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BIC Plays Poker, Music

By Sep 06, 2006

BIC USA is tapping pop culture for two separate promotions targeting different audiences for different products.

BIC pitches its disposable lighters to young men with a poker sweepstakes, part of BIC’s sponsorship of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The sweeps, “What’s Your Poker Face?” dangles a grand-prize trip to the 2007 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, run by Harrah’s, which licenses the World Series of Poker brand.

Print ads in men’s magazines, online ads, P-O-P in c-stores and package inserts for poker-themed Pocket Lighters send consumers to FlickYourBic.com/poker to enter the sweeps. Players register, then upload a photo of themselves, then decorate it with glasses, hats, wigs or facial hair. A random draw in January determines winners.

Three first-prize winners get a trip for two to the 2007 World Series Main Event; ten second-prize winners get a WSOP-branded poker table for home, and 100 third-prize winners get a WSOP handheld game. The sweeps broke in July and runs through yearend. An e-mail to registrants offers a deck of BIC-branded playing cards.

G2 Promotional Marketing, New York, handles the campaign for Milford, CT-based BIC with an assist from Grey Worldwide sibling MediaCom and its Beyond Interactive division, both New York.

Separately, BIC is courting moms and kids with a back-to-school campaign offering free and discounted Ticketmaster tickets to concerts, theater and sports events.

The campaign, called Write Your Own Ticket, puts an insert in 34 million packages in BIC stationery items, including pens and Wite-Out. The in-pack inserts carry a special URL and code for a dedicated BIC page on Ticketmaster’s Ticketdeals site, where consumers can access discounts on as many as 150 different events daily. The code from BIC is valid through May, allowing consumers to buy tickets through Ticketmaster with that BIC discount as often as they want until the promo period ends on May 31.

This is the first time Ticketmaster has used its Ticketdeals system for a consumer promotion: The system was built to execute employee incentive programs.

BIC also runs a sweepstakes overlay awarding a grand-prize Panasonic home theater (including a 50-inch TV, home theater system, camcorder and two massage chairs). Lesser prizes include just the home theater system (10 winners), camcorder (20 winners) and micro-audio system (60 winners).

“Back to school is an extremely important drive period for BIC. They wanted something on the package to drive recognition, and wanted a lifestyle element to reinforce the brand’s role as an authentic part of consumers’ lifestyles,” said Paul Balzer, founding partner of MKTG.partners, the New York-based agency handling the campaign.

MKTG.partners suggested Ticketmaster, whose events range from Blue’s Clues stage shows for little kids to rock concerts for teens. The campaign broke in July; it’s too early to see redemption rates, but so far the offer is “pacing very well,” Balzer said.

BIC Group sales rose 7% to 719.5 million Euros (about $922 million) for the six months ended June 30. North American sales were up 4.5% to 339.7 million Euros (about $435 million).

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