Supermarket sweep

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Everyone wants to be a millionaire, or at least is responsive to instant-win offers.

One way direct marketers have gotten consumers to click through to their Web sites is with online promotions offering cash or chances to win other prizes.

Many of these offers are promoted via e-mail and banner ads, but now an offer to win $500,000 by entering a Web site contest is just around the corner at the grocery store.

Frontline Marketing, which posts back-lit ads on light poles at store check-out lines, is partnering with RealTime Media, an online promotion specialist, to lure shoppers from the grocery aisle to the Internet.

"We are looking to see how effective the in-store environment is to motivating people to go to a Web site," says Frontline President-CEO Jefferson Myers. Research shows that "reaching people in a store increases awareness and gets them to buy more products that day, but we don't know how effective it is in getting people to go home and log on to a Web site."

RealTime Media has found that consumers are responsive to online promotions and hopes the draw of an instant-win game combined with Frontline's reach into such store chains as Safeway Stores and ShopRite Supermarkets will bring consumers to marketers' Web sites.


"People will see a pole sign with a. . .promotional offer that will hopefully drive them to the Web," says Boni Liss Wolf, director of promotions at RealTime Media

For example, a package-goods company could advertise an online scratch-and-win offer, and if consumers unveil the client's package, they will get a coupon for a free item to drive them back to the store, says Ms. Wolf. Currently, the venture is testing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington.

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