Minute Maid Looks to Juice Product Launch With Online Sweepstakes

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The Minute Maid Co. is using an online sweepstakes to generate Web traffic and attention for its new product, Simply Orange.


Minute Maid, Houston, an operating group of The Coca-Cola Co., is initially targeting the Northeast, the so-called "Juice Bowl" of the nation, accounting for more than 33 percent of orange juice consumption nationwide, according to Minute Maid. The product hit stores in New England, New York, Washington, Philadelphia and other areas this week.


The company hopes offline marketing, such as point-of-purchase material and television spots, will complement the Web site. The offline components of the campaign will feature the product's URL address, www.simplyorangejuice.com.


"All these things tie together very well," said Ray Crockett, director of communications at Minute Maid. "The Web site doesn't stand by itself. It will do well if it supports and is supported by the other elements."


The company is giving one winner a free trip for two to Montana, Hawaii, Utah or Alaska. The sweepstakes began May 1.


Crockett said Minute Maid selected these states because they represent areas that are "unspoiled or unadulterated," reflecting the company's theme that Simply Orange is "100% Unfooled Around With."


The sweepstakes ends Oct. 1, and a winner will be announced Oct. 22. Crockett said several hundred people have entered.


The goal of the online sweepstakes, which requires entrants to provide their name, mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address, is to build awareness of the product and to develop an online database, Crockett said. At the end of the entry page, sweepstakes entrants can opt in to receive promotional information from Minute Maid.


The entry page also includes an optional survey that asks entrants about their favorite brand of orange juice, their last 10 juice purchases, their age and annual household income.


"The survey, which includes a little bit of behavioral, demographic and attitudinal information, allows us to see what kind of people are coming to the site and, more importantly, what kind of people are buying our products," said Bobby Patton, marketing manager for Simply Orange. "It's just another opportunity to capture information on consumers that works well within the whole integrated program."


Patton said the data would be used for future "promotional elements" involving the Web site. However, he would not disclose details.


He also said the company probably would run banner advertisements once the sweepstakes is over.


Sharpe Partners, New York, an interactive marketing agency, designed the product's Web site and managed interactive marketing for the campaign. Kathy Sharpe, founder and partner at Sharpe, said the site was designed to engage consumers to interact with the Web site.


The site offers different levels of involvement, she said, including the ability to e-mail information to friends.


"Interactive experiences are very visceral," Sharpe said. "And in the case of a packaged goods brand, we needed to give consumers a reason to visit. We felt that the promotion was as good a way as any to reward people for coming, for encouraging people to share the news of the product and eventually buy the product."


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