Lambrini to promote Cheeky Bingo on Bottles

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Halewood International, the leading drinks manufacturer in the UK is planning a rather strange marketing move. The beverage company is currently planning a new offer that allows consumers of their Lambrini brand to win five free tickets to play a special bingo game at Cheeky Bingo.com to win a £10,000 jackpot.

Apparently aiming to cater to the 21-34 year old female arc of their customers, each bottle is supposedly planned to contain a special code that customers can access after the bottle has been purchased.

Cheeky Bingo will also be running a special room that will involve special games where contestants can win free bottles of Lambrini. A move their brand manager, Lorna Tweed dubbed as a: “New way to engage with our loyal customer base.” And that: “Friday night online bingo is a perfect match for our consumers to enjoy nights in.” You can probably see why this is a bit of a faux pas on the part of Halewood and Cheeky Bingo.

Not only could this be construed by critics as promoting alcoholism as consumers buy bulk batches of bottles to get codes, they’re also plied with free bottles by Cheeky Bingo. Then there’s their idea that this is ideal for a Friday night, implying that they think their fan base has nothing better to do than stay in, getting hammered and playing Bingo.

Although that may sound not that bad, it’s the fact that they believe this is what their customers always want to do is where the anguish is no doubt going to come from.

It’s a miss-step by Halewood and it’s a plan that will inevitably return to bite them. But this isn’t the first time advertisers have made a miss-step by trying to appeal directly to a fan base through ethically controversial means.

Back in 2011, soft drink giant Mountain Dew and popular snack vendor Doritos combined together to run a special ‘Double XP’ program for the recently released Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.

Their program was simple, buy the packets of snacks and drinks, enter the codes and earn extra experience in the game when you play it to level up your soldier and earn weapons, perks and bonuses faster.

From the outset this may seem fine, but the codes were present on the family pack bags and litre bottles of the soft drink, plus these special codes only lasted for a very limited time, with some running out within twelve hours.

Like the Lambrini issue, Mountain Dew and Doritos are not only both equally unhealthy snacks, but they were also seen to be promoting the unhealthy lifestyle as children across the land were expected to consume these items en masse to win at a game.

Rather than go outside or simply play it in short bursts and earn rewards legitimately. The manufacturer’s attempts to appeal to the fans of the Call of Duty franchise in this way were met with widespread scorn and ridicule from the gaming community.

They had tried to play to the stigma that all gamers spend their time inside, playing games, consuming junk food and it had returned to bite them, just as it will with Lambrini. This idiotic idea of cross marketing two products with game influencing bonus prizes has since led to the usage of the phrase “Dewritos” being used whenever a manufacturer tries to appeal to their consumer base through less than ideal means.

If Halewood continue with their plan to use Lambrini as their flagship for this promotion, it’s only going to be detrimental to the brand.

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