A Sweeps for Text Peeps
Would you send a text message to win $50,000? AT&T Wireless asks existing customers in a new 51/2" x 101/2" outer-envelope sleeve package.
The appeal, which includes just a glossy, four-paneled, gate-fold brochurereplete with images of "American Idol"-poster-boy-turned-AT&T-pitch-man Ryan Seacresturges wireless users to participate in a new sweepstakes, Text 4 Cash (808ATTWIR0204C). The way it works: Customers text the word "WIN" to a designated four-digit number to enter the sweepstakes. Then, every time they send a text or picture message to friends and family, they have a chance to win a $50,000 grand prize, or 18 first prizes of $10,000. Also, 100,000 customers who enter will win a free ring tone.
"This is a very clever way to deploy a sweepstakes as a usage incentive," says Marla Altberg, president of Ventura Associates, a sweepstakes and promotional marketing consultancy based in New York City. "It encourages customers to get into the habit of using their text messaging features, thereby making them more comfortable in doing so and potentially increasing text messaging sales in the long run."
Standard charges apply for sending text, picture and multimedia messages during the sweepstakes, but AT&T has integrated a non-purchase method of entry (by mail), as required by law, explains Altberg.
This effort not only presents a unique sweepstakes opportunity, but also illustrates AT&T Wireless' seemingly impenetrable co-branding relationship with FOX and "American Idol." When recipients lift the brochure out of the sleeve envelope, the first thing they see is the popular Seacrest clutching a Nokia phone. The copy presented on the screen reads: "Would You Send a Text Message to Win $50,000? Of Course You Would."
Anyone who watches the hit show "American Idol" knows that Seacrest pushes AT&T Wireless and Nokia every time the audience votes for a worthy contestant. AT&T Wireless, in other appeals, even offers customers a free "American Idol" faceplate when they purchase a Nokia 3200 and sign up for a two-year contract. What's more, the company has made available to wireless users The AT&T Wireless Official American Idol Guidebooka downloadable "white paper" of sorts to help customers "experience a whole new level of American Idol through [their] wireless phones."