Innovations That Matter

Site uses social media to raffle off free, sponsored prizes

Advertising & Marketing

There’s no doubt consumers love free samples, as evidenced by all the tryvertising stores, services and even vending machines we’ve seen emerge in recent months. The latest spotting? Raffle Dog, a site that raffles off free, vendor-sponsored products. Launched this past spring, New York-based Raffle Dog offers different raffles every week for local and national companies. Brands begin by signing up with Raffle Dog—it’s free through today. Consumers can then participate in any raffle, with the option of entering three times: once by simply commenting on the Raffle Dog page, another time by sharing the raffle on Facebook, and a third time by sharing via Twitter. Raffle Dog also taps Twitter to give followers the opportunity to participate in secret raffles as well. Raffle Dog itself, meanwhile, promotes each raffle on the streets, handing out flyers in targeted locations; it also hosts a YouTube video on its site showcasing the vendor’s product or service. When the raffle draws to a close, Raffle Dog emulates the contests of the past by picking its winners live online from a fishbowl filled with tickets. Winners are notified via email, Twitter or Facebook and have seven days to claim their prize, which gets mailed out directly. Raffle Dog donates 5 percent of its earnings to cancer-related charities. Currently, however, it’s open only to U.S. consumers. One to bring to a market near you? (Related: Free products for bloggers at invitation-only events.) Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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