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Actimel - excellent example of bad marketing practice

I was excited to see that Actimel are giving away 50,000 winter days out so I went to their promotional website (now removed) and entered the promotional code to see if I had won! But wait - I was asked a few questions first, hmm - I just wanted to know if I had won or not, but I might have so that’s why they needed my details, real ones I thought else they might disallow my entry. So they asked for my name, email address, date of birth, full address, postcode, how many people in my house, marks out of ten on various do you like/would you recommend Actimel, if anyone else in my house has Actimel and more. This all over several screens of very intrusive questions - but always the carrot of seeing if I had won any of the 50,000 prizes. Then and only then do I find out if my code is a winner. “Sorry you haven’t won on this occasion”. Oh.

This is a cheap and nasty marketing trick and has left me feeling robbed. I normally don’t mind giving a bit of information about myself that much but it was not explained at the beginning of the process the amount of personal information I would have to give for a chance of a prize - why do they need to know so much unless you are a prize winner? For marketing purposes of course. When I got through to the last screen to find out if I had won it was just a brief message stating coldly I had not won. I feel robbed as if I had been taken in by a card trickster doing the find the lady scam.  What if this personal data gets lost in a cab or someone hacks into the marketeers database?

Within seconds I had an email telling me I had not won - yes I already know that as you told me during my visit to your website, but hey Danaone have not wasted an opportunity to tell more more about Actimel and have basically sent me yogurt based spam.

No I am not being naive about online marketing and competitions but what I am saying is there are right ways of doing this and wrong ways and the Actimel Winter Breaks competition is firmly in the worst web practices folder. Yes I know this a a common way to get loads of great marketing data but there are limits and this transgresses.

OK so how do I feel about Actimel - well for a start the brand has taken a serious drop in my personal evaluation of it. I may even now look at other brands as an alternative because I really don’t like being used in this cheap way. I certainly will not be telling my friends what a great competition that was.

Marketing learning point
If you want to gather marketing leads and user base information be very careful how you get this information. Don’t leave the visitor with the feeling they have been robbed so do some careful user testing first and give the visitor a pleasant journey and reward them with something for the data you are asking for - don’t just take it because you can.

by | 22 Nov 2010 |

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