40% OFF – Threshers

Wouldn’t we all love if we get 40% off on wine and champagne??

Just before Christmas 2006, Threshers leaked a voucher worth 40% off wine and champagne online. Thresher accidentally released a ‘staff only’ print-out-and-present 40% discount coupon on the Internet. A pdf of the voucher featured on South African wine Stormhoek’s website and quickly spread among the public via e-mail.

By stating that this voucher was only intended for suppliers (and releasing PR statements expressing concern that this mistake would damage their profit margins), Threshers generated a buzz around its brand. This was a subtle strategy that capitalised on the idea of secrecy, which of course, led to it spreading like wildfire. It is estimated the coupon had been downloaded 3.5m times.

A 40% discount coupon would have been quite a good idea for the first 10 days of boozy December but a highly viral, slightly naughty (“hey, did you hear about that Threshers coupon?”) ‘accidental’ campaign. As per Threshers’ boss Roger Whiteside there had been a 60% increase in sales. ‘It’s a positive margin on every sale,’ said Whiteside. ‘Even if we make pennies on every bottle, it’s the volume that counts.

Isn’t it amazing how the cocktail of scalability, secrecy and a hefty customer discount, made this campaign an overnight success?

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