Jump Magazine's Free Phone for
Your Teen Years Sweepstakes
The telephone. There's no single item more essential to the social well-being of a teenage girl. Nothing's at the heart of more family skirmishes, as stressed parents and peeved siblings vainly try to wrestle control of the phone from the hyper-talking teen femme fatale of the household.
This talisman of teen independence was at the heart of an innovative, cost-effective, PR-driven sweepstakes for Jump Magazine, an upstart teen title from Weider Publications.
As a way to generate subscriptions for the new magazine, we developed an offbeat sweepstakes that would give one lucky girl the power to never get off the phone again! Open to every 12 –16 year old who subscribed to the magazine during the last quarter of 1998, the sweep's grand prize was a one-of-a-kind cellphone (customized to the specs of the winner by the set designers for TV's "Pee Wee's Playhouse") and $100 per month for local and long distance phone service, for every month until her 20th birthday!
To make sure the winner began her years of free phone with something unforgettable, we worked with Jump's editors to have her first phone calls come from teen heartthrobs, Joshua Jackson of "Dawson's Creek" fame and Sony/Epic recording artist Jimmy Ray. Our agency also mitigated costs and broadened the pool of winners by enlisting high-profile co-sponsors to provide second and third prizes. These included Sony/Epic records (500 copies of Jimmy Ray's new CD), Neutrogena (500 beauty bags) and MCI (the grand prize phone service and 500 Jump logo phone cards).
The kitschy sweepstakes was kicked off with full-page ads in Jump, promos at the magazine's web site (www.jumponline.com) and other teen-centric web destinations. The push also included promo inserts in MCI bills, presence at MCI mall events in 10 key markets and a publicity blitz featuring interviews with Joshua Jackson. The wave of launch press garnered major media, from USA TODAY and The Los Angeles Times, to Business Week and Time Out New York, to MTV and E! Entertainment Television.
The party for the prize-winner, topped off by calls from the two teen stars, attracted new and follow-up stories in print outlets like USA TODAY and television crews from CNN and Entertainment Tonight.
This zero-cost, advertiser-underwritten sweepstakes not only raised spirited brand awareness for Jump, but brought with it $400,000 in revenue from the 45,000 new subscriptions generated.