All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 9 – YouTube Contest Guidelines

Posted by: Arrowhead Promotion &Fulfillment April 14, 2014   1350178 YouTube 4_14_14 When promoting a contest on YouTube the following policies and guidelines apply.  Note YouTube only permits skill contests.  Sweepstakes and games are not allowed. YouTube Contest Policies and Guidelines All contests run on YouTube or which use YouTube are subject to the below rules. Your contest cannot be run or conducted in a way which conflicts with YouTube’s Privacy Policy, Terms of Service or Community Guidelines. I. General Restrictions and Requirements:

  1. You are solely responsible for your contest.
  2. Your contest on YouTube must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations in the jurisdiction(s) where your contest is offered or promoted.
  3. Your contest cannot infringe upon or encourage the infringement of any third party rights or the participation in any unlawful activity.
  4. Your contest may only accept entries from users aged 18 and up, or, the age of majority in the jurisdiction(s) where your contest is offered or promoted if it is over 18.
  5. You cannot ask the user to give all rights for, or transfer the ownership of, their entry to you.
  6. Your contest must be free to enter.
  7. Your contest must be a game of skill where the winner is determined by a set of clear judging criteria.
  8. You may not utilize channel functions, such as video likes or view counts, to conduct your contest.
  9. You may only use any data collected from entrants for contest administration purposes and cannot re-use the data for marketing purposes (even if the user has expressly opted-in to that use).
  10. You cannot use the YouTube embedded player or YouTube API to run a contest offsite.

II. Your Official Rules:

  1. You must have a set of “Official Rules” which:
  • include links to the YouTube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines and indicate entries which don’t comply will be disqualified.
  • state all disclosures required by all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations in all jurisdictions in which your contest is offered or                         promoted.
  • are wholly compliant and consistent with the YouTube Terms of Service.
  1. Your contest must be conducted, and all prizes awarded as outlined in your rules.
  2. You are responsible for your rules and all aspects of your contest administration.
  3. Your rules must clearly state that YouTube is not a sponsor of your contest and ask users to release YouTube from all liability related to your contest.
  4. You must include a legally compliant privacy notice in your Official Rules which explains how you will use any personal data you collect for the contest and adhere to that use.

Food for thought… Today more than ever sweepstakes and contests when done well can be a compelling, relevant and cost effective.  It’s more critical than ever for brands be nimble, authentic, amazing, outrageous, and compelling in some relevant manner. I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading and for your interest! 


All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 8 – Things to consider

Posted by: Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment Mar 31, 2014     1350178

Blog8Pic 3_28_14

Today more than ever brands have more choices and challenges connect and to be relevant.  The landscape is rapidly changing and it’s more important than ever for brands to be authentic in ways that engage, drive sales and loyalty.

Sweepstakes and contests can effective standalone tactics or part of a larger marketing initiative to focus attention, promote a conversation and engage an audience among other things.

When I work with a client on a sweepstakes, game or contest, I like to consider four key areas:

Brand strategy and priorties

What is the purpose of the sweepstakes or contest?

  1. How does the promotion reinforce and support the brand priorities?
  2. What constraints are in-place (budgetary and otherwise) to help define scope?
  3. What outcomes and key measures determine success?

Optimize audience engagement

How does the sweepstakes work (requirements, process),  is it intuitive and user friendly?

  1. Does it make sense from an audience perspective, will they get it?
  2. How is the promotion relevant, authentic and appealing to the audience?
  3. How well does the promotion resonate and connect emotionally with the audience?

 Legal compliance

 Does the promotion comply with applicable federal, state and local regulations governing sweepstakes and contests?

  1. Are the promotion rules, disclosures, terms and privacy policies clearly disclosed, complete and readily available?
  2. Do the rules include disclosures to comply with social media guidelines?
  3. Do the rules protect all parties;  sponsor, participants and other involved parties on relavant topics including but not limited to  Intellectual property rights, trade and copyrights and other relevant associations?

Risk management and program delivery

 What are the logistics, quality standards and supporting documentation to ensure promotion executes according to plan.

  1. What are the escalation and communication policies/ guidelines to address promotion issues and events occuring before/during and after the promotion.
  2. How will PR and other related matters that could negatively impact the brand  be managed.
  3. What key learnings can be retained organizationally to improve and leverage promotion efficiencies going forward.

