SoapCity, Dannon Target College Crowd

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More than 200,000 people, mostly college-age females, have registered for the Study Break Sweepstakes from SoapCity and The Dannon Co. since it began in early April.


SoapCity.com and Dannon delivered 25,000 pieces promoting the sweepstakes to members of 217 sororities at 15 college campuses. There also was an online promotion, print ads in college newspapers and postings around campuses.


"We wanted to reach out to this group before they went home for the summer," said Nicole Sugimoto, director of marketing at SoapCity.com, Culver City, CA. "If we did it any earlier they would still be getting settled in at the beginning of the semester, and if we waited they would have been swamped with finals. The goal was to target them after they had been watching for a while and had formed an allegiance or addiction to a specific show."


SoapCity expects that the sweepstakes will increase the 1.4 million unique visitors it gets monthly and the 170,000 subscribers to its SoapCity Scoop newsletter. The company said it would not reveal any numbers, however, until the sweepstakes ends May 31.


Dannon is using the sweepstakes to introduce Dannon Frusion, a bottled smoothie drink. Though the primary target is female college students, Rene Ralston, brand manager of Dannon Frusion, said, "we are hoping that it will also reach some closet male soap opera watchers and catch their attention as well."


The mail pieces went in two drops, the week of April 8 and the week of April 29. They included a brochure with information on the sweepstakes, the SoapCity.com URL to learn more information and to register, and information on Dannon Frusion and a Dannon promotion where recipients could send five Dannon Frusion bottle caps in to get a certificate for a Sony CD.


The grand prize package includes a Sony 51-inch big screen projection TV, Sony DVD Home Entertainment System and Sony Cyber-Shot Digital Camera. Other prizes include a Sony Digital Walkman and a "Young and the Restless" glass.


Entrants give their name, address, date of birth, phone number and e-mail address. The entry form includes three check boxes: to receive information from Dannon, to subscribe to the SoapCity newsletter and to receive occasional information on Estrostep, an acne treatment and birth control pill from Pfizer.


Banner ads for Dannon Frusion and Estrostep are along the bottom of the sweepstakes home page.


The sweepstakes asks a soap-related trivia question, though entrants don't have to answer the question to be eligible.


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