Guide to choosing the right prize for a contest or sweepstakes

Il mondo dei concorsi internazionali: Una panoramica

Offering a compelling prize is critical to the success of your promotion

Choosing the right prize for your contest or sweepstakes is one of the most delicate aspects you have to deal with.

Many times, in organising a contest or sweepstakes, people think that it is enough to offer a “nice” prize to attract interest. In reality, what really matters is how the prize appeals to the participants of your contest. It sounds obvious, but it’s anything but simple.

The arduous choice of the perfect prize

Finding the right prize is not an easy task and is crucial to the success of your contest or sweepstakes.

Several factors come into play in the choice:

  • Tastes and desires of the target audience: the prize must meet the expectations of your target audience.
  • Originality and appeal: an unusual and captivating item captures attention and increases participation.
  • Compliance with regulations: It is essential to ensure that the prize complies with applicable laws and regulations.

It is often thought that, budget permitting, the choice of prize for a contest or sweepstakes is only a matter of preference: iPhone or Samsung, Playstation or Xbox, Renault or Toyota. In reality, the choice depends on many factors and you cannot ignore the consent of the brands you would like to use.

Brands invest considerable resources to build their reputation and maintain a solid image, so they do not always like to see their products used as prizes in contest or sweepstakes such as these since:

  • They may not be in line with their values or their image.
  • They might use their products for advertising purposes that could be inconsistent with their communications or market positioning.
  • They might inflict reputational damage if the contest or sweepstakes is not managed in compliance with all the rules.
  • They could violate exclusivity agreements already signed with other partners.

Once the ideal prize has been identified, it is essential to contact the brand’s representatives to verify their willingness to grant authorisation of the same.

Balance in the prize pool: consistency and compatibility

A lot of attention must be paid to the composition of the prize pool, especially if it is composed of several different types of prizes. In these cases, it is important to pay attention to the combination of the prizes proposed, both from the point of view of the theme and that of the brands involved.

For communications purposes, a coherent and balanced basket of prizes allows you to use a harmonised narrative theme for a more memorable promotion. On the other hand, it is always good practice to avoid comparing competing brands even if with different products (e.g. Samsung smartphones and Sony TVs, or an oven of one brand with a dishwasher of another).

Pay particular attention to international competitions

Choosing the right prize for an international competition requires strategic planning that takes into account regulatory, cultural and practical differences. Only with a careful analysis of all these aspects will it be possible to define an effective prize pool capable of winning over the public of each country involved.

Regulatory aspects in the choice of prizes

Regulations vary from country to country, and a thorough assessment is required to ensure that the choice is consistent with the rules in force in the territories involved. For example, putting money up for grabs is prohibited in some countries while it is allowed in others. Alcoholic drinks are not allowed in countries where religion prohibits it and is subject to specific rules in many other countries. There are also nations that have special rules for certain types of products, such as France, which allows a firearm to be included in the prize pool, but only in skill-based competitions, not in those decided by luck.

Cultural influences for an appealing prize

In addition to legal issues, cultural factors and local customs also come into play. Consumer tastes and expectations vary considerably depending on the context, and what is perceived as an attractive prize in one country may not have the same appeal in another, especially if located in a different continent. For example, in the USA prizes are subject to taxation and therefore a luxury car that would appeal to Italians could be anything but for Americans. Another example: if I organise a contest in Israel where the prize is a trip that includes lunches or dinners, I will have to ensure that the needs of the winner are met and, if necessary, that the restaurants are kosher-certified.

Practical and logistical considerations

It is also essential to consider practical aspects such as the taxation in force, the logistical complexities linked to the delivery of prizes and the presence of high customs duties. Neglecting these factors can lead to unexpected costs and operational obstacles that put the success of the competition at risk.

The challenges of choosing the right prize

In conclusion, the choice of the prize for a contest or sweepstakes is a delicate process that requires attention to detail, compliance with regulations and awareness of commercial and legal constraints.

You need to consider the tastes of the target audience, the necessary authorisations and the consistency of the prize with the theme, to create a successful prize competition that will win over your audience and achieve your marketing goals.

A mathematical formula to ensure the right choice? If only it existed! But through careful planning and careful management, it is possible to reduce unknowns as much as possible and to promote the integrity of the contest and the satisfaction of participants’ expectations.

The right prize makes all the difference. CONTACT US FOR A PERSONALISED CONSULTATION!

FAQ on choosing the prize pool for your contest or sweepstakes

Part 1:  Choosing the prize

1. Why is the choice of the prize so important for a contest or sweepstakes?

Answer: The prize is the key element that attracts participants and determines the success of the promotion. An attractive and desirable prize increases participation, engagement and the visibility of the prize competition or prize draw.

2. What are the factors to consider when choosing the prize?

Answer: It is necessary to consider the target audience, the available budget, the legal regulations, the originality of the prize and its appeal to participants.

3. Why is it important to consider exclusive arrangements and potential conflicts of interest?

Answer: It is important to check whether the chosen prize is free from exclusive constraints to avoid breaches of contractual agreements and to protect your company from any legal disputes.

4. In which cases is it necessary to obtain an authorization to use a prize?

Answer: It is always necessary to obtain explicit permission when you want to use a branded prize, especially if it is a registered or otherwise known trademark, a product of another company or a prize related to a copyrighted event.

Answer: The use of names, logos or other elements of major events such as the Olympics or sports leagues is generally prohibited without express authorisation.

Part 3: Prizes and international contests or sweepstakes

6. How do you manage permissions in an international prize draw or prize competition?

Answer: In an international promotion, it is essential to obtain the necessary authorisations in each country involved, as regulations and trade agreements can vary considerably.

7. What are the challenges to be faced when organising a giveaway or prize contest with international prizes?

Answer: Challenges include compliance with different legal and tax regulations, compliance with tastes and customs of the country and practical aspects related to the international shipping of prizes. Careful planning and management is necessary to avoid complications.

Part 4:  In summary

8. What are the key steps to ensure success in choosing the prize for a contest or sweepstakes?

Answer: Key steps include:

  • Clearly defining objectives of the contest or sweepstakes and the target audience.
  • Perfect knowledge of the rules established by the competition regulations.
  • Consider the budget available
  • Obtain the necessary authorisations for using the prizes that will be up for grabs.
  • Carefully manage the logistics and shipping of the prizes (if necessary).
9. How can a judicious choice of prize contribute to the success of the contest or sweepstakes?

Answer: A well-chosen prize:

  • Significantly increases participation in the prize promotion.
  • Generates greater engagement and interaction with the brand.
  • Increases the visibility of the competition and the brand.
  • Creates a positive and memorable experience for participants.
10. Where can I find more information about choosing the prize for a contest or sweepstakes?

Answer: To find out more, read also:

Organising contests abroad: what to consider

How to find the perfect prize for your contest or sweepstakes

Organising a prize-draw or contest abroad: everything you need to know

How to organise a prize-draw or -competition abroad