Sweeps for Ale Serves Retailers, Consumers

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Scottish & Newcastle Importers debuts the "Best of Both Worlds" promotion today for its Newcastle Brown Ale imported beer, its third since marketing efforts begun last year added about 15,000 names to the company database.

The firm is enticing fans of imports with the grand prize: a home entertainment system with a flat-screen television and surround sound as well as a weekend $1,500 shopping spree to Beverly Hills. Registration through Oct. 31 is online via www.newcastlebrown.com and in stores.

"We're really developing a relationship with the retailer," said Bill Wetmore, Strongsville, OH-based marketing director for Scottish & Newcastle Importers. "We're giving the retailer a sales-enhancement tool, predominantly in the grocery stores business."

The chain grocery sector is critical for beer sales, especially when the display is combined with merchandising and competitive pricing. Ranked 13th among imports in the United States, the full-flavored Newcastle Brown costs about $8.49 for a six-pack and $14.99 for a dozen bottles in most stores.

An online ad campaign including sites like CBS SportsLine, Yahoo and New York Times Co.'s About.com is designed to drive consumers to newcastlebrown.com. A microsite on newcastlebrown.com offers games and content.

A radio campaign will support online marketing with spots in key Newcastle Brown markets like Raleigh, NC; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Charlotte, NC; and San Diego and Sacramento in California. The sweepstakes, however, is not valid in California. In-store displays round off the efforts.

Scottish & Newcastle's database for Newcastle Brown contains roughly 50,000 names. The brewer contacts consumers every six weeks with news, features, contests and pointers to buy merchandise -- T-shirts, hats, beer glasses -- from a soon-to-open store at newcastlebrown.com.

The current sweepstakes' grand-prize winner gets the entertainment system just in time for the Super Bowl. Second-place winners get a DVD audio-video system and a department store gift certificate. Third- and fourth-place winners receive gift certificates from Best Buy and Bath & Body Works. And fifth-place winners get a "Best of Both Worlds" T-shirt.

Newcastle Brown's first sweepstakes in this series ran last fall, with a follow-up in the spring. The preceding sweepstakes flew the winner and companions to the British Open golf tournament, followed later by a trip to Paris to meet a significant other. The debut sweepstakes offered a Las Vegas trip and a St. Valentine's Day visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"One prize gets you in trouble, and the other gets you out of trouble," Wetmore said.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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