A Strategic Sweepstakes
The Edge Company has devised an ingenious sweepstakes campaign that simultaneously promotes its 15-year anniversary while also enticing prospects to read through the entire catalog.
In order to play the "15 Year Silver Anniversary Sweepstakes," consumers must identify the five imaginary products listed inside the catalog (301EDGECO0398). Participants then call in or mail in the product numbers for the five fake items for a chance at the $15,000 sterling silver grand prize.
Featuring futuristic gifts, tools, knives and action gear, the catalog makes it somewhat difficult to determine at just a glance what is a real product and what is imaginary. The "Alien in Sleep Chamber," for example, is a real product. Once you start reading the copy, however, the humorous product descriptions give it away.
Take "EZ-Buzz Water-into-Beer Tablets." The copy describes the item as, "A drunkard's dream! One tablet in a glass and presto--instant party! Magic pills turn ordinary tap water into beer or wine!" Obviously, this is one of the five ringers.
The "Revco Home-Clone 2000 Kit" is another rib-tickler. The entertaining, but entirely tongue-in-cheek, description reads
Sparky was real lonely, but I didn't have time to raise another dog. With the Home-Cloner and a snip of Sparky's hair, I had him a full-grown companion in just 10 days!
This type of fun, interactive sweepstakes is a smart way to market The Edge Company's adventurous personality to prospects. It not only keeps them in suspense throughout the 60-page catalog, but once they have identified the five fake products, they will be more likely to order a real one.
According to Lisa Wilder, at The Edge Company, President Patrick Gaffney came up with the fake product promotion idea during a brainstorming session. The goal of the promotion is to try to get customers to look through the entire catalog--and, of course, place an order!
"We process 4,000 calls a day, and about three to four people try to order a fake product because they miss the cover. But most people realize pretty quickly what is going on," Wilder says.
She describes the response to the catalog as good.