engagement was high across all sites. School groups grew their own herb gardens, providing coverage for papers across our media footprint. The Toowoomba Chronicle had great success linking the promotion to Toowoomba’s popular Carnival of Flowers; the thousands of people attending the festival offered a terrific opportunity to promote The Chronicle and the Free Seeds Giveaway, with everyone who bought a paper receiving a sunflower seed packet on site.
Meanwhile, our Lismore sites secured the services of high profile gardening personality Costa Georgiadis of Gardening Australia fame, who came into local newsagents to speak about seeds. He certainly was a big hit with readers – video footage is included with this submission.
Our newsagents and retailers were highly engaged with great point of sale displays being achieved across the footprint. Newsagents and major retailers increasingly allowed our teams to set up secondary point of sale stands in-store during the promotions period. The Free Seeds Giveaway campaign made full use of Facebook’s social network, with posts engaging with locals throughout the life of the promotion. Thousands of comments and ‘likes’ were recorded across our Facebook network – it seems the Free Seeds conversation was very much alive in our communities! The promotion proved an opportunity to develop a genuine rapport with each masthead’s local gardening enthusiasts as well as younger prospective green thumbs – all while we recorded an impressive retail sales increase across the two week promotional period.