The Best Promotion Ever

catch_a_millionIf you weren’t in New Zealand during the last Summer (2013/14) then you unfortunately missed out on being part of the greatest commercial promotional campaign ever.

Yes, EVER.

What was it I hear you ask? Well, before we launch into the whats, wheres and hows of it, first some background. Let’s paint a picture of the competitive background our advertiser finds itself in.

The NZ summer is relatively long and lazy. Typically the entire country shuts down for six weeks from the second week of December until the start of February. Generally the weather behaves itself and its mid 20s most days with occasional outbursts of ‘bloody hot!’ in Napier, Nelson and Christchurch. New Zealanders number one occupation during the down time of Summer is to head to the beach and do nothing other than bbq, swim and drink during the holidays. Against this backdrop of general loafing, visiting cricket teams from around the world are invited to come on holiday play against the NZ Blackcaps. NZ is by far the easiest country for teams to tour as the food is great, the playing conditions pretty easy, and generally the tour is quite short. In fact the hardest thing about touring NZ as a cricketer is keeping your mind on the job instead of going to all the awesome BBQs and beaches and drinking loads with everyone else in the country.

Faced with this the country’s various beer manufacturer’s compete to gain the largest share of the excessive drinking going on. Enter our advertiser hero Tui.

Tui is one of the beers produced in NZ and is typical in that it tastes like every other lager produced in NZ. ie. sweet and bubbly. It managed to throw off the shackles of regionalism in the 1990s through an excellent advertising campaign which continues to this day (‘Yeah Right‘) and now competes nationally with the other major brands.

For this Summer, Tui upped the ante with its sponsorship of cricket and encouraged the generally apathetic beach dwelling public to get involved with the sport. And what was the best way to do that? Well no-one ever turned down free money so the Tui Catch a Million promotion was born.

A million! That got everyone’s eyes boggling. Yet, there was a few key rules involved with the money:

1. You had to catch a ball hit at any of the Blackcap’s games at ODI and T20 level.

2. That catch had to be ONE-HANDED!

3. You had to be wearing the bright orange Tui sponsor’s shirt and lanyard when this catch occurred.

4. Each catch was only worth $100,000 – and the prize pool was a million in all. Only one catch per game was possible minimising the exposure of Tui to a mass outbreak of dexterity in the crowds.

Even with these rules in place and the fact that contestants had to hand over money to enter and buy their shirt, the competition gripped the nation.

Whether it was the competition or the fact that the NZ team started playing out of their skins and won all but one game in the recent Summer against tourists West Indies and India (or a combination of both), the grounds were packed with orange t-shirt wearing contestants. In fact the promotion probably paid for itself in entry costs alone! Although possibly TV promotion may have cost some amount but no more than would have been advertised during a Summer period anyway.

Even the players got involved, with a record number of sixes hit in one game.

Without further ado, here’s some highlights:

The First Winner:

The Second Winner (and following impromptu moshpit):

Lastly, some of the best near misses:

The effect was massive and not just in visits to Facebook page and Twitter mentions but in real world figures. The promotion (put together by Saatchi & Saatchi NZ) created a 54% increase in ground attendance after the first catch.

Did it sell beer? Yep.
Did it get people talking about and attending cricket games again? Yep.

WIN.

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