Kraft, NHL speak out with innovative promo

Gone are the days of luring consumers with a simple cut-out hockey card on a package. Kraft Canada has brought its familiar but outdated incentive to a higher level, with a three-pronged contest that awards some high value prizes.

Gone are the days of luring consumers with a simple cut-out hockey card on a package. Kraft Canada has brought its familiar but outdated incentive to a higher level, with a three-pronged contest that awards some high value prizes.

In one of Kraft’s first forays into online promotions, innovative sound-chips are concealed in food packs. When activated, the winning sound-chips blurt out the oft-heard exclamation from Hockey Night in Canada broadcaster Bob Cole: ‘He shoots…He Scores!’ (which may sound familiar to those of us who have seen the latest Coke ad, which was also inspired by Canada’s national sport.)

The chips are hidden in selected Kraft and Christie products including Oreos, Kraft Dinner, Singles Cheese Slices, Jello and the new Post Power Play cereal. The lucky finders could win one of three NHL recreation rooms worth $15,000 – which include a home theatre system and an NHL Ice FX table hockey game – or one of 30 NHL Ice FX table hockey games.

Phase two of the contest incorporates an online component that invites consumers to register at www.shoottowin.ca, with a PIN number found on selected packs of Kraft and Christie products. To play the online game, contestants are required to select three out of 10 pucks to shoot at an NHL goalie of their choice. If the correct pucks are selected, the player is eligible to win one of the thousands of prizes available, including official signed hockey jerseys, NHL team hockey bags, NHL shirts and Kraft Dinner.

Capitalizing on its 13-year relationship with the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association, Kraft will be running the Shoot to Win promo in grocery stores and online from Feb. 15 to September.

‘We’ve had a lot of success with the hockey card promo for 12 years, so we decided it was time to refresh that idea,’ says Neil Currie, corporate promotions manager at Kraft. The Kraft and NHL brands make a perfect match, Currie says, as both target kids and families.

For Kraft, this promotion is all about driving sales of the products involved, although Currie would not give specific goals. Over at the NHL, Laurie Kepron, senior director of marketing, hopes that the promo will help to boost brand awareness and loyalty. ‘It’s very important for us to develop partnerships with primary level companies like Kraft,’ she says. Although the NHL’s core market is the 18-to-34 age group, this promo aims to boost awareness among its secondary market and supporters of the future: families and kids.

The final tier of the promo involves a sweepstake allowing consumers to enter online using the same PIN number, or through the mail, to win a selection of NHL prizes.

‘The challenge for us was to keep the hockey theme while raising the bar and doing something innovative and different,’ explains Gabriella Pacione, group account director at Toronto-based Mosaic Marketing & Promotions, the agency that developed the promo.

Online promotions are fairly new to Kraft, Currie admits, although he feels that this will be a fundamental element of the promotion. ‘More than 70% of the Canadian population is online, so we have to appeal to that group, [...but we also] need to have the instant win element for those consumers who don’t have Internet access.’

A strong advertising campaign will support the contest, both in-store and on TV, in print and online. In-store P-O-P material, including NHL goalie standees, and a promotional display designed to resemble a hockey rink, will hit up to 3,000 stores across the country.

‘We wanted to do something high impact that would really jump out at the consumer and build awareness of the contest,’ says Pacione.

Currie adds that working with the NHL gives Kraft the flexibility to do in-store promotions at a regional level. For example, hockey players will sign autographs in some stores.

A TV spot will run in March to build excitement around the sound-chip element and to let consumers know about the prizes up for grabs.