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BAT. Hong Kong's VICEROY 21st Anniversary Gold Coin promotion

Towards the latter part of 1975 the Marketing Department of B. A. T. Hong Kong examined ways in which Viceroy could be given an extra push in 1976, in the face of growing competitive activity from U. S. brands Winston, Kent and Marlboro. The imported U. S. brand sector, to which all these brands belong, accounts for around 50% of the total Hong Kong cigarette market, and Viceroy not only leads this sector handsomely with an approximate 24% share of total market, but in fact is overall market leader. In keeping with Viceroy's market position; it was felt that the "push" should take the form of a consumer-benefit promotion on a scale hitherto not seen in Hong Kong for cigarettes. Adding strength to this viewpoint was the fact that Viceroy smokers had not had an opportunity to benefit from their loyalty to the brand since August 1969, when $HK 50,000 in gold was given for guessing the time of man's first landing on the moon. The objectives of the promotion were set as follows:
1. To further enhance Viceroy's image by reminding the public of its long history of success.
2. To give the brand a more youthful image.
3. To clear the confusion that Viceroy and not Winston, is the most popular and therefore the largest selling brand in Hong Kong.
4. To counter the effects of main competitors', particularly Winston's, recent promotional activities.
5. To achieve a 3 - 4 million increase in sales during the period of the promotion of which 1 million would be a permanent increase. The theme for the promotion was established when it was discovered that 1976 was the 21st Anniversary of Viceroy's introduction in Hong Kong. This provided the basis of the promotion itself, which revolved around the numerals "21". All the prizes had a bearing on this number: 1st Prize: 21 Gold Coins (each valued at HK$500) and 21 days holiday in Canada and the U. S. A. 2nd Prize: A 21" color TV set, and 21 Gold Coins 3rd Prize: 21 Gold Coins In addition there were 21 mystery prizes (for entrants celebrating their 21st birthdays during 1976), and 210 consolation prizes, each of a Gold Coin. The Gold Coins which were so central to the promotion were specially minted in Hong Kong from a mould featuring the Viceroy ribbon and medallion, and the numerals 21. All were in special presentation boxes. The advertising broke on January 2nd 1976, with full page ads announcing the anniversary year. A week later came advertisements featuring the 21st Anniversary Gold Coin promotion (Note: the Chinese language ads referred to the coins as "gold discs", in order to surmount legal tender complications). Entrants to the competition were required to produce three empty Viceroy packs (King Size or Superlong), and answer correctly which was Hong Kong's leading cigarette brand, and be able to give its slogan. In all, the competition was open for six weeks. Enormous interest was generated from the start, and entries poured in daily. The Post Office, in fact, refused to deliver the sacks of mail because of their volume, and the Company had to send their own transport. The Ling-McCann agency which handled the administration of the promotion had to employ a full-time checking staff to cope with the inflow.

1976

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