Game Day

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

What to do when the Super Bowl is over and March Madness is still a month away? If you’re Frito-Lay, you get yourself an Xbox — or a truckload of Xboxes.

Frito-Lay Co. this month uses Microsoft Corp.’s hot Xbox game console as the primary lure on an instant-win game running on 55 million packages. The four-week campaign, dubbed Xbox to the Extreme, breaks Feb. 3 with in-bag gamepieces seeded in all seven flavors of Doritos and Doritos Extreme. Ten grand-prize winners score an Xbox as part of an RCA home theater system. (Redmond, WA-based Microsoft brought Indianapolis-based Thompson/RCA, which manufactures some of Xbox’s internal components, into the effort.)

Dallas-based Frito-Lay is using the alliance to relaunch Doritos.com: Non-winning gamepieces carry 13-digit codes that can be used at the site to enter a second-chance drawing for a home theater system and a separate sweeps giving away one Xbox per day, according to a Frito-Lay spokesperson. The site will also randomly reward visitors with free song downloads and cheat codes from Xbox games, and offer hot-links to related merchandise offers.

The program fits nicely between two of Frito-Lay’s standard promotional windows, the National Football League’s year-ending Super Bowl and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s March Madness basketball tournament. It gives Xbox, which rolled out last November with much fanfare (January PROMO), a fresh tie-in to kick off the new year, says group manager of national promotions Cindy Spodek Dickey.

On-pack bursts, P-O-P displays, and a dedicated 15-second TV spot will support. Chicago-based Frankel handles, in its final work with Frito-Lay (see Agencies).


Wayne, NJ-based Reckitt Benckiser this month promotes Electrasol dishwasher detergent tablets with a three-month instant-win game dubbed Goldenball. To highlight the recent introduction of “Jet-Dry rinsing balls” into the product, the game seeds packages with colored tabs worth $250 to $5,000 (the total prize pool is $200,000) and one grand-prize gold ball worth $25,000. Two national FSIs, print ads, and P-O-P materials support. Source Marketing, Westport, CT, handles. “You don’t see a lot of instant-win promotions in the cleaning aisle,” says Heather Allen, vp-marketing with Reckitt’s household division. “We thought this would be a fun way to drive trial of a new product.”


Plano, TX-based Dr Pepper/Seven-Up is hosting its annual NCAA basketball-themed campaign. Twelve-packs of regular, diet, and cherry 7 UP carry coupons for $1 off and herald a sweeps dangling tickets to NCAA games and participation in halftime promotions. TV spots and P-O-P displays support. 141 Communicator, Chicago, handles. The effort runs through March 31.


Heineken USA’s Amstel Light expands its annual ski-flavored efforts this winter with on-premise events at 12 resorts through April 6. The brand will host SnoJam activities at the base of mountains featuring games, prizes, and music during the day, then Après-Ski parties with drink specials, premiums, and a D.J. evenings. A sweeps overlay on amstellight.com dangles tickets to this month’s Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Ads in Ski and Skiing support. Ryan Partnership, Westport, CT, handles.


How’s this for grassroots marketing? Nintendo of America, Redmond, WA, has teamed with Syngenta Seed, Wilmington, DE, to rename a breed of flower after a new videogame called Pikmin, which rolled out last month. The Pikmin Flower (formally known as Bacopa Cabana) will be available to agricultural businesses in April and directly to consumers this summer within Syngenta’s Proven Winners line. The white, five-petal flower has a physical resemblance to the plant-like hero in Nintendo’s game.


Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Culver City, CA, in December tested a mall tour it will use next holiday season to promote the rollout of new merchandise from the Stuart Little franchise. The visit to Beaver Valley Mall in Pittsburgh was used to test the concepts Sony will bring to top markets this fall, when the video for Stuart Little 2 is released along with a host of other licensed products. The test included premium giveaways, gift-with-purchase offers, large-scale play sets, and a “Breakfast with Stuart” that included screenings of the original movie. Barnstorm Productions, Baltimore, handled. The second film debuts in July.


Beck’s North America, Stamford, CT, late last month broke a national Valentine’s Day campaign targeting women. Taking a cue from the typical plethora of flower-related creative executions in February — as well as from research that shows women make 66 percent of beer purchases — the campaign encourages female shoppers to “Give Him a Dozen for Valentine’s Day!” Radio spots, P-O-P signage, and regional FSIs support, as does a mail-in $2 rebate offer. Tipton & Maglione, New York City, handles.

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