ampm Rolls Out 'Scratch Power' App

Puts instant prize-winning power in customers' phones

Published in CSP Daily News

LA PALMA, Calif. -- Convenience retailer ampm has just released ampm Scratch Power, a promotional smart phone app that gives customers the chance to win $500 Apple Gift Cards, iPods and thousands of ampm food and drink prizes.

"We're very excited to launch the ampm Scratch Power app--a revolutionary way for our customers to engage with the brand and win some great prizes, right from their Android or iPhone device," said Donna Sanker, La Palma, Calif.-based ampm's marketing vice president. "It's a free, virtual scratch and win style of game available on both Google Play and Apple's App Store."

She added, "Together with the grand prizes of $500 Apple Gift Cards and iPods, there are also thousands of instant win prizes including 16-ounce NOS Energy drinks, 20-ounce Vitaminwater, 22-ounce ampm fountain drinks, ampm corn dogs and 12-ounce ampm coffee drinks. Simply scratch and match three identical prizes on one scratch card and you win."

The promotion started on October 2 at approximately 950 stores, and customers can play every day until Dec. 4, 2012, by visiting a participating ampm location, scanning the QR (quick response) code that appears on the ampm Scratch Power point of purchase in the store and downloading new scratch cards.

Scratch Power was devised by Wellington, New Zealand-based retail marketing and digital content specialist First Star Communications in partnership with app innovator Carnival Labs.

"We've been working with ampm in the U.S. for a number of years, and we recently conducted research into how their market of predominantly young males was engaging with digital media and mobile gaming," First Star director Adam Blackwell said in a separate press statement. "That research indicated growth at a phenomenal rate, so it made sense for us to design a rewarding brand experience around technology that ampm customers are increasingly familiar and comfortable with."

He added, "Scratch Power is .... a way of adding value to the shopping experience. But it also has significant benefits for the retailer. It largely eliminates the high financial and environmental cost of printing, distributing and storing collateral associated with traditional 'scratch and win'-style promotions. It is customer-driven, so it doesn't rely on specially trained or motivated front line staff. And the retailer can see, in real time, how many downloads have been made, how many prizes have been claimed, and at which stores and geographical centers activity is greatest. It enables ampm's marketers to better understand the behavior of their customers, and communicate with them accordingly."

That ability is enhanced further by a built-in facility called "core push." Once customers have downloaded the app, ampm marketers can devise and push bonus offers to select recipients according to particular circumstances in specific geographical locations.

"For example, it might be a scorching hot day in Phoenix, so customers located there might receive a voucher for a discount on cold drinks," said Blackwell.

Gary Schechner, ampm's advertising, PR and marketing manager, said Scratch Power is exactly the kind of promotion the company has been looking for to attune to the market's increasing engagement with mobile technology.

"We're showing them the value of being an ampm customer, in a really simple way, using their preferred medium of communication," he said. "It's groundbreaking."

BP's ampm brand was founded in 1978 in Southern California by ARCO. ARCO-branded ampm stores are currently found in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Arizona.

Houston-based BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through more than 11,000 branded retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities. BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy sources.