Maxwell House Sweeps beats 30-year entry record

Thousands of Canadian coffee lovers threw their mugs into the Maxwell House promotional ring, hoping to turn their desire for a java high into a brand new home. ...

Thousands of Canadian coffee lovers threw their mugs into the Maxwell House promotional ring, hoping to turn their desire for a java high into a brand new home.

Last October, Maxwell House launched its first Dream House Sweeps contest, offering a grand prize of $1 million toward a dream home, plus over $100,000 in additional loot.

Marco Sales and Incentives, the Paris, Ont.-based fulfilment company that handled the logistics behind the promotion, reports that as of Feb. 23, more than 230,000 consumers had entered the Dream House Sweeps.

Measured by number of entries, the contest was the largest for any Kraft Canada brand in 30 years. Interestingly, it was another Maxwell House promo – one giving away 50 Datsun automobiles in 1971 – which held that distinction until now, according to Kraft.

The Dream House Sweeps was supported with an eight-week fully integrated campaign that utilized television (CTV), print (TV Guide, Kraft’s What’s Cooking magazine), radio, Web site and point-of-purchase advertising.

According to Natasha Jacob, senior product manager, Maxwell House Coffee, the promotion was successful because it married key consumer insights – Maxwell House coffee drinkers love watching game shows, enjoy home-based recreation and like playing lotteries, she says – with the increasing interest in home improvement, to come up with what Jacobs terms ‘the ultimate promotion for Maxwell House drinkers.’

The sweeps, brewed up by Accumark Promotions and Ogilvy & Mather, both of Toronto, was sponsored by Century 21 Real Estate Canada, and featured prizes from several top home-based companies, including Black & Decker (small appliances), Toshiba (television sets), La-Z-Boy (recliners), Star Choice Communications (digital satellite television systems) and Color Your World (home redecorating certificates.

As an added incentive, consumers who bought Maxwell House coffee were offered $5 off the purchase price of any new Black & Decker SmartBrew coffeemaker.

Jacob says the results have been nothing short of ‘astounding.’ According to ACNielsen, for the 14 weeks ending Dec. 31, consumption of Roasted Maxwell House Coffee grew 10.7% compared to the same period last year. During that time, sales of Instant Maxwell House also grew by 9.5%. And while Kraft did not reveal market share figures, Jacob says the brand’s share in both the instant and ground roast segments grew significantly.

‘This is the largest fully integrated consumer promotion in Maxwell House history,’ says Jacob.

The contest closed Feb. 28. Over 2,500 prizes have been awarded.