On-Pack promotions – Make it Grrrrrreat!


Chris Wilson, Head of Brand Partnerships at Ingenuity London, shares why on-pack promotions are still relevant in today’s marketing mix and the types of on-pack promotions that target consumers best. 

What is an on-pack promotion?

“On Pack Promotion” Broadly covers the huge variety of mechanics available to add a little silver lining to a consumer product. They are an exceptional way to stand out on the saturated shelves and e-stores, amongst an ever-expanding inventory.

The on-pack promotion is one of the most widely used sales marketing strategy across the UK retail environment. Providing brands a way of promoting their products by leveraging another brands product or service.

In today’s market, the role of the on-pack promotion seems to be as strong as ever. Every day we see new forms of the on-pack promotion with brands from all sectors getting in on the act, from travel and leisure to publishing.

Why is it so relevant?

We are cluttered with brand messaging throughout the retail experience both pre and post your trip to the supermarket. Being targeted by brands through TV and Social at home or commuting to radio in the car, OOH advertising and experiential sampling as you walk down the street to in-store shelf activations. If it’s an NPD needing audience or legitimacy, or a legacy brand looking to recognise its more loyal supporters, there’s a way of making an on-pack deliver.

Example of user journeys: Instant Win, Competition or Prize Draw?

Instant Win – Generally these consist of a ‘find inside’ with a link to a website for the consumer to redeem. One of my favourite examples of this was a promotion I ran for Dairylea in a previous role where the winning pack mooed when it opened to advise of a £5k prize! These are great if you get it right, if you don’t offer enough prizes then your user journey is more of an instant lose. These also tie up nicely to a fixed fee mechanic or promotional insurance. We can help you navigate this if required.

Competition: A game of skill requiring entrants to meet a pre-set criteria, this usually produces much better UGC if that’s the goal of your promotion but the judging can be a laborious process and again, insufficient prizes will hurt those that have made great effort to engage with your brand.

A Prize Draw is the most common promotional mechanic and works on a random winner selection, all entries must be counted and included in the raw subject to terms (don’t forget your postal and NPN entries!). The shorter these run for, the better; as often they have to cater to longer shelf lives, entrants may well have forgotten entering before the winner communication!

Always On: These provide a guaranteed reward, they can accompany one of the above but here at Ingenuity we think these are the best way to reward your customer. Our client Merlin’s 241 deal is a proven mechanic and we’re now keen to explore the user journey in more depth to get a better cut through.

What are the benefits to the consumer, the brand and the product owner?

  • Drive customer retention and increase sales
  • Increases engagement and consideration
  • Encourage people to think about how they treat packaging after use
  • Sharing costs – a problem shared is a problem halved
  • Loyalty – Customers feel they are gaining something for free or for a cost of the normal price.

 Who is doing it successfully?
Biased, but we’re honestly very proud of the Peperami / Thorpe Park on pack as the largest of its kind, covering over 118,000,000 units.

Having worked across Priceless, Priority, Amex and Walkers we’ve learned the best redeemed promotions are in fact those with large volumes of low value prizes or benefits complimenting a headline boast. Be it £5 Lego or 1/2 price entry alongside a higher value opportunity to win.