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Coca-Cola targets on-the-go travelers via text-to-win sweepstakes sponsorship

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December 31, 2015

Coca-Cola is stirring up end-of-year sales

Coca-Cola is stirring up end-of-year sales

Coca-Cola is driving beverage sales in airports and travel hubs thanks to a holiday-themed text-to-win campaign, giving consumers the chance to win two complimentary airline tickets or Amazon gift cards.

The beverage marketer is joining forces with highway and airport food service company HMSHost to roll out the sweepstakes, which requires participants to buy Coca-Cola items from HMSHost locations to receive an entry code. As other food and beverage brands wind down their advertising efforts for the year, Coca-Cola is ensuring it ends 2015 with a bang by targeting travelers in search of fizzy refreshments.

“The primary objective of the program was to spread holiday cheer,” said Afsaneh Sheibani, director of creative marketing at HMSHost, Bethesda, MD. “We expect the program also will help drive awareness of our HMSHost restaurants and the Coca-Cola beverages we have available.

“Given the variety of Coca-Cola products that are sold in our restaurants, there really is something for everyone.”

Uncapping sales
Consumers traveling through airports or highway stopping points will be able to latch on to the sweepstakes if entries arrive by 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2015. To secure a participatory spot in the contest, individuals must purchase any Coca-Cola item from an HSMHost location.

Customers will receive a receipt containing a code number. Then, they must use their smartphones to text the keyword HOLIDAY to 30364, which will prompt the user to input his or her birthdate.

The eight-digit receipt code must be entered in next. Successful completion of these tasks will result in one entry into the grand prize sweepstakes, alongside one entry into the instant win game portion of the campaign.

The grand prize for U.S. residents is a voucher for two airline tickets, valid for transportation within the United States only. If the winner is Canadian, he or she will receive the same package, good for a free round trip within the country.

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Consumers can also enter by visiting the campaign microsite

The U.S. instant win prize pool is much larger, boasting 40 first prizes, 80 second prizes and 240 third prizes. The first, second and third place categories will receive Amazon gift card codes valued at $20, $10 and $5, respectively.

The potential of snagging an Amazon gift card will likely be enough to inspire a slew of travelers to purchase Coca-Cola items during the sweepstakes period. If consumers visit an airport restaurant with the intention of picking up a soft drink to enjoy during a layover, the in-store signage in HMSHost locations may prompt them to choose Coca-Cola over a competing soda brand.

“Our consumers are plugged-in more than ever before,” Ms. Sheibani said. “Travelers are also rushed given shorter connection times between flights and are eager to get to their destination.

“Our intent with the text-to-win was to provide an easy, quick, and instant promotion where consumers could play to win for prizes that were relevant to their journey and those that could be redeemed immediately.”

However, individuals not traveling near HMSHost restaurants today will still be able to enter the contest by visiting stockingstuffer.coca-cola.com, where they can fill out the required information to receive a no-purchase-necessary entry.

Capping off seasonal surprises
The Instant Stocking Stuffer sweepstakes arrives on the heels of a series of Holiday Elf events launched by Coca-Cola and HMSHost at a plethora of participating airports this season. The giveaways, which took place during the week of Dec. 4 to Dec. 11, saw “holiday elves” hand out perks such as Coca-Cola beverages, travel accessories and free nights at Four Points hotel locations to unsuspecting travelers.

Recipients were encouraged to post about their experiences and freebies on social media via the #HMSHostElf hashtag.

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An HMSHost holiday elf brings joy to travelers in Orlando, FL

Coca-Cola has been engaging in a heavy marketing and sales push ahead of the New Year, ensuring its products stay front-of-mind for holiday partiers.

The brand also been attempting to appeal to New Year’s Eve revelers by sponsoring an advertisement on Instagram that showcases a recipe for a non-alcoholic cocktail containing several of the company’s branded beverages (see story).

“Coca-Cola has been our beverage provider of choice for many years,” Ms. Sheibani said. “They have worked side-by-side with us in ensuring our traveling community has some of the best options for refreshment available to them.

“Programs like the text to win campaign demonstrate HMSHost’s ability to connect with travelers and create relevant and meaningful exchanges.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Alex Samuely is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

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