Sweepstakes Marketing Agency D.L. Blair Closes its Doors

dlblairAnother benefit of being part of a sweepstakes community is we share. Today Jason shared a news link with me. It bore sad news:

Sweepstakes pioneer D.L. Blair closes

The full article has wonderful tidbits about the company and it’s history.

According to “The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising,” “D.L.” is the last-name initials of company founders and college roommates Cy Draddy and Marty Landis, who decided on the “Blair” part of the name when walking past the Blair House in Washington, D.C.

A story in the Aug. 9, 1971, issue of the New York Times explained why D.L. Blair Corp., which handled more than 40 million pieces of mail per year, moved its fulfillment operation from New York City to Blair, Neb., with a population 6,500.

“We wanted to reduce in-transit time and parcel post costs by moving as close to the geographical center of the country as possible,” Draddy said. “And, we also wanted to incorporate the ‘Blair’ name in our address.”

The story explained that in an effort to make “D.L. Blair” a household name, a “campaign was undertaken to acquaint corporations and agencies with the fact that any time they saw a contest‐type mailing to Blair, D.L. Blair was involved.”

The reason D.L. Blair was heralded as pioneers because they were innovators creating:

  • Pre-selected number sweepstakes (Life Magazine)
  • Scratch-off game (Tylenol-Veedol Oil Company)
  • Matching halves game (Shell Oil)
  • Magic decoder instant-win game (Procter & Gamble)
  • Cigarette brand designed around a promotion concept (Imperial Tobacco Products’ “Casino”)
  • In-pack scratch-off game (Post cereals)
  • “Watch & Win” game (Procter & Gamble)
  • Use of ultraviolet light as instant-win reveal device (Procter & Gamble and Chevrolet)
  • Cash prize distributed in a soda can (Coca-Cola)

How many of us have participated in these types of promotions not even realizing where they began?

A clue to their demise is sited:

Although the sweepstakes industry has changed significantly with the advent of the internet, consumers’ changing habits and marketers’ budget priorities, D.L. Blair incorporated modern technology in its promotions.

Between companies such as Woobox, OfferPop, ShortStack, etc. taking over social media sweepstakes marketing, the decline in main-in sweepstakes (we have not had mail-in sweepstakes since 2006) and the fact D.L. Blair couldn’t shift gears fast enough created a perfect storm for their closure.

You can read the FULL ARTICLE here.

I have seen many changes to sweepstakes both as a hobbyist and as a market since I started entering 15 years ago. I wonder what changes are in store for the the next 15 years.

What was/is your favorite off-line type of sweepstakes to enter?


2016-12-26T21:47:09+00:00 October 1st, 2016|Marketing|0 Comments

About the Author:

Carolyn Wilman (aka @ContestQueen) is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Sweepstakes Specialist. Carolyn teaches others how to Find, Organize, Enter and Win giveaways along with working with companies to create, and viral market, winning promotions maximizing ROI and loyal customers.

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