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HOME > Contests > Articles on winning contests! > In Good "Form" - Part 2

In Good "Form" - Part 2

by Lynne Suzanne

I was aware that a well-known cosmetic manufacturer had organised a free prize draw to win a fantastic holiday to Brazil in a promotion which featured a new movie at cinemas.

So I ventured into a well-known high street store to check out their cosmetic display stand. No entry forms.

However there was a small compartment in the stand which held some leaflets. Whilst taking one out the whole lot tipped over and an assistant immediately rushed to my aid to help me put them back and enquire what I was looking for. I mentioned the competition. 

`Oh I know the one you mean', she beamed at me. 

Oh good, I thought. `Have you got an entry form I could have please?' 

`Sorry', she continued, `I've put them to throw out'.

`Throw out?' I queried in sheer amazement, `but it doesn't close for another six weeks.' 

`Oh it does' she said, `it closed last week'. 

I asked if she had a form.

`Think I put them in the back office' she said. `No, wait a minute, they may be in this drawer.' And reaching into the drawer under the cosmetic stands he whipped out a whole pile of entry forms.

`There', she said, pointing to last week's date. 

`Oh, that's the date the film comes out on release', I said, `look here's the closing date - at the end of next month'. 

`Are you going to put them back on display then?' I quizzed.

`No', she responded, `there's no room. I had put them in there', she pointed at the slot which housed the forms I'd almost tipped on the floor, `but when the manufacturer sent this new promotion', which incidentally wasn't a competition, `I had nowhere to put the Brazil entry forms', she explained.

`Couldn't you put them at the end of the check out?' I queried.   `No. That's where we put all the nappy promotions'. 

`Well', I pursued this line of reasoning, `how about on the end of that counter there'.

`No room', she said. 

`So what' I asked, thinking this was getting us nowhere, `are you going to do with that pile of entry forms?'

Closing the drawer she said, `I'll leave them here for a while, then throw them away'.

Telling her I belonged to a competition club and could pass those entry forms onto people who'd love to enter, I asked if they were destined for the waste bin, could I take them.

`Of course', she replied.

Opening the drawer, she handed me the lot.   You'll be pleased to know they didn't go to waste and were subsequently distributed to eager compers.

Now let's look at this through the eyes of a promoter. They have taken the time and effort to design the entry form, have it printed and distributed to stores, to place in the compartment on their cosmetic stand for customers to take one and enter. Now if you can't see the forms, how can you enter?

Organising a competition or promotion as they are referred to, is another form of advertising. It may be that the promoter wants you to buy and try their product, so they offer the chance to win a fabulous prize in their tiebreaker slogan competition. In the UK the Law states that if a purchase is required to enter a contest, it must be one where winning depends on your skill, as in a tiebreaker competition. 

Or perhaps, as appears to be in this instance as it was a free prize draw to win a holiday in Brazil, they simply want  to draw your attention to a new film at the cinema, and a new colour in their cosmetic range. Entering the prize draw, you're also reading about their product.

Promoters know how many entry forms are distributed and may take into account a variety of reasons for low redemption figures. Yet I wonder if they count `no one entered because the forms weren't available' as one of the reasons.

Imagine had this competition had one major prize and a runner-up prize in every store, what the local result would have been.  No prizes for guessing.

Recently, visiting another city, I spotted an entry form to win a hi-fi system in a  `one prize in every store' contest.  Enquiring at my local branch, I was told they'd not heard about it. Asking every day at the customer care department eventually resulted in forms appearing - wait for it - on the last date of the promotion.  I entered.  I wonder if it was `luck of the draw' that my entry was picked. Or may be I was the only entrant from my store!  Makes you wonder doesn't it?

  Copyright 2002  Lynne Suzanne

About the author
Lynne Suzanne is a freelance writer, consultant and speaker. She has written four books on winning prize competitions and slogan writing and presents Win With Lynne Roadshows and marketing seminars.
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