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Case Histories
Following are brief descriptions of some of Media Direct USA's recent promotions:

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Client: Business Week Online

Project: The Business True Confessions Sweepstakes

Assignment: Help draw traffic to Web site via entertaining promotion

This program was designed to draw traffic to the magazine's newly launched Web site. Business Week Online decided that humor was a fantastic way to attain awareness. In the "Business True Confessions" Sweepstakes a series of lighthearted questions were asked on a weekly basis, pertaining to business culture.

Here is an example of one of the questions that appeared online:

Your bus/train has just arrived at the terminal. The stranger next to you is sleeping. You:

  • Wake and inform them that this is the last stop.
  • Quickly nudge them and walk away.
  • Sneak off with their newspaper and let them sleep, undisturbed

One Grand Prize of a trip for two to Barbados was awarded. Also awarded were weekly prizes, each being of some business-related value. For instance, in week one a Filofax® was awarded.

Business Week Online was very pleased with the results and drew in a remarkable amount of hits on its new Web site. In addition, awareness among the target audience was achieved above and beyond projected expectations.

Client: Lane Bryant Stores

Project: Search for Real Women Contest


Assignment: Media Direct USA administered both the consumer and trade contests.

Promotion objectives included:

  • Reinforce Lane Bryant’s leadership role in the plus-size apparel market
  • Support the larger women’s increasing self-confidence and positive personal identity.

As a way to help celebrate today’s American Women acceptance of self regardless of size, and credit their achievements and acknowledge their style, Lane Bryant created "The Search For Real Women" Contest.

The three-month nationwide Search was conducted in over 850 Lane Bryant stores. To be eligible women had to be a size 14 or larger, and submit an essay concerning their aspirations, philosophy for personal growth and their personal sense of fashion style. Five finalists were selected based on specific weighted criteria for entry such as originality, content of answers and clarity of expression.

The five finalists were offered a trip to New York to participate in a gala fashion show event which was hosted by actress Shirley MacLaine. The Real Woman winner received a Chevrolet Cavalier Convertible, plus $5,000 Lane Bryant wardrobe among other prizes. Runner-up winners received a $1,000 Lane Bryant wardrobe each.

The contest generated tremendous publicity and press pick-up in major newspapers and was advertised in several magazines including Mode, Glamour and Vogue.

Over 25,000 women across the country entered the contest.

As administrative agency, Media Direct USA was responsible for working closely with Lane Bryant’s marketing department and its PR agency to help design and develop the promotion. Media Direct USA assisted in the executional details, including developing contest rules and criteria for judging, receipt of contest entries, supervision of various judging processes, winner clearances as well as data entry management of the names and addresses of the entrants.

Lane Bryant also extended the contest to its stores Sales Associates. The contest ran concurrently with the consumer contest and offered a separate prize structure. There were 7 Regional Finalists and 1 Grand Prize Winner who also attended the gala event in New York City.

Results: The high visibility and participation of the contest garnered new customers, increased sales and store traffic. The "Search for real Women, contest directly supported Lane Bryant’s tag line "what real women wear".

Due to the overwhelming success of "Search for Real Women", Media Direct USA assisted Lane Bryant with yet another successful contest entitled "Are You a V-Girl?". This contest ran in 1998 and reached a much younger market. The print press campaign was over 50 million total impressions and over 10,000 entries were received.

Client: PC World Communications

Project: $50,000 Power Computing Sweepstakes & Fast 15

Assignment: Media Direct USA acted as the promotion agency for PC World’s sweepstakes directed toward its circulation and research efforts.

Promotion objectives included:

  • Increase subscription sales of PC World Magazine
  • Increase traffic to the PC World Online web site for survey completion.

   For years PC World ran a $50,000 Power Computing Sweepstakes. When we began consulting with PC World we took that existing sweepstakes and made it better. How? First we included a bonus prize which aided in creative testing. This $5,000 bonus prize was particularly flexible because it could be presented as either merchandise, $5,000 cash or $1,000 a day (up to $5,000) for everyday the entry beat the deadline.

   All prizes were targeted toward PC enthusiasts and included such items as state-of-the-art computer systems, notebook computers and a software library. In addition, we added a "Fast 15" extra drawing for which we recommended such items as an Iomega Zip® drive, a Kodak digital camera and a Palm Pilot Professional. These computer-oriented smaller prizes proved to have an advantage over former smaller prizes that were targeted to the business community at large.

The direct mail piece, which housed both the $50,000 Power Computing Sweepstakes and the Fast 15 Sweepstakes was an 8 ˝" X 11" blue poster card that had a break-away seal. After breaking the seal the consumer removes the card inside and applies the stickers to respond. In sending back the card, the consumer then has the option to receive a free issue of PC World and also be entered in the sweepstakes.

