Are On-pack Promotions Still Worth The Outlay?

by Brían Taylor Jaywing

On-pack promotions have been a long standing engagement tool used by many FMCG brands, from confectionery to alcohol. What are the key considerations for brands considering on-pack promotions in 2018?

Shelf Appeal

In a more competitive marketplace than ever, on-pack promotions can give products the edge over their direct competition through shelf-appeal.

Not only do on-packs benefit from boosts in sales volume, (a third of adults asked in a recent survey of 2000 by Sodexo Engage would be more likely to purchase a product with an on-pack promotion), but also are far more likely to be placed in high-value locations on shelf by retailers such as promotional point of sale stands and end-of-aisle real estate.

Combined with an active push of the campaign across the marketing mix, brands can see a significant increase in sales throughout the lifetime of well-executed on pack promotions.

Bolster B2C Relationship

It has been proven that customers value and enjoy on-pack promotions. It’s a thrill to win, and even the opportunity to win adds value to the exchange.

Given that customers are less brand loyal than ever, on-packs can play an important role in in-store conversion rates.

Youth Engagement

A recent study in the UK actually indicated that on-pack promotions were MOST popular amongst the youth demographic, directly contradicting the general assumption that youth are less engaged.

“42 [per cent] of those aged 18-24 were ‘more likely’ to buy a product with an on pack promotion, whilst those aged over 55 were only 25 [per cent] more likely.” On-pack Promotions Still Pack A Punch

Brand Association

Powerful on-pack promotions can be accelerated via partnerships that strike just the right chord. This works exceptionally where two brands with a similar target audience collaborate and benefit from each others’ audience base and each other’s brand values.

Not only can this bolster brand relationships with the existing customers but it can introduce and expose each brand to previously untapped prospects. A brilliant partnership campaign will benefit both sides equally.

Accelerate Sales Without Decreasing Price Point

The rate of repeated purchase is often accelerated throughout on-pack promotional periods. This occurs as customers purchase products to increase their chances of winning, particularly with collecting packs for redemption purposes.

Timing Is Critical

Every marketer knows that timings for on-pack (or indeed any) campaigns are utterly critical. Iconic examples of seasonal promotions include Pimm’s in the summer, Creme eggs at Easter, and Chocolate oranges at Christmas. 

But they aren’t only successful when seasonally related. On-pack promotions perform just as well in relation to current events and with respect to competitors’ campaigns. 

Combining an on-pack with the right timing can result in far stronger campaign results due to increased relevancy.

Initial Outlay Is High

Changing packaging, building digital mechanisms, analysis, human resource, legal, fulfilment, and all other aspects of executing a successful on-pack promotion is a highly demanding ask, as well as managing other ongoing aspects of product management throughout.

It’s a time of additional pressure for in-house marketing teams.


On-packs are still a very valid engagement tool in 2018. However, modern marketers need to be smart about how they allocate and use resources to ensure the best ROI. They also need to be clear about what their primary goal for the promotion is; growing sales, boosting customer relationships, or changing buying habits.

Big FMCG brands sometimes run multiple on-packs, across multiple territories and through different time scales. These campaigns need immaculate planning and execution, but can still deliver hit-and-miss results.

Streamlining the on-pack promotions management process or centralising the process utilising a promotions management framework such as Jaywing’s Frontrunner is an ideal way to optimise the planning, execution, and evaluation of on-packs. 

Jaywing will be speaking and available to answer your questions at our Digital Marketing Summit on Thursday 25 October. For more information regarding the event you can view the full agenda here.