Mug Shot: Win a Share of £50,000 Case Study

This case study is an in-depth overview of Mug Shot's recent sales promotion titled, "Win a Share of £50,000". The analysis will look into the various strategies used by the brand, campaign objectives, and the path to purchase and touchpoints.

Mug Shot: Win a Share of £50,000 Overview

This past winter, Mug Shot placed £50, £20, £10, and £5 notes in 13 of their single pack products: Tomato & Herb, Roast Chicken, Chicken & Sweetcorn, Sweet ‘n’ Sour, Creamy Cheese, Macaroni Cheese, Thai Noodle, Chinese Chow Mein Noodle, BBQ, Minestrone, Spicy Tomato, Peri Peri, and Teriyaki. To enter the contest, one simply purchased one of the 13 products and opened it to see if they had won cash inside. The contest continued until supplies lasted. It was a luck based promotion where the brand did not pick the winner, but rather there was an instant prize inside. The keyword was ‘win’ which was used to allure to people's self interest.

How to Enter the Contest

According to the IPM (2019), this was the largest campaign for the brand to date aimed at bashing the January Blues, making this a seasonal campaign. The promotion was to run between January 2019 to February 2019, however in the picture below the on-pack promotion was still current even in March 2019. Also, the campaign was certified with an IPM verification seal which was given in October of 2018.

The Promotion is a Prize Promotion on/in-pack

Using the concepts found in Adam Ferrier’s book Advertising Effect (2014) this campaign encompassed an ease to participate which in turn elevated motivation. This means that because one only needed to purchase a 50p bag of Mug Shot and had the possibly to win cash, it most likely increased the amount of motivation to participate in the campaign, i.e. an increased desire to purchase. People had the opportunity and ability to purchase (since the product can be found in most major grocery chains and was cheaper than other products) and the incentive of winning cash immediately was very advantageous. There were no major exclusions and the campaign was very clear on what one needed to do to win.

@MugShotUK Twitter Account

Mug Shot was using a pull tactic where they were trying to pull consumers to purchase through a prize promotion. They were using various marketing communication channels such as: TV, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, radio, the brand’s website, and online PR news outlets to create mental availability with purchasers. They also used the communication channels to engage with their audience and because in the past these channels have been most effective for the brand.


The in-store experience was very different depending on the shopper. For ones who do not follow the brand it would have been more difficult for them to be aware of the campaign. This is due to the fact that there was no POS for the promotion and the only POP was at the shelf with the on-pack promotion details.

The in-store Experience

As seen in the picture, the brand was placed high on the shelf compared to some of the competitors, meaning that Mug Shot was at a disadvantage due to the fact that some studies have found that shoppers look from the bottom to the top. Moreover, it is found that shoppers make decisions in eight seconds or less putting top shelf brands out of league with eye level and lower level placed brands (Chourdhary, 2014).

Context Analysis

In the context of the brand and promotion it must be noted that there is currently high competition within the sector. This can be seen in the picture below of the shelves of the competitors compared to the above picture of the Mug Shot shelf.

Mug Shot can be seen on the Far Right

At the time this picture was taken (March 2019), it can be clearly seen that other brands had a better relationship with the retailer since they had full length shelves dedicated to their brands with varying types of packaging and flavors. This is especially obvious with the competitor, Batchelor’s who had two full length shelves for their various types of products. The right side shelf is for their prepackaged mug and the left is for the single packet products. This example can be seen below in the next picture.

Mug Shot Competitors

It is also important to talk about how the brand with the largest amount of shelf space is Batchelor’s with 8% of the pot snack market share (Mintel, 2019). Batchelor’s comes in third with the largest amount of market share under Naked Noodle (7%) and Pot Noodle (55%) (Mintel, 2019). This Mintel (2019) report also listed Mug Shot as having a 2% share of the market being ranked in 8th place. Again, because of the fierce competition it can be said that this helped Mug Shot develop this campaign and set the campaign objectives.

