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James Ashe, Managing Partner

James Ashe, Managing Partner

Can Sennheiser Score Big with World Cup Promotion?

Sennheiser’s Football Frenzy promotion promises customers 10% off for every goal England score in their latest matches – will it signal victory or turn out to be an own goal?

The World Cup is finally back on our screens, and as always, plenty of brands are trying their best to capitalise on it. Many of this year’s promotions are related to events in the game themselves, offering prizes or discounts if certain conditions are met. In the case of Sennheiser, an additional 10% off their headphones for every goal England scores seems like a great way to excite customers while potentially only offering a small discount.

However, when big events come in to play, it’s easy to get swept up in the momentum of it all, which is why it’s important to cover every eventuality. After all, Sennheiser probably weren’t expecting England to wipe the floor with Panama with a 6–1 win.

Sennheiser put some limits in place, but perhaps not enough. The audio specialists capped their discounts on the Momentum range at 50% throughout the promotion ­in an effort to prevent discounts becoming too deep. The offer is also tailored to each match, and only works for 24 hours after that match. They’ve also ensured that goals scored via penalty shoot-out or in extra time are excluded.

But already, the offer has left Sennheiser with some issues – following the England-Panama game, demand was so high that they sold out of most of the Momentum range in one fell swoop, leaving some customers feeling frustrated that they couldn’t get what they wanted. Social media posts also weren’t clear – following England’s win, Sennheiser had to amend all of their sponsored posts to ensure people checked the terms and conditions. Overall though, it’s helped to generate a great amount of sales for what’s usually considered a premium product. 

So, if you’re planning on running a World Cup promotion, here are a few of our top tips. Follow these and you’re bound to be a winner:

  1. Figure out your parameters – what’s the maximum discount or upper level you’re prepared to offer?
  2. Prepare for England’s best-case scenario (and your worst) – if England do manage to score a ton of goals, or reach the final, can you stand up to the demand your offer may generate? By having a plan B ready, you can help to reduce any bad feeling customers may have if you run out of stock. 
  3. Be on the ball – make sure you can react quickly enough to any mid-match developments!
  4. Win some, (don't) lose some – make sure your terms and conditions are robust enough to stand up to scrutiny and are easy enough to access from the outset. 
  5. Put the right team in place – make sure your team can handle feedback and negativity (just like handling unhappy football fans after a game!), and can keep your different channels managed effectively so you aren’t enticing people in when the product is no longer available. 

We think there’s still room for Sennheiser to improve on this one, but it definitely isn’t one of the worst promotions ever run, even if it might backfire in the long run – that dubious honour goes to Hoover, who, back in 1992, promised two free European flights to everyone who spent over £100 on one of their products. Even when Hoover were overwhelmed by people taking them up on it, they proceeded to launch a second campaign giving away flights to the US. It took them years to recover from the expense of giving away the flights and various lawsuits – so bear that in mind when you’re planning your World Cup promotions!  

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# World Cup 2018, Football, Marketing, Social Media