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Citgo connects with consumers via mobile promotion

Citgo Petroleum Corporation is driving application downloads with the new “Win With Citgo” promotion, which offers 108 fans a chance to win significant prizes during the holiday season.

Consumers in Massachusetts may partake in the campaign from now until Nov. 21, at any Citgo location. To participate, guests must scan the QR code on designated point-of-purchase products, download the Win With Citgo mobile application and enter to win the appointed prizes.

“I think people will sign up for the promotion,” said Mike Cochrane, sales director at Atimi, Vancouver, BC. “It’s a low-barrier entry process, and there are no requirements to enter such as a purchase or a visit to a Citgo location.

“Also, the prizes are valuable and desirable enough to incent people to share their contact information.”

Mobile promotion
Citgo is also hoping to drive more usage of its mobile app by requiring entrants to download it. Once a consumer enters the contest, they are eligible to win a year’s supply of TriCLEAN gasoline, a $50 gift card to Citgo or a two-person trip to Venezuela.

100 consumers will be able to win the gift card, three will receive the year-round supply of gasoline and five consumers will win the all-inclusive trip to Venezuela, which includes visits to Los Roques, Margarita Island and Canaima.

Citgo recognizes that the gasoline industry is filled with many competitors, and is always on the lookout for effective ways to augment the brand and remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds. The promotion is meant to drive more traffic to Citgo locations, but also reward loyal consumers for continuing to choose Citgo.

“Research shows that consumers are increasingly utilizing their mobile phones in their shopping experiences, and Citgo is responding by offering apps such as Win With Citgo and Club Citgo,” said Fernando Garay, public affairs manager at Citgo Petroleum Corporation, Houston, TX.

“While Win With CITGO app is associated with a six week promotion, the Club CITGO app is a longer term program designed to promote CITGO loyalty through daily deals and discounts, earning rewards and other great prizes.”

“I believe it would be more effective to offer an incentive such as one entry for every purchase made at a Citgo location,” Atimi’s Mr. Cochrane said. “Currently, the only thing driving traffic is the Citgo gift cards prices, which would bring the winners into the locations.”

Citgo is also offering a separate sweepstakes within its app, which contains a trivia game with questions about Citgo, Margarita Island, Canaima and Los Roques. If a consumer answers a question correctly, he or she is automatically entered to win a $20 Citgo gift card.

Giving back
The promotion is being launched in conjunction with Citgo’s ongoing efforts to give back to local communities via its locally owned locations. The company partakes in a myriad of in-person, digital and social advertising campaigns designed to help local charities, support children’s education and gather donations for pets in Humane Societies.

Citgo’s “Fueling Good” campaigns can be found on the standalone Web site,, and offer details on current and past sweepstakes. Videos are also posted to display the effect the campaigns have had on the local community.

Citgo aims to be active on social media, and believes that the promotion will bolster the company’s mobile strategy. Because gasoline is a necessity for most consumers, the contest’s prizes are that much more desirable.

The campaign is slated to run before the holiday rush begins, in order to stir up more brand awareness before retailers and vendors start rolling out major holiday deals. However, brands must be cognizant of using too many sweepstakes in their sales strategies, as they may overshadow other benefits.

“Smart mobile tactics mean incorporating sweepstakes and contests sparingly, and brands are realizing that it can be a double-edged sword: giving away free stuff and money gets attention, but if it’s getting in the way of your core business, or the core features of your app aren’t compelling enough on their own, it’s a band-aid that isn’t really winning mindshare or loyalty,” said James McNally, director of business development at Fuzz Productions, Brooklyn, NY.

“No question, it’s something that will continue, simply because it’s a tried and true way to garner attention and users (at least in the short term).”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York