chocolate shoeUsually, companies run competitions in order to generate goodwill in the brand, and ultimately, to grow sales. Otherwise, it’s just giving stuff away for nothing.

I was happy to win a chocolate shoe in a competition in my local paper.

Presumably, the paper was looking to increase engagement and loyalty from its readers, while the company who donated the prize would benefit from increased exposure.

In this case, the newspaper took ages to advise me that I’d won. Not unnaturally, they handed fulfilment of the prize over to Cadbury. However, Cadbury lost the first email I sent to tell them my postal address. After waiting a couple more weeks, I sent a reminder. But then, when the shoe finally arrived, it was broken into three bits (see picture). Admittedly, the disappointment was mitigated by the enclosure of some unexpected bonus chocolate bars.

However, while I was waiting, I felt worse about both companies than I would if I’d not won at all. I feel a bit of a heel* by complaining, but the experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth*.

Top tip: If you run competitions, be sure of your sole* objective, and make sure the process is seamless* for competition entrants and winners. That way, you’ll enjoy a sweeter* result.


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