MONTVALE, N.J. -- A&P here used a sweepstakes event to promote the major role its Eight O'Clock Coffee has landed in the revival of a hit Broadway musical.
The sweepstakes is tied to use of the chain's electronic frequent shopper card, and involves three of its banners in the metropolitan New York area.
A key scene in the revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying!" centers around Eight O'Clock Coffee. The musical, which stars Matthew Broderick, opened for previews in New York last week.
"In the original, Charles Nelson Reilly goes to get coffee at a coffee pot and it is out of coffee. Everyone goes crazy because there is no more coffee," said William Vitulli, vice president of government and community relations at A&P, recalling the original.
"It is actually a song and a big scene, and we are going to be featured in that scene. It was the idea of the people promoting the show," he said.
To highlight the use of its product in the musical, A&P ran a sweepstakes with a $400 grand prize of a Broadway night on the town, which includes two tickets to the show for the evening of April 21, plus dinner and a hotel.
Three hundred first prizes of a $135 pair of show tickets, for performances after April 5, were also offered in the sweepstakes, which began last month and concluded on March 5. The drawing will be held on Wednesday. The sweepstakes was tied to purchases in all A&P, Waldbaum's and Food Emporium stores in the New York area. Shoppers were automatically entered into the sweepstakes every time they used their A&P or Food Emporium Bonus Savings Club or Waldbaum's Valued Shopper Club cards. Noncard shoppers could obtain an entry blank at the store manager's office.
A&P promoted the sweepstakes through newspaper ads, circulars and point-of-sale stickers placed on every bag of Eight O'Clock Coffee sold in the New York metropolitan area.
Vitulli said it was too soon to tell what Eight O'Clock's participation in the musical will do to coffee sales, but he expects the show will once again be a box office smash.