Nabisco Gets a Taste for Promotions

Nabisco hopes several new online sweepstakes and coupon promotions will increase consumer awareness of its site and products.

One of the company's most effective promotional vehicles has been its site. Here, consumers use a drop-down menu to link to brand-specific sites for products such as Air Crisps, Mallomars and Nilla.

The site uses a variety of sweepstakes and promotions to lure consumers to these brand sites. Next week, it will launch an outdoor-themed sweepstakes to promote its Honey Maid graham cracker product. The contest, which will run through mid-September, will send one winning family of four on a vacation to the Great Lakes region.

Creating an offer that ties in with the product's target audience is the key to the campaign's success, said Silvio Bonvini, director of online development at Nabisco Inc., Parsippany, NJ. Since graham crackers are one of the ingredients for s’mores (a snack in which the key ingredient is a campfire), targeting fans of the outdoors was a natural fit.

Nabisco's offers have proved popular with consumers. The recent Ritz Major League Baseball All-Star Game ticket give away pulled in more than 670,000 entries over 2 1/2 months. “We're enjoying excellent success using just promotions and sweepstakes,” Bonvini said. “It's an incredible traffic builder that heightens the visibility of the sponsor products.”

The success of the offer prompted the company to extend the promotion. Now, consumers can enter to win World Series tickets as well.

These prizes have helped push Nabisco banner ads well above the click-through rate norm of 0.5 percent. One current offer, the SnackWell Ultimate Spa Weekend Getaway, has seen click-through rates as high as 10 percent.

Nabisco has tested 11 pieces of banner ad creative boasting the offer of an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Wyndham Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa in Telluride, CO. The company found that four banner ads regularly exceeded a click-through rate of 5 percent.

“The response rates have been incredible,” Bonvini said. “The beauty of this medium is the instant feedback. It's really easy to optimize the creative to make sure top-performing pieces of creative are running in the environments where they are appropriate. It's completely necessary to test.”

The site has been running the ads at popular women's sites, such as A banner buy for the Honey Maid promotion will begin running in August.

These promotions rely heavily on supporting online media, as they rarely make their way into Nabisco's offline campaigns. The Internet is a “fast and flexible medium. There's a demand to keep it fresh,” Bonvini said. “The offline efforts just can't keep up.

“The prospect of finalizing [these promotions] and getting them into any TV or print campaigns … It's just way too late.”

Next month, Nabisco also will make a major push using online coupons. It has partnered with to allow Nabisco to cross-sell its products on a number of popular grocery sites, such as and

If a consumer purchases a quart of milk at these sites, for example, he will be offered a coupon for a discount on Oreo cookies. If the user clicks on the offer, the product and the discount are automatically added to his shopping cart.

Nabisco and OneClip also will bundle products for special offers. A tailgating package, for example, might include charcoal, hot dogs, buns and beer.

The consumer can purchase the bundle of products to receive one large discount. “This allows them to expand their product group without discounting any one product,” said Henrik Bodenstab, co-CEO of, New York.

OneClip has agreements with 10 Web sites in the grocery and health and beauty categories. It serves about 450 coupons and promotions for its clients.

Nabisco's promotions target a core audience of men and women age 18 to 34.

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