The online portion of the sweepstakes was used in conjunction with research objectives in that existing subscribers were first directed to the web site. Once there, they filled out a survey regarding where they use computers, what kind of operating system(s) they have, etc. Upon survey completion, they were automatically entered in the sweepstakes.

PC World enjoyed a successful response with this new promotion which is scheduled to be repeated in the near future.

Client: RealHome.com

Project: RealHome.com DreamHome Sweepstakes

Assignment: Build traffic on RealHome.com Web site and increase consumer awareness

   RealHome.com is a free membership Web service that provides homeowners and first-time homebuyers with convenient, one stop shopping for a wealth of unbiased information. RealHome.com provides a wide-range of trustworthy services such as home refinancing, home equity loans, remodeling ideas, home-buying and selling tips, and much more.

   The RealHome.com “DreamHome” Sweepstakes was designed to build traffic on its Web site and increase consumer awareness. To enter the sweepstakes, prospective members logged on to the Web site and completed a brief entry form. RealHome.com utilized viral marketing by offering to give members an additional entry form for every friend they referred who entered the sweepstakes. As expected, Web site traffic drastically increased (a whopping 1.3 million entries received!) and RealHome saw its membership ranks grow in excess of its pre-established goals. 

The grand prize winner became the proud owner of a deluxe 3-bedroom home of approximately 2,000 square feet in size! The winner was also awarded $15,000 in cash.

RealHome.com also took advantage of Media Direct USA’s Co-op $100,000 Sweepstakes as an additional consumer incentive, this time for answering a brief survey. After entering the “DreamHome Sweepstakes,” RealHome offered members the opportunity to win $25,000 in cash, a BMW 323i  4-door sedan, or one of a thousand other prizes. By participating in Media Direct USA's co-op sweepstakes, Realhome was able to maximize consumer response and database enhancement at a minimal cost.

Client: Sarah Leigh  

Project: The Great Pinto Giveaway

Assignment: Concept development and administration of a sweepstakes to reach Sarah Leigh Direct’s marketing objectives:

  • Drive more on-site traffic at factory outlet centers into the 300 Sara Lee Direct stores (including L’eggs Hanes Bali Playtex stores, Champion Factory Outlet stores and Socks Galore stores).
  • Increase frequency of visits by regular shoppers
  • Enhance the shopping experience at Sara Lee Direct Outlet Stores.

The sweepstakes was run during peak sales months. High-impact window displays and indoor graphics were used to attract shoppers, in addition to the use of direct mail advertisements and a feature of the sweepstakes on the L’eggs Hanes Bali Playtex web site.

Sara Lee Direct’s customers were awarded, along with the Grand Prize Lexus, a First-Prize cruise to the Bahamas and gift certificates redeemable at a variety of outlet stores.

Results: The sweepstakes resulted in a 15% response rate, which we consider to be three times times what is a successful response for a sweepstakes of this nature.

Client: The United States Postal Service

Project: Stampin’ the Future Worldwide Design Contest

Assignment: Media Direct USA acted as promotion agency in the United States, as well as international consultant to the USPS for a global stamp design contest.

Promotion objectives included:

  • Renew interest in stamp collecting while generating revenue through future sale of stamps and stamp-related products.
  • Strengthen the USPS’s image as a significant educational and cultural organization.
  • Increase the global visibility of postal administrations worldwide.

The USPS sought to reach children ages 8-12, challenging them to artistically depict their individual visions of the future. The four winning illustrations in the U.S. as well as the winners from each participating country will be reproduced into actual postage stamps.

120,000 kids entered the contest in the U.S., which was executed at post offices and in classrooms nationwide. In the U.S., entries were judged on originality of idea, artistic ability and creative expression, neatness and clarity, and finally on suitability for postal stamp production. In addition to having their illustrations made into postal stamps, winners were awarded trips, computer systems and CD ROMs, and framed copies of their illustrations., which was executed at post offices and in classrooms nationwide. In the U.S., entries were judged on originality of idea, artistic ability and creative expression, neatness and clarity, and finally on suitability for postal stamp production. In addition to having their illustrations made into postal stamps, winners were awarded trips, computer systems and CD ROMs, and framed copies of their illustrations.

As administrative agency in the United States, Media Direct USA Associates handled the vast number of executional details, including for example, fulfillment of the promotional kits to 35,000 post offices, development of the judging criteria and a multi-phased judging process, supervision of the various judging rounds and data entry of the 120,000 names and addresses.

As the USPS’s international consultant, Media Direct USA Associates developed and produced a 21-page international contest guidebook, various slide presentations to encourage participation and partnered with the USPS to execute global award/celebratory events.

