I recently read a University of Bordeaux research study from waaaaay back in 2000. The study was to gauge the addictiveness of sugar compared to cocaine addiction. The title of the study was called Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward and you probably already guessed, sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
We can’t stop Halloween and the potential sugar addiction that kids may get, but we can sure be involved in the clean up! If there is anybody that should be leading the charge, it’s you, the local dentist.
Let’s get as much of the excess sugar off the streets as possible.
All you have to do are these four things:
- Download the complimentary campaign materials
- Decide on a prize
- Promote the campaign
- Donate the candy
Let’s unpack this and show you just how simple it will be to run.
We’ve created all the promotional materials that you’ll need to run the campaign. You can download the sweet swap materials at this link.
It’s not easy getting candy from a child. If you’ve forgotten, watch Jimmy Kimmel’s YouTube Halloween Prank where parents tell their children they ate all their kids’ candy.
If you are going to motivate kids to give up their excess candy you’ve gotta have a great prize. Some of the successful candy swap prizes are:
- A big prize drawing (a new bike or gaming gear)
- Cash in exchange for each pound of candy
- Coupons or discounts to local businesses that want to partner
- Tickets to the movies
- Oral hygiene kits and electric toothbrushes
- Xylitol products
Campaign tip: When the kids bring their candy in for the swap be sure to get a photo and post it to your social media channels. Here is a free patient photo HIPAA consent form if you don’t already have one.
In the downloadable marketing kit we’ve included the digital files for a set of social signs and a printable poster. All you have to do is send them over to your local print shop. There is also a set of digital images that you can post to your social accounts.
I would also recommend that you send out an email announcement to your patient database.
Campaign tip: Once the campaign is over, ask your dental website design company to create a page on your site titled “Community Engagement