Campaign Objectives

This campaign was based around two main thoughts. One was that Mug Shot was attempting to increase sales by creating the notion that the product is already only 50p so purchasing a few more packets than normal for the chance to win up to £50 in one packet is reasonable. For most, this is a valuable reward that is worth investing in. This change in behavior could have resulted in a positive outcome of winning cash. The brand wanted to increase the frequency of purchases, generate trial purchases, and increase retailer support and display.

A Post from Mug Shot's Facebook Page

Secondly, because of the fierce competition within the sector, another objective was to steal competitors’ buyers and market share by increasing brand preference to Mug Shot. The brand was trying to create interest and increase its relevance in the minds of consumers.

The promotion was both strategic and tactical. It was tactical because Mug Shot was attempting to increase sales by influencing the amount of packets people purchase. Moreover it was a strategic promotion because they were attempting to steal competitors’ buyers and bring awareness to their brand where their competitors already have brand awareness. But the biggest strategic goal was to create scarcity of winning to increase sales with the goal of increasing Mug Shot's market share.

About the Consumer

This product is normally purchased by the consumer/buyer since they are single pack products. The consumers are a bargain-hunter searching for the best price, and would be a decider, buyer, and user when making the purchase. The product supports shoppers’ basic needs of saving them money and time. The shopper mission is top-up, dinner for tonight, and possibly on the go if at work and needing a quick solution to lunch.

The desired action that the brand was wishing for from the shopper was to change how many packets were purchased and how frequently they purchase. This was visible by the size of the promotion and what it was offering. Again, the brand was hoping that people will buy more packets because the consumer saw that they had a higher chance of winning the more they purchased.

Path to Purchase and Touchpoints

The consumers’ path to purchase started at awareness because the brand is highly distributed, increasing its familiarity and credibility, plus they used various communication tools to spread their brand name (McKinsey, 2009). Then with a promotion like the Win A Share of £50,000, this increased the consideration of the brand and led to purchase due to the ease of participating in the contest (Ferrier, 2014). So in short, the customer was aware of the product when entering the store. They went to the aisle and when making the final decision they purchased Mug Shot because of the exciting campaign; making them settle on purchasing that brand in the future. The end goal is for the customer to either enjoy the product to create repeat purchases or win a prize inside, which in turn should create repeat purchases now that the customer has a relationship with the brand.

A Happy Mug Shot Consumer

Mug Shot had employed methods to reach all touchpoints on the path to purchase with this promotion. They utilized PR, radio, print, TV, and online ads to touch the awareness point. Then they used social media and media to hit consideration. Once in-store, they used on-pack displays for the purchase touchpoint, and finally they used FAQs about the brand and promotion for retention and promotions (like the Win a Share of £50,000) to hit advocacy. All of these have been used so that the customer moves from each touchpoint efficiently making a smooth path to purchase and in the end, repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

Campaign Evaluation

The campaign will be evaluated by seeing how many repeat purchasers Mug Shot acquired along with first time purchasers. They will also be able to see how the audience is reacting when posting about their winnings online, boosting the brand’s engagement with purchasers and/or users. Finally, they will be able to see if sales increased and what their market share is in relationship to their competitors.

References & Bibliography

Caines, R. Pasta, Rice and Noodles - UK - February 2019 - Market Research Report. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from

Choudhary, S. (2014). Impact of Shelf Space on Purchase Behavior of Consumer: Journal of Business Management & Social Sciences Research (JBM&SSR), 3(2319-5614).

Ferrier, A., & Fleming, J. (2014). The advertising effect: how to change behaviour. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

ipmseal_admin. (2018, October 16). Symington's Mug Shots: Mugfuls of Joy. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from

The consumer decision journey. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from

Website designed and developed by Zarr - Mug Shot banishes the January Blues with cash promotion. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from

Sanders, N. (2019). Lectures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, [PowerPoint Presentations]. London, UK.

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