Results: The global effort was truly outstanding: 32 countries participated, representing all continents and a full array of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. The success of the contest was acknowledged by the marketing and promotion industry itself…we received the PMA Gold Reggie Award for the Best Global Promotion of 1998!

Client: Time Inc. (Entertainment Weekly and People)

Project: Chevrolet Movie Excellence Sweepstakes

Assignment: Media Direct USA acted as a promotion agency to handle the administration and coordination of this sweepstakes, which was linked to Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the 71st Academy Awards. The promotion was executed as an online and mail-in random draw sweepstakes.

Promotion objectives included:

  • Motivate consumers to closely watch each Chevy model’s commercials within the television broadcast.

  • Extend association with the 1999 Academy Awards on March 21, 1999.
  • Leverage a high profile event through one of the highest–rated programs of the year.

As part of it’s advertising campaign running in People and Entertainment Weekly, Chevrolet sought to reach viewers of the Academy Awards and encourage them to watch the Chevrolet commercials closely.

To enter, consumers were required to read several phrases, each of which was representative of five different commercials and match then to the appropriate Chevrolet vehicle. The Chevrolet.com website had a sweepstakes page up which also contained the phrases, thereby extending the promotion’s reach by attracting wed-surfers to enter. Three winners were randomly selected from all correct entries, to win either a one-year lease on a Chevy Tracker or Chevy Malibu, or a walk-on role in an upcoming Hollywood production.

As the administrative agency, Media Direct USA Associates handled thousands of entries and a vast number of executional details, including, for example, administration coordination between People, Entertainment Weekly and Chevrolet, multiple entry sources, such as online and mail-in, as well as promotion analysis.

For this type of promotion, one in which watching a designated television show is required for entry, both Media Direct USA and its client consider The Chevy Movie Excellence Sweepstakes to be very successful. It achieved a response rate that was more than double what is considered standard for this type of sweepstakes.

Client: Andin International, Inc.

Project: $250,000 Giveaway

Media Direct USA showed Andin International how.

   Assignment: Media Direct USA Associates successfully helped Andin International, Inc., a major US jewelry manufacturer/wholesaler boost traffic and build a consumer database for its new website, www.jewelry.com. An exciting $250,000 giveaway was designed for this effort. The sweepstakes -- which is still running -- will last for a total of 10 months, giving away over 200 prizes of various levels each month. That's 2,000 prizes in all!

   As a result of its various sweepstakes offers, Andin got the boost it was looking for -- meeting traffic goals of 1 million visitors last December, and building a database of over 800,000 users that continues to grow, thanks to its current sweepstakes.

Client: Time Warner Incorporated

Project: Million Dollar Sweepstakes/Million Dollar Dream Sweepstakes


  • Utilizing the "umbrella" sweepstakes technique we pioneered, our role included:
  • Consumer promotion development and planning
  • Coordinating participation among numerous divisions
  • Program administration
  • Prize fulfillment

Time Warner, a growing publishing and entertainment conglomerate, needed to create a sweepstakes to be shared by any or all of its divisions.

The sweepstakes had to achieve multiple objectives, from acquiring and renewing magazine subscribers via direct mail to providing its clients an extra incentive to advertise in its publication. It also had to appeal to the diverse audiences reached by these publications, as well as satisfy the individual needs of each corporate division participating in the promotion.

Above all, it called for extraordinary flexibility and incredibly detailed coordination.

Media Direct USA developed an "umbrella" prize structure which provided merchandise choices at the various prize levels. This allowed each division to select the prizes that closely appealed to its individual target audience while participating in the same sweepstakes. The budget could then be amortized over many applications for a two-year period of time.

Results: All publishing divisions reported successful response rates. Advertising sales representatives were able to leverage the sweepstakes into added value merchandising programs generating significant page commitments.

Client: Weider Publications

Project: Treasure Hunt Sweepstakes

Assignment: Planning and administration of sweepstakes for special issue

Weider Publications, publishers of Muscle & Fitness Magazine, decided to run a sweepstakes that corresponded with a special issue of its magazine featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was a totally integrated marketing program to increase single copy sales and generate traffic to the magazine's web site.

To play, the reader had to go to the web site, find the clues that were posted, then return to the magazine to find the "Mystery Word".

There were three prize levels available in this promotion: 1 Grand Prize, a weekend for two to the Arnold Fitness Weekend; 1 First Prize of a leather jacket and 25 Second Prizes of Planet Hollywood t-shirts. The prize structure was specifically designed to reinforce the Arnold Schwarzenegger theme.

The results were quite exciting - single copy sales well exceeded projections, and thousands of readers were made aware of the web site's features.

Email: info@mediadirectusa.com

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