BRANDS ARE NAME OF GAME IN LOGO LOTO

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PRAGUE-Entrepreneur Martin Jakubowski is hoping to hit the jackpot with Super Logo Loto, a lively promotion that builds brand recognition among consumers.

Originally tested in Eastern Germany in 1991, the weekly lotto game is played on TV and in TV listing magazines by asking consumers to choose four of 49 consumer products logos in hopes of matching the winning combination.

But more than consumers, who get to play free, Gamma Promotion founder Mr. Jakubowski hopes to hook multinationals and local advertisers for a one-year participation fee varying from $30,000 to $60,000 depending on the market.

Mr. Jakubowski plans 44 games a year in each of the nine eastern European countries he's targeted.

The 43-year-old executive, who bought the Eastern and Central European rights to the game from his former employer Frankfurt-based Atlantis Promotions a year ago, maintains this kind of promotion gives brands a better chance of recognition in emerging markets where thousands of brands and logos are jockeying for attention all at once.

For the fee, advertisers get category exclusivity and exposure when the game is promoted in TV listings magazines and on the weekly TV drawing. By this summer, Czechs, Slovaks, Slovenes, Poles, Hungarians and Croats will have a shot at the advertising-driven mini-game show, and there are plans for the more daunting markets of Russia, Albania and Romania next year.

"You have to go to countries where companies are still stepping into the market," said Mr. Jakubowski.

Players are asked to choose from the logos arranged in a seven-by-seven grid on a page ad in a TV listing magazine and mail in their entry on a form that is part of the ad.

A week later, at a time noted in the magazine ad, a minute-long lottery drawing is televised. The smiling host announces the four winning logos, electronically selected at random and displayed on a large board behind him. The host displays photos of the prize travel packages-10-day trips worth up to $1,500 to Majorca, Crete and other destinations.

The finale occurs off-air when one weekly winner is drawn from among entrants who have submitted the correct logos.

Licensing the game to local companies in some countries and taking a more direct role in others, Gamma pays the full price for the one-minute prime time TV spot to air the drawing. But Gamma gets reduced rates for the page print ads because the TV drawing plugs the magazine. The company, which so far plans to rely only on the TV drawing and magazine ads to promote the game, is handling the creative in-house and placing the media directly. Other sales materials are created internally.

"I try to convince advertisers it's actually cheaper than regular advertising," said Tomas Bramburek, Gamma promotion managing director, who is supervising the planned August startup here. In the Czech Republic, for example, a one-time, one-minute TV spot costs about $5,300.

So far, he has signed up Henkel, for its Persil detergent, as well as Philip Morris Cos. for an as-yet-undisclosed brand for Slovenia and is still negotiating for the other countries. Another Super Logo Loto sponsor in Slovenia is Slovenia Vina, the distributor of United Distillers' Johnnie Walker Red.

"This is a way for us to convince people to remember our brand," said Simona RodeÊ, a spokeswoman in Slovenia, an area where alcohol advertising is severely restricted. As a result, the logo will not contain any depiction of drinking or a bottle or spirits.

Through agencies such as BBDO and GGK, which have negotiated regional contacts for their clients in several countries, Super Logo Loto has also signed up German confectioner Katjes in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia. Gamma is still negotiating with coffeemaker Eduscho and McDonald's, the latter through its Vienna office. Media buying networks Interpartners in Belgium, Carat and Mediahaus Strobel, both Germany, are also in negotiations.

Super Logo Loto will make its debut in Slovenia. "We are attempting to start on the first of April," Profocus Director Istok Smaka said. "We have signed contracts with about 12 companies."

If all 49 spaces haven't been sold, Super Logo Loto will offer participating advertisers more spaces for some of their other brand names for a discount.

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