Food for thought…

Today more than ever sweepstakes and contests when done well can be a compelling, relevant and cost effective.  It’s more critical than ever for brands be nimble, authentic, amazing, outrageous, and compelling in some relevant manner.

I welcome your comments.

Thanks for reading and for your interest!


All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 7 – Popular Tactics?

Posted by: Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment, Mar 21, 2014  1350178

Here’s a question for you….Are sweepstakes  still relevant and effective in today’s rapidly evolving, fragmented marketplace?  Why or why not?

Sweepsand contest google final

I did a Google search for keywords “sweepstakes and contests” and in 0.35 seconds, 33,900,000 results appeared.  Not empirical data but quite interesting nonetheless.

In my view, there is something very human and emotionally appealing about the idea of Winning a Prize.

Historical perspective…

Sweepstakes and lotteries can be traced back more than a thousand years.   There is evidence of chance and skill games going back as far as 2300 BC in China, Japan, Greece, Italy and Egypt.  Dice have been found in Egyptian tombs.

In the 18th century, the British helped fund the development of the American colonies with proceeds from lottery programs.  A lottery helped fund the American Revolution paving the way for what is the United States.

Today lotteries operate in 37 states and Washington DC.  Gambling casinos are in 11 states representing more than $22 billion in revenue.

Because of their popularity and risk for potential for abuse, sweepstakes are heavily regulated in the US at the federal, state and local level and globally.

Food for thought…

Today more than ever sweepstakes and contests when done well can be a compelling, relevant and cost effective, to connect with and engage your audience.

It’s more critical than ever for brands vying for our attention to be nimble, authentic, amazing, outrageous, or compelling in some relevant manner.

I welcome your comments.

Thanks for reading and for your interest!


All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 6 – Prizes…

Posted by: Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Mar 12, 2014          1350178

Every minute of the day, more data, more choices all compete for our attention.

DataOverload 3_11_14


The real-time, big data organizers at DOMO just released this info graphic, and it’s another head-spinning example of just how rapidly evolving, fragmented, and distracted the marketplace has become.

 It’s overwhelming to say the least, we are becoming skilled at filtering out what doesn’t appeal or interest us. It’s more critical than ever for brands vying for our attention to be nimble, authentic, amazing, outrageous, or compelling in some relevant manner. suggests that brands that embody the values of today’s consumers; storied, responsive, accessible, sustainable, and ethical will be the brands that succeed.  With the sheer volume of innovation in every sector there are a host of new and relevant solutions competing with established brands.

When done well Sweepstakes, Games and Contests can be powerful and engaging tactics to help:

  • Showcase a brand,  drive attention and break through clutter,
  • Reinforce, extend and enhance brand values,
  • Drive customer engagement and foster brand advocates,
  • Drive traffic, digital, social, mobile, retail and events,
  • Create buzz and promote innovation and viral activity (word or mouth),
  • Support in-store/ e-commerce merchandising and sales strategies,
  • Create high impact with a limited budget.

I am often asked what are the most effective prizes and prize structure to offer for sweepstakes and contests.   …And are there trends or data to support what types of prizes to offer.  Or what level of participation can we expect based on offering a particular prize or assortment of prizes.

Unfortunately there is not an easy answer or a formula to create the most effective prize structure…. Rather it is more aptly addressed based on a collective host of factors including but not limited to the market situation, audience dynamics, the brand promoted, how to best leverage rapidly changing market conditions, technologies, social outlets among other things to best engage your audience.

The power of Sweepstakes and Contests as an effective promotional vehicle is in its ability to create an emotional connection, focus interest and drive engagement.   A relevant prize structure is important and often a key but its only one dimension in creating an effective, engaging campaign.   When asked to advise on a program and its prize structure, I take a holistic view of the program in terms of its purpose, how it relates to its audience and relevance to the brand priorities and values.    Legal compliance and risk management are critical factors as well as the operational logistics involved.

Food for thought from…



Here are two promotion examples (a Sweepstakes and a Contest) of brands engaging their audience in a relevant, fun and innovative manner. Both examples work to appeal to its audience, create an emotional connection and drive engagement with the brand.

