What can Shopper Promotions Learn From Powerball?

If you have a pulse, chances are you’ve heard by now about the lucky three winners of the $1.6Billion Powerball jackpot. Chances are you played, and may have played with a group of people like an office pool. I know I did.

Experts say we have a better chance of being bitten by a shark, becoming president of the United States, or being hit by lightening – twice. We know this. We’ve heard it all before. Yet we still play. Why? Because $2 is not that much to risk for a chance, however slim it may be, of winning a life-changing, epic prize.

This cultural Powerball frenzy has me thinking about brand sweepstakes and promotions at retail.

What is the most effective motivator? Fewer, larger prizes like vacations or cars? More, smaller prizes like hats and keychains? Something in the middle? It depends…Perhaps brands should take a look at the Powerball phenomenon for promotional inspiration. The cost of entry is easy and inexpensive, the prize could change someone’s life but it’s still sharable, the prize also grows with participation, and the game fosters social interaction.