132 years after the company issued the world’s first promotional coupons, Coca Cola sets a new benchmark for the use of digital ‘coupons’ in consumer promotions
In May and June 2009 Coca-Cola Great Britain (CCGB) carried out the most popular and effective mobile coupon campaign the UK has ever seen. Powered by digital voucher specialist i-movo, and using the PayPoint network, hundreds of thousands of bottles of Fanta, Sprite and Dr. Pepper were distributed free, using secure digital vouchers delivered to mobile phones.
Selected PayPoint stores were given eye-catching point-of-sale material, including door posters, shelf blazers and fridge-top stands, which made clear the simple step required of customers to get their free drink: sending a text message with the word ‘YES’, followed by their date of birth. Valid voucher requests received a text message reply within a few seconds that included a unique voucher code that was validated by the retailer using the PayPoint terminal.
Because voucher redemption was performed in real-time using the PayPoint terminal, vouchers could not be used twice, eliminating the risk of fraud. Another immediate benefit was that brand managers could monitor the campaign’s progress store-by-store, bottle-by-bottle, eliminating the risk of over-subscription.
The good news for retailers was that they were reimbursed automatically, within six days, via PayPoint. “We are very focused towards driving additional footfall and profits for our retailers”, said Mike Igoe, Retail Strategy Director at PayPoint. “and this activity has done both on a significant scale by making customers the compelling offer of free products. The real-time redemption solution offered by i-movo and PayPoint makes this type of activity attractive because it mitigates the financial risks for all parties.”
By the conclusion of the eight-week campaign, over 200,000 drinks had been given away to nearly 100,000 consumers across the UK and the campaign had delivered the unprecedented redemption rate of 87%.
Playing a key role in the promotion was the Martin McColl Retail Group. Paul Taylor, General Manager for Marketing at MMRG, said “we are in a great position to ‘think nationally and act locally’ and Coca-Cola has made the most of the relationship our stores have with their local communities to make this promotion such a success.”
“It’s been brilliant,” said one independent retailer contacted by Convenience Store magazine, “We’ve given away hundreds of bottles and the interest has bought more people into the store.”
Ed Knight, Head of Communication at CCGB, said “we always strive to engage our consumers in an appropriate and exciting manner and this campaign has achieved exactly that. PayPoint and i-movo have created a national marketing network that allows us to activate promotions for specific products in specific stores. In addition, this system allows us to run sampling campaigns across thousands of retailers simultaneously without any additional staffing costs or impact on the supply chain. The feedback we have received from retailers and consumers alike has been relentlessly positive and the campaign itself has been both a commercial and technical success.”