Spotify Twitter Sweepstakes – Leveraging Spring Break 2014 to Drive Engagement

SpotifySpringBreakTwitter Sweeps 3_11_14

March 22, Spotify’s is heading down to Panama City Beach, FL to soundtrack Spring Break. If you’re going to be there, say hi to the Spotify Team who’ll be DJing at the Summit Beach Resort, giving away cool prizes on the beach and setting up VIP booths at the concerts for artist meet and greets.

Whether you’re there or not add your song to the “People’s Playlist of Spring Break” and enter for the chance to win a VIP package for 2 to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival! To enter, just Tweet your favorite song on Spotify and #SpringBreak*

Be safe and have fun!

Heineken Twitter Contest – Leveraging Tribeca Film Festival with an Innovative Invitation and Challenge

 HeinekenTwitterContest 3_10_14

Heineken, the official beer sponsor of Tribeca Film Festival, is encouraging film lovers to take the idea of “15 minutes of fame” to the next level. Contest participants tweet (#15secondpremiere) their film pitch for a 15-second short to premiere at a private event during Tribeca Film Festival 2014.

One lucky winner will be thrust into the limelight at Tribeca Film Festival to serve as the face of the film and to introduce the 140-character screenplay and the 15-second short to an audience that includes industry professionals and the media.

Food for thought….

The power of Sweepstakes and Contests as promotional vehicles is in their ability to create an emotional connection, drive interest and engagement.  Prizes are important but only one dimension in developing an effective, engaging campaign.

 I invite your comments and input on this material.  Also, feel free to share with friends and colleagues that have an interest.

Thanks for reading and for your interest!


All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 5 Twitter –

Posted by: Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Mar 3, 2014  1350178

EllenAcadamyAwards 3_2_14twitter logo 3_3_14


If you watched the 86th Academy Awards Sunday night, you saw Ellen DeGeneres, the host, leave the stage and ask actor Bradley Cooper to take a “selfie” picture of her and several other stars including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt.

She quickly uploaded the picture to Twitter causing Twitter to crash for about 20 minutes. Long before midnight Sunday, the photo had been retweeted more than 2 million times, breaking the record set by President Barack Obama with the picture of him hugging First Lady Michelle Obama after his re-election in 2012.

Twitter sent out an apology Sunday night saying all of the retweeting Academy Awards disrupted service for more than 20 minutes after 10 p.m. ET.

Social media usage has become an integral part of what we do. A Feb 2014 survey by Influenster reported 97% of female internet users planned to use social media while watching the Academy Awards.

The survey reported that US internet users who accessed social media while watching cultural events on TV did so to see other people’s reactions or because it made the show more entertaining. More than half of respondents also logged on to social sites as they viewed events because it made them feel like part of a community.

More than four in 10 respondents said they were likely to interact with brands tweeting during televised cultural events, and an additional 48.42% said they would do so if the brand said something funny or interesting.

Guidelines for Sweepstakes and Contests on Twitter

Sweepstakes and contests are great tools to engage your followers on Twitter.

Sweepstakes and contests on Twitter may offer prizes for tweeting a particular update, for following a particular user, or for posting updates with a specific hashtag. If you’ve been thinking about hosting a contest using your Twitter profile, here are some simple guidelines to follow to ensure your contest doesn’t ask anyone to violate any of Twitter’s rules or guidelines:
• Discourage the creation of multiple accounts
• Discourage posting the same Tweet repeatedly
• Ask users to include an @reply to you in their update so you can see all the entries
• Encourage the use of topics relevant to the contest. You may ask users to include relevant hashtag (like #contest or #yourcompanyname)
• Follow the Twitter Rules and guidelines
• Applicable Laws and Regulations still apply including posting Official rules. Because of limited real estate disclosing rules may be a challenge. Consider use of tiny URL to house the rules
• In addition, before starting any contests or sweepstakes please ensure that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. As a Sponsor compliance with such laws and regulations is your responsibility; please let us know  if you have questions about legal compliance.

Food for thought….

• Sweepstakes cannot require a purchase and must be carefully designed to achieve objectives,
• Legal regulations governing sweepstakes are subject to varied interpretation and enforcement,
• Beyond legal requirements, consider the PR impact of the promotion especially as situations occur.

