Agency: The Marketing Store Author: Douglas Moody-Stuart

Shell – A global product promotion for Shell – shifting attitudes and behaviours in a commodity category


The proportion of (consumer) company marketing budgets being spent on sales promotions is increasing. A survey made in 19901 reported this percentage at 25%, another conducted in 20042 estimated it to be nearly a third. While popularity is on the increase, effectiveness is much harder to deliver. An analysis of 20 years of research evaluating sales promotions indicates that most such promotions do not pay off, and even the studies painting a happier picture find no more than 60% earning back their costs3. These studies were focused on the North American market, but similar pressures and trends are reported for Europe4. Even against a prevailing perception that promotion is 'the poor relation' of advertising – offering less scope to build positive long-term associations with consumers than creative campaigns – current concern for the cost effectiveness of media advertising is driving the upward trend for promotional activity.