There’s a party starting on July 27 and you’re invited, along with your neighbour, and their neighbour, and their neighbour’s neighbour. This summer, the whole world is invited to London’s East End, which is being transformed for the biggest sporting spectacular since, well, ever really.
Tickets for the London 2012 Olympic Games are like gold dust (both rare and expensive) and I’m looking forward to my morning of athletics that we somehow, miraculously secured. We’ll be watching the 5000m heats and the hammer, and, if I’m honest, they’re not the events I’d have chosen (as any biased sprinter will tell you, the track events only really get interesting on the last lap, and there are a lot of ‘warm up’ laps in the 5000m). Still, a trip to soak up the atmosphere of the Olympic Park and enjoy being a track spectator is a must and I can’t wait.
That’s not to say I’m not interested in a chance to win more tickets. In fact, I’m more than interested in winning tickets. Lucky for me, Cadbury is my favourite chocolate and they are finally starting to leverage their £20million+ sponsorship rights of the Games with on-wrapper promotions. This most obvious form of marketing for the nation’s most famous chocolate manufacturer has been a long time coming (the partnership was announced in October 2008).
Quite possibly, their above the line promotion has to date been markedly understated for strategic reasons (there was a backlash from MPs and parents across the nation following its 2003 Get Active! campaign which resulted in complaints along the lines of Cadbury encouraging children to eat vast quantities of chocolate in exchange for sports kit).
Still, “UNWRAP GOLD Win Tickets” now features, Willy-Wonka style, on their trademark shiny purple wrappers. This is brilliant. Chocolate and sport in one hit. So, when my husband bought me a Twirl for these very reasons, I was rather excited.
Needless to say, there was no gold wrapper lurking beneath the purple, so no big trip to Stratford for me, but there was of course, a computer-generated code. ‘Enter Online’ the wrapper instructed, for a chance to win a prize. Now, I know how this works. I’ve been here before and I’ve never won anything online, nor am I ever likely to. Still, I couldn’t but help but hope – perhaps today would be my day… So, I fired up the PC, entered my name, my email address and my date of birth, agreed to the terms and conditions and ticked / unticked the box to indicate whether I was happy to hear from Cadbury – before entering the code, and hey presto, I was informed, once again, that today was not going to be my lucky day.
I know this isn’t a totally altruistic gesture on the part of Mr Cadbury, I know it’s business, that it’s all about data capture, I know how it works and the reasons why, but as a consumer, the regimented ‘tell us this, tell us that’ process just left me feeling a little cold and deflated. It killed the fun and excitement and reminded me that it is, ultimately, all just marketing.