I appreciate your comments, suggestions and input and invite you to share this material with friends and colleagues you think may have an interest in this area of promotions.

Thanks for reading and for your interest!

All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 4 The Fundamentals

By: Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Feb 21, 2014  1350178



I thought it would be good idea to share some basic information about sweepstakes, games and contests; what are they and how they work.  This material is intended as a brief introduction as there is always more granular detail and discussion to consider beyond the basics.

So what can sweepstakes, games and contests offer your brand and why consider them?

>Showcase your brand, get attention and breakthrough clutter,

>Reinforce, extend and enhance brand value initiatives,

>Drive customer engagement with a brand develop brand advocates,

>Help drive traffic online and at retail,

>Build buzz and promote word or mouth,

>Help generate in-store merchandising and sales velocity,

>Generate a high impact with limited budget.


>Sweepstakes cannot require a purchase and must be carefully designed to achieve objectives,

>Legal regulations governing sweepstakes are subject to varied interpretation and enforcement,

>Beyond legal requirements, consider the PR impact of the promotion especially as situations occur.

What is a Lottery?


>Lottery – As defined by the Standard Lottery Rule – when all three elements are present (prize, chance, consideration). Lotteries except those that are state operated are illegal under federal law and the laws of all fifty states.

>Prize – anything of tangible value, even if value is nominal awarded to a winner.

>Chance – winners are selected by a random process, the outcome cannot be controlled or influenced.

>Consideration – expenditure of monetary or non-monetary effort

What is Consideration? 

>Monetary consideration – a purchase or payment.

>Non-monetary consideration –  expenditure of effort to participate ie, submitting a story, recipe.

>Non-monetary requirements generally not deemed as consideration:

  • Calling toll free number,
  • Visiting a store,
  • Watching/ listening to TV or radio program,
  • Completing a survey (matter of degree),
  • Reading product brochure and answering questions,
  • Listening to sales presentations (note several states have special requirements),
  • Sending self-addressed stamped envelope to request materials,
  • Becoming a member of a social media platform, liking, tweeting, pinning, uploading photos or short videos.

Non-monetary requirements that may pose more risk as consideration:

  • Travelling to a location,
  • Disclosure sensitive proprietary information,
  • Disclosure of social security or credit card information,
  • Waiver of legal rights such as opt out from receiving phone calls or emails,
  • If task entails inherent product purchase.

Regulatory agencies governing sweepstakes, games and contests include but not limited to:

>Federal Trade Commission – FTC

>United States Postal Service – USPS

>Federal Communications Commission – FCC

>United States Department of Justice

>Federal Reserve Board

>Treasury Department/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – BATF

>State Attorneys General

>State Consumer Protection Agencies

What is a Sweepstakes or Game?


>Sweepstakes and Games cannot require a purchase (monetary or non-monetary consideration) to participate.

>Winners are determined by chance via a random selection process.

Sweepstakes – Odds of winning are based on total number of eligible entries received.

Instant Win Games – Odds of winning are pre-determined through a random prize seeded schedule via on-pack/in-pack or online venues.

>Alternate Method of Entry (AMOE) – if a purchase is involved, an AMOE  is required to assure “equal dignity” to those participants purchasing and those entering for free.

What is a Contest?


>Skill based – contest winners are determined on the basis of skill rather than chance.

>The nature of tasks entrants must perform should include genuine skill elements.

>Examples of tasks found to have genuine skill elements:

  • Athletic ability – golf, bowling,
  • Manual dexterity,
  • Knowledge based games,
  • Creative skills – writing, cooking, photography,
  • Speed, endurance
  • Strategic games – bridge, chess

What about Social Media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, You Tube….?

>Multichannel promotions involving multiple 3rd party social platforms are pervasive and growing.

>These promotions are subject to same laws and regulations that apply to traditional sweepstakes, games and contests.

>Considerations when planning sweepstakes, games and contests on social media platforms:

  • 3rd party platform rules – Does your promotion comply with 3rd party platform rules and guidelines.
  • Consideration issues – Do entry requirements constitute consideration.
  • Intellectual property issues – Does promotion violate or induce violation of 3rd party intellectual property rights.
  • Unique admin issues – does the structure pose special concerns, opportunity for cheating and use of bots is a threat and should be addressed in the rules.
  • Rules provisions – must determine how to disclose rules on platforms with limited real estate.
  • Privacy issues – notification of participants about how data is collected and used.
  • FTC compliance and endorsement guidelines – receipt of sweepstakes entry is exchange of product endorsement is a material connection and must be disclosed.

