The relationship between companies holding a sweepstakes and individuals participating in one has always been mutually beneficial. Companies may be giving away fancy prizes, but it’s not exactly for free.
“Sweepstakes are a way for corporations to reach out to consumers and create a buzz about their products,” says Sandra Grauschopf, About.com’s Guide to Contests and Sweepstakes. “With most forms of advertising, companies are chasing after the consumer, who is trying to tune out the ads. But consumers actively seek out sweepstakes to enter, making them much more open to corporations’ advertising.”
Additionally, with the current economic climate adversely affecting many companies’ marketing budgets, the modern-day sweepstake is evolving. “It’s causing companies to look for new ways to get more bang for their buck,” Grauschopf says. “And that leads into social media where more and more companies are using sweepstakes to boost follower numbers and increase sales.”
Take, for example, Chrysler’s recently-ended Jeep Tiki Hunt. Online car contests are a dime a dozen, but Jeep got plenty of publicity for its national scavenger hunt, when it revealed clues to the location of three hidden tikis via its Web site, Facebook and Twitter.
By the time Scott Carman of Golden, Colo., had found the last tiki (and claimed the third limited-edition Jeep Wrangler Islander), Jeep had nearly 500,000 Web site hits, an extra 32,000 Facebook friends and a 275% increase in Twitter followers. During the two-month-long contest, 10 million people viewed or shared content on the Jeep Facebook page.
“This unique experience has given us the opportunity to connect and communicate directly with Jeep consumers on several levels,” Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC.