Halloween gives retailers the chance to have a little
creative fun before the more serious autumn Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday
sales events happen. It is this creative prowess that tips Brinker’s Jewelers,
of Evansville, Indiana, as this
week’s Retailer of the Week for their inaugural pumpkin carving contest.
In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due,
Brinker’s CFO and marketing head Kyle Brinker gives his mother Cheryl props for
the stroke of genius. “Last year my mother came up with the idea,” says Kyle.
“But last fall we were already so busy with a big annual sale. Organizing a new
store event in the middle of such a big store sale just wasn’t going to
Brinker’s CFO and marketing head Kyle Brinker.
Although the Halloween event was conceived over a year ago,
the campaign to promote it was pulled together by the folks at Fruchtman
Marketing just over three weeks ago. “In order to get the maximum return, we
approached this promotion the same way we’re doing all of promotions, with a
fully-integrated approach,” says Ellen Fruchtman, president of Fruchtman
Promotional vehicles included radio, Facebook, e-mail
blasts, the jeweler’s main website as well as in-store promotions including
contestant forms and voting ballots with contest-appropriate artwork. Kyle even
put up an LED sign and posted notice in the store’s own Café 111 to help
promote the event.
A variety of carved and painted pumpkins fill Brinker’s.
Given the compressed time frame before the submission
deadline, Fruchtman and Kyle were hoping for a minimum of 20-plus carved
pumpkins. “People really only had a handful of days to bring in their
submissions,” says Fruchtman. “We were very surprised to find out 35 people
participated in the contest. I think it says a lot about an integrated
approach, but also about the jeweler and how they serve their community, which
is very tight knit and responds well to these sorts of grass roots
Brinker’s partnered with South Central Stations in Evansville
to promote their Halloween event. “Commercials for the contest aired about
seven to eight days before the submissions deadline of Oct. 23,” says Kyle. “In
addition to making people aware of submitting their carved pumpkins, radio
commercials made sure listeners knew they had to stop by the store to cast a
vote for their favorite pumpkin. On the first full day of
voting on Monday, 30 people came in to the store to cast their ballots.”
Monday was the store’s first full day of voting. “We had
about 30 or so people come in to cast their vote,” says Kyle. “Even on the
first day we saw a lot of new faces in our store.”
An early favorite is a pumpkin carved and painted to look
like Cinderella’s carriage. Known for their green gift boxes some contestants
even painted their pumpkins “Brinker’s green.” “We even have a bridal-related
theme with one contestant carving a pumpkin that shows a skeleton proposing to
another skeleton,” says Kyle. “All in all, we’ve had some amazingly creative
The Cinderella-themed pumpkin is taking an early lead in
With a few days to go, Kyle estimates 100 to 150, perhaps
more, people will come to the store to vote on their favorite carved pumpkin.
“The contestants are doing their best to get as many family members and friends
in the store as possible to vote for their pumpkin.”
First prize will receive a $500 gift card. Second place will
earn a $250 gift card. And third place will receive a $100 gift cards. Five
runners-up will receive a Pandora bracelet and a Halloween charm from the
“Unforgettable Moments” Collection.
The voting form for customers.
Kyle and Fruchtman were very pleased with the success of the
first year’s event. “As we build on the first contest there are many ways to
make next year’s pumpkin carving contest bigger and better,” says Fruchtman.
Kyle agrees: “We’ve hit on a winning formula our first time
out. With more time to plan this event next year, I think we can do so much
more with it.”
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