I appreciate your comments, suggestions and input and invite you to share this material with friends and colleagues you think may have an interest in this area of promotions.

Thanks for reading and for your interest!


All about Sweepstakes – Vol 3

Valentine’s Day!

Posted by; Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Feb 14, 2014          


Greetings and Happy Valentine’s Day!

I thought it would be good to take a moment to reflect on Valentine’s Day.  Here is some interesting trivia and an article from today’s New York Times about how marketers are leveraging Valentine’s Day  to call attention, celebrate, engage and activate behavior for their brands.  Note: there are a several sweepstakes featured as well.  Enjoy!

Did you know?

  1. Valentine’s Day originated in Rome during the third century.
  2. Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men as he believed single men made better soldiers. A young priest named Valentine secretly continued to perform marriages despite the ruling and was sentenced to death.  In jail, Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter.  It’s believed that before his execution Feb 14, Valentine wrote his last love letter to his beloved and signed it “From Your Valentine”
  3. St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday in 1537, by England’s King Henry VIII.
  4. It’s estimated one billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent world-wide each year.
  5. Two out of every three Valentine’s Day cards are accompanied by a gift.
  6. Flowers are the most popular Valentine’s Day gift.
  7. The first candy conversation heart was created in 1866 by Daniel Chase.  This year about 8 billion hearts will be produced.
  8. NECCO has been making heart-shaped valentine candies, with sweet sayings printed on them, since 1902.
  9. Richard Cadbury invented the world’s first heart shaped Valentine’s Day chocolate box during the Victorian era in 1822.
  10. It’s estimated more than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day this year.

A few popular SMS text Valentines messages

  1. Love is like playing the piano.  First you must learn to play by the rules,then you must forget the rules and play from your heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!
  2. You are the sun in my day, the wind in my sky, the waves in my ocean, and the beat in my heart.Happy Valentine’s Day
  3. Let love be the guide to your dreams; Let love be the light to your heart; Let your love be the reason why my heart still continues to beat! Happy Valentine’s Day 2014!

Putting the Romance in Cold Medicine and Fabric Softener

New York Times

FEB. 14, 2014

FLORISTS, chocolatiers, jewelers and greeting card publishers typically promote aggressively for Valentine’s Day, but brands that few would associate with romance also are courting consumers this year.

Paper towels, for example, do not figure prominently in love songs, but Viva, the Kimberly-Clark brand, is choosing Valentine’s Day, which falls on Friday, to introduce a campaign that urges consumers to “break up” with their current brand of paper towel.

For a new variety of paper towel that stretches like fabric, called Viva Vantage, the brand is introducing commercials in which consumers who have posted glowing Twitter posts about category leader Bounty are paid a surprise visit in their homes by Viva representatives, who persuade them to switch to Viva’s product.

In the social network era, in which companies court consumers to “like” them, Darin Berg, the brand director for Viva in North America, said that it was fitting to apply the language of romance to products.

“Consumers are liking brands and having conversations with them, so we’re very much looking at it like a relationship,” said Mr. Berg. With Bounty users, he continued, “We’re trying to get them to rethink that relationship by calling attention to the fact that sometimes it’s O.K. to make a fresh start.”

An ad by Viva urges consumers to break up with their current paper towel brand and switch to Viva.

Snuggle, the fabric softener, is also embracing the holiday. In Times Square on Friday, the company’s bear mascot will serve as what the brand calls a “ring bear-er” for a couple the brand has selected, Mitchell from Andover, N.J., who are renewing their vows on what will be their 21st wedding anniversary.

“Snuggle is all about adding that extra touch to your laundry that signifies love,” said Bibie Wu, vice president of marketing for Snuggle, a Sun Products brand. “Valentine’s Day is really a perfect opportunity for the Snuggle brand and Snuggle Bear to increase their relevance.”

At the Empire State Building on Friday, another couple will renew their vows and two others will be married in a promotion by ProFlowers and RedEnvelope, the online flower and gift stores, and Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the landmark.

