Making a big splash at a crucial time means having a platform that can cope with a high number of visitors. To help Carling execute their latest campaign, we explored technology that would deliver reliability, security and cost efficiency.
Molson Coors is one of the UK’s biggest brewers, and in 2016 their lead brand Carling wanted to tap into their audience’s excitement for football’s European Championships.
To do this, we helped implement a campaign that would allow people to buy a big screen TV for the same number of pounds that the screen measured in inches (£50 for a 50” TV). It was called Pay Per Inch (PPI).
Promoted with a paid advertising strategy, the PPI campaign was expected to generate a lot of traffic for the site in a very short period of time, so Carling needed a solution that would cope with the load, remove the chance of cheating and ensure cost efficiency.
Before any work was started, our development and projects teams conducted a risk assessment audit to understand the challenge ahead. From this, we identified potential technologies and then tested them under various scenarios and sample loads to understand if they were suitable.
Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Lambda was the first part of our architecture. It’s an event-driven technology that only runs code when a user event (such as a mouse click) happens and can scale instantly to meet the necessary demand. By using it, we could increase flexibility, secure cost efficiency and reduce build time.
To remove the likelihood of users cheating or hacking the site, we made use of WebSockets, which ensured that none of the functionality to claim a TV existed in the codebase. At the start of each round, a unique payload was pushed through WebSockets to allow those specific TVs to be claimed. The endpoints automatically expired as soon as all of the stock for that round was claimed.
Additionally, WebSockets also helped us make sure that TVs weren’t oversold. Once a sale began, WebSockets were enabled and the remaining stock level was displayed along a ‘buy’ button. When the stock hit zero the button was automatically disabled.
We’re extremely pleased with the results from the Pay Per Inch campaign, having received a record number of entrants and overall exposure. The time Neon dedicated and the routes they went down to ensure our campaign ran consistently, meant that we could have every confidence in executing a successful and seamless campaign.
The campaign ran across six days and Carling received a total of 37,968 entries, making it one of the most successful activations the brand has ever run.
During this time, there were no periods of downtime and all 900 TVs were fairly distributed to the winners. It’s estimated that it would have cost upwards of 12x more to run the campaign using a different architecture to the one we devised.
Want to be at the top of the search ranks? How about a website that’ll give your audience a great experience? Or maybe you’re looking for a campaign that’ll drive more leads? Get in touch to find out how we can help.