Canada Dry flies with Aeroplan in high-profile competition

Bringing a major soft-drink manufacturer in tune with one of Canada's largest loyalty programs has given both brands the opportunity to communicate with their consumers in a new way.
A high-profile competition running from June 1 to September 30 marks the first relationship between Air Canada's Aeroplan and a consumer packaged-goods company.
Aeroplan joined forces with Cadbury Beverages' Canada Dry to offers consumers the chance to win the grand prize of 500,000 Aeroplan miles or one of five 50,000 Aeroplan miles packages.

Bringing a major soft-drink manufacturer in tune with one of Canada’s largest loyalty programs has given both brands the opportunity to communicate with their consumers in a new way.

A high-profile competition running from June 1 to September 30 marks the first relationship between Air Canada’s Aeroplan and a consumer packaged-goods company.

Aeroplan joined forces with Cadbury Beverages’ Canada Dry to offers consumers the chance to win the grand prize of 500,000 Aeroplan miles or one of five 50,000 Aeroplan miles packages.

‘Canada Dry had been looking for a partner for some time,’ says Peter Osicka, senior VP of promotions at the Marketing Store Worldwide of Toronto, which spearheaded the linkup. ‘We wanted to find a brand with a strong Canadian image to tie in with their demographic,’ he continues. ‘Air Canada was looking for partners to expand their loyalty program, so we approached them and brought the two brands together.’

Entry forms can be found on the reverse side of labels or cartons of Canada Dry products or online at www.flywithcanadadry.com. To enter online, customers are required to enter a code obtained from Canada Dry products, and then to complete a sweepstake entry form. Consumers may also enter without making a purchase by sending off for an entry form. Both online and offline entry forms ask the customer to select a square from a choice of 296. On October 9, up to 10 entries will be drawn for the grand prize from all entries that match the preselected winning square.

On online and mail-in entry forms, customers are asked to submit name, age, address, phone number and e-mail address, thus enabling both companies to add to their customer databases.

‘We like to call it referral marketing,’ says Osicka. ‘All consumers who enter the contest will be asked to tick a box to give the promoters permission to contact them in the future.

‘Canada Dry will use that database to make announcements to consumers about new offers and promotions, and just to have a one-on-one dialogue with them,’ he continues.

The Marketing Store Worldwide is in the process of developing a new Web strategy for Canada Dry to establish the best way to make use of the data obtained through this contest. While Osicka was unwilling to divulge details of the new Web strategy, he says it will become a vital way of communicating with customers in the future.

‘The strategy will be to tap into the client’s database based on the last two or three promotions,’ he says.

Aeroplan, on the other hand, is less interested in the database-building aspect of this promotion. ‘We already have an extensive database, so this is more about creating value within the loyalty program,’ says Brian Mullen, manager of corporate incentive programs at Aeroplan.

As part of the promotion, purchasers can redeem 25 Aeroplan miles from every purchase of specially marked two-litre bottles or 12- and 24-packs of Canada Dry products, including ginger ale and club soda. New customers wishing to take advantage of this offer can log on to the Air Canada Web site to join the program.

‘Getting new customers to sign up is a potential offshoot of the contest, but it is not our main objective,’ says Mullen. Instead, the primary goal for Air Canada was to give its existing loyalty program exposure to an entirely new market – the retail industry.

‘Traditionally, our services have always been marketed in industries such as hotels, car rental and banking,’ says Mullen. ‘With this integration of the two brands, the opportunity presented itself to take Aeroplan in some different directions in the marketplace.’

The online entry form is a vital part of this contest, as Osicka says a promotion Canada Dry ran last year with E*trade Canada received 80% of its entries via the Internet.

‘We are recommending to all our clients that any time they execute a retail-focused promotion, they should extend it to include an online element,’ he says.

The promotional Web site also provides consumers with information about the history of Canada Dry and the opportunity to download a screensaver.

A radio campaign to support the contest was held for 10 weeks this summer in 21 major Ontario markets. Radio stations ran on-air contests to give away additional Aeroplan miles, and in certain markets, consumers were able to enter a contest to win a promotional knapsack within a store. High impact point-of-sale materials were also used, including pole signs, grocery banners and in-store advertising.