As part of MasterCard’s continuing Priceless Surprises campaign that gives cardholders unexpected gifts, on Friday about 2,000 consumers who use the taxi-hailing app Uber, then pay the fare with MasterCard, will learn later in the day that MasterCard has picked up the tab (up to $20) and credited their accounts. The promotion will run in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. Also on Valentine’s Day,

MasterCard is giving 12 cardholders in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas a free personalized skywriting message to dedicate to a loved one.

In another high-elevation promotion, United Airlines asked couples to submit stories about how they met on a United flight or in a United terminal. One couple will win a free pair of business-class tickets to anywhere they choose.

Some brands encourage couples to stay in on the holiday, like K-Y, the personal lubricant, which in recent print advertisements promoted special packages of his and her lubricants that also include coupon codes for both ingredients for a home-cooked meal from and for a movie to stream from

For its lines of condoms, lubricants and vibrators, Trojan ran an ad in Sunday newspaper circulars with coupons that urged consumers to “make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day,” while a print ad that appeared in magazines showed a container of lubricant on a bed strewn with rose petals, accompanied by the text, “Happy Valentine’s Night.”

Affection of a more public sort will be displayed for the fifth year on Friday at Qdoba Mexican Grill, where customers who kiss while ordering an entree will get another for free. “Share a smooch with someone special,” encourages a post about the promotion, Queso for a Kiss, on Facebook, which adds, in case it didn’t seem awkward enough already, “or someone willing.”

Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are both observing the holiday with heart-shaped doughnuts, while some of the oldest heart-shaped treats, Necco Sweethearts (formerly Conversation Hearts), which were introduced in 1866, highlighted the candies on Twitter this Valentine’s season with a promotion called Tweethearts.

After posting a romantic message to the account @tweethearts, Twitter users received a return message showing the words printed on individual candies, and an option to buy a one-pound bag of Sweethearts with those custom-printed words for $30.

An animated rap video by Necco’s agency, Hill Holliday in Boston, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, promotes the effort.

The brand was surprised when Mindy Kaling, the comedic actress and writer, ordered a bag and posted a photograph of it on Facebook. Her message quoted from a line in the film “Notting Hill” that Julia Roberts delivered to Hugh Grant: “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.”

That the holiday falls in the middle of cold season struck Zicam Cold Remedy as an opportunity, so on Friday its 7-foot-tall, runny-nosed brand character, Cold, will appear in Manhattan’s Union Square. While mascots do not generally promote themselves as romantic prospects, the Cold Monster will be handing passers-by Valentine’s cards with text including “Love at first sneeze.”

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Game on……… All about Sweepstakes – Vol. 2

By: Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Feb 7, 2014     1350178


It’s a balmy 1°F here today, feels more like -15° F with wind chill.  One of our local weather celebrities says this is the 37th night with sub-zero lows.  I don’t know about you, but this is getting really old.

The Super Bowl is over … we’re well on our way into 2014 and spring is just around the corner (at least we hope).   Here at Arrowhead I can feel the energy and a growing momentum building.  We’re excited and humbled by all of the great clients we’re so fortunate to be able to support and work with every day.

For me, life is a work in process. What I have learned is being open to change, new ways of thinking and being flexible is critical to who I am and how I contribute personally and professionally.

In the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” (Richard Carlson) offers some good advice on life in general.  Chapter 65: “Be Flexible with Changes to your Plans”. Being flexible and open to change is easy to talk about, harder to actually do.  The changing world landscape, technology growth and changing social norms affect us and what we do every day.  It’s more important than ever to be flexible, open to change and possibilities that brings as often things happen when you least expect.

What has any of this got to do with Sweepstakes and Contests?  Quite a bit actually….

The Super Bowl — SONOS Wireless HiFi and Spotify

On Friday just before Super Bowl Sunday, Spotify called for our help to launch a 1 day Twitter Sweepstakes to run on Super Bowl Sunday.  SONOS Wireless HiFi an emerging maker of wireless sound systems, would run a commercial spot during the Super Bowl and wanted to use this opportunity to reach and engage  an audiences interested in their brand through social media channels.

Initially we thought….you want to do what?  Develop, test and launch a program in 1 day?  Normally it takes weeks or months.  Our challenge was to connect all the dots in 1 day…..  And be ready to launch Super Bowl Sunday.

