John Mackintosh's first adventure into advertising

John Mackintosh's first outstanding adventure in advertising was a great prize scheme which at the time was an absolute novelty. This was a competition for young and old, with no limits for age or distance within the United Kingdom. The chief prize was a model cottage valued, at the time at £250. Coupons from packets of toffee had to be collected and sent to the firm. There were hundreds of other prizes, increasing in value according to the number of coupons gathered. The most successful competitor, an Irish lady, had almost enough useful articles, won as prizes, to furnish the cottage. John Mackintosh learned from this competition that such schemes have the great disadvantage of disappointing so many entrants that they make more dissatisfied people than actual friends. He avoided this mistake in his next venture by an ingenious and amusing arrangement.
This was a Scholarship Competition. Large spaces were taken in many of the great newspapers, setting forth the conditions of the competition, which was open to all children.
The announcements were addressed chiefly to schoolmasters and parents, and they were asked to get children to send to the firm a short essay telling exactly what they thought of Mackintosh's Toffee. The prizes were awarded on composition, writing and general neatness and the age of the competitor was taken into consideration. Many prizes were offered equally to boys and girls, the chief prizes being a scholarship to the value of £30 a year for three years one to the most successful boy and another to the most successful girl competitor.
The response was great Over ten thousand boys and girls entered the competition. The scholarships were won by a boy in Scotland and a girl in the North of England. Both of them kept in touch with the firm for many years. The boy secured a B.Sc. and became a teacher whilst the girl went on to college and became Secretary to a Cabinet Minister. Every child who sent in an essay and was not successful in received a certificate, on which the child's name appeared in gold lettering.

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