July 12, 2012, 11:38 AM

Tampico deems its Facebook piñata game a smashing success

The beverage maker lures new fans with a contest that at least two must play.

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To reach the demographic it describes as “young, hip, urban, multicultural” adults ages 18 to 24, Tampico Beverages found that it pays to bring them traditional neighborhood fun—specifically by giving them a chance to bash a virtual piñata.

In a sweepstakes campaign that began last month and runs through early September, Tampico presents a three-dimensional piñata game on its Facebook page. Consumers can click to choose a piñata doll shape and decorate it with decidedly impish looks. Once a piñata doll is configured, it hangs from a virtual tree as it might at a real-world piñata party. To the sounds of background music and what could be typical neighborhood yelps and laughter, the online player then clicks on the hanging piñata to bash it several times with a large stick until it finally busts open.

Inside the piñata is an entry form for a sweepstakes with a grand prize of a Fiat 500 car and other prizes that include bicycles, audio headphones and skateboards.

To get into the sweepstakes, however, two contestants must enter as a pair. When an initial player completes the game and breaks open a piñata, she must send a link to the game with her customized piñata doll, along with a message, to one or more friends on Facebook. Once one of those friends plays the game and also breaks open the piñata, the two contestants are entered into the sweepstakes. There’s no limit on how many times participants can enter.

The game is helping Tampico add between 800 and 1,200 Facebook followers a day, says Marta Gerdes, Tampico’s vice president of marketing. It’s also helping Tampico learn about participants’ product preferences by requiring them to choose their favorite Tampico beverage flavor among Pineapple Coconut, Citrus Punch, Mango Punch and Limonada.

The piñata game sweepstakes, which is also intended to appeal to families, is being promoted through a multi-pronged marketing campaign that includes ads on Facebook and in ad networks, postings in social media including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and coverage in print media. Tampico has also promoted the campaign in field marketing events that have included iPads featuring the piñata game and mounted on Tampico-branded stands.

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