The sweepstakes must be legal, to comply with sweepstakes regulations, NFL licensing terms and Twitter guidelines and minimize risk for all parties.  We needed a tested API technology ready to link with Twitter, to retrieve eligible sweepstakes entries from Twitter feeds, and select and validate winners.

Fortunately we had created a program that would adapt well with only minor refinements.  In general, we like to build modular technologies that can be adapted for client needs.

We were able to deliver and the sweepstakes launched as planned Super Bowl Sunday.   Early feedback on the program from our client is very good.  Everything worked according to plan!


Why Twitter made sense for this sweepstakes
Source:  Civic Science Report, Jan 2014; Pew Research Report, Dec 2013

> Twitter users have an affinity to emerging technology and brands like SONOS Wireless HiFi (see Fig 1 below).
> 40% of Twitter users describe themselves as early adopters, compared to just 23% of non-users.
> 57% of Twitter users closely follow trends in music, compared to only 30% of non-users.
> Spotify has a growing audience engaged through Twitter that are music lovers with affinity to emerging technology.
> Twitter users are more likely to closely follow every major U.S. sports league.

table 2

When done well, sweepstakes are great tools to create buzz, reinforce key brand messaging and activate behavior.   The changing world landscape and  technology growth and social norms  affects  what we do every day, It’s more important than ever to be flexible and open to change and possibilities as often things happen when you least expect.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned….


And so it begins…All about Sweepstakes – Volume 1

By:  Arrowhead Promotion & Fulfillment, Jan 30, 2014        1350178

Welcome to my blog “All about Sweepstakes ”  Over the coming months I’ll post stories and perspectives  about sweepstakes, games and contests;  best practices, trends and learnings about  how these popular tactics support branding, marketing and sales efforts.  My goal is to create a forum to share information and learnings about sweepstakes and their suitability given the changing marketing landscape.

A little about me…. I’m grounded by a balance of left-brain and right-brain thinking.  If you’re not familiar with this concept, our brains are divided into two hemispheres, left and right….The left hemisphere is analytical, sequential, logical and process focused; the right hemisphere is intuitive, non-linear, creative and holistic….We all normally engage both sides of our brains, but generally one side (left or right) tends to be more dominant in shaping our views and how we process things.

An excellent book on this subject (I highly recommend) is “A Whole New Mind” by, Daniel Pink.  It provides good perspective on how we think.  And with rapid changes in the world because of technology advancements, changing social norms and globalization (more than ever, we live in a world society); it provides some really good reasons for a shifting to more right-brain thinking (creative, non-linear, holistic,) to be successful today and in the future.

Over the past couple decades I’ve developed a keen interest and a fairly deep knowledge of promotion marketing and specifically sweepstakes, games and contests.   As VP, Sweeps & Games at Arrowhead my role is to grow this area of our business and ensure the sweepstakes we support engage and operate to meet our clients’ goals.   I have been fortunate to work with many truly talented people from leading brands, agencies and industry experts.    I have supported sweepstakes for iconic brands, as well as mid-size and smaller brands across industries and geographies.  I have seen firsthand what it takes to deliver a highly successful sweepstakes and what happens when things don’t operate so well.  My perspective continues to evolve every day for how to best design, structure and administer promotions that engage, are legally compliant and minimize risk.

I believe creating successful sweepstakes is a balance of art and science (right-brain and left-brain).  It’s about connecting at an emotional level to activate interest and behavior; and having effective practices in-place to ensure promotions operate according to plan.

As I write this blog from my office near Minneapolis, we’re deep in a polar vortex….  Today it’s -15°F with wind chills ranging from -22° to – 40°F.  It’s bitterly cold and most schools are closed.   I can’t remember a time when it’s been this cold!   My attention is drawn to a Facebook sweepstakes …the headline reads “Enter Now for your Chance to Win a Tropical Getaway to Aruba, Jamaica or Hawaii”.   This sponsor’s timing is right on!  They absolutely got my attention big time especially today!

When done well, sweepstakes have a way of appealing to us on many different levels.  They are great tools to create buzz, reinforce key brand messaging and activate behavior.   Most importantly they are fun!  (After all who doesn’t need a little fun in their life?)

Thanks for reading and stay tuned …..