Sainsbury’s survives as Lego promotion succeeds


While grocery shopping trips are often a mundane event for many kids (beside the occasional walk down the confectionery isle), Sainsbury’s recently teamed up with Lego for a promotion which almost certainly changed that for a brief period.

Last month saw the release of the Lego’s Create the World cards, a collection of 140 cards which were offered to shoppers from May 3rd to June 13th. For every £10 spent online or at a Sainsbury’s supermarket, shoppers received a pack of 4 cards while local stores also gave away packs of 2 cards with every £5 spent. Alongside these free packs, Sainsbury’s also offered booster packs which were available to purchase for 50p.

The good

The promotion was initially met with a positive reaction, Lego’s recent resurgence has seen it become a firm favourite amongst kids and adults alike so collectible cards based on a wide range or Lego character was met with delight. The collectible element meant social media was quickly awash with parents looking to trade cards so their kids could complete their collection. The nostalgia associated not only with Lego but also collecting cards was sure to bring back childhood memories for many adults which allowed the promotion to strike a chord with the parents as much as it did with the younger audience.

The end of the promotion was marked by card trading events which were held at a number of Sainsbury’s cafés around the country. All in all, it grabbed the attention of shoppers and is sure to have seen some prioritise shopping at Sainsbury’s over competing supermarkets to claim their free cards. Holding the card trading events at the end of the promotion was also a smart move as it helped to get more people to Sainsbury’s cafes.

The bad

While the campaign taught a lesson in the power of promotional products, it also had its fair share of hiccups which had to be overcome. There were a whole host of complaints surrounding the number of cards which were actually in the packets. Many packs which were meant to have 4 cards only had 3. In addition to this, other unhappy customers were also less than pleased about the quality of some of the cards, with complaints ranging from misprints to some which were cut in half when taken out of the packet.

The not so ugly

The promotion certainly kept Sainsbury’s social media team busy with many shoppers heading to Facebook and Twitter to air their complaints. As we’ve seen with other brands, having unhappy customers take to social media can often cause even more damage with comments going viral. However Sainsbury did a stellar job at fanning the flames. They were quick to offer free cards to make up for any short comings and even provided free nectar points for some customers.

Take away

It proved to be a campaign which managed to bring to light the positive impact of promotional products along with the need to monitor the quality of what you offer. You’d be forgiven for thinking that customers might look past the shortcomings in things such as the quality of the items when their given away as freebies, but that’s far from the case. As consumers, we’re now more spoilt than ever before so it’s important that businesses, irrespective of size, pay attention to the quality of the promotional items they offer in order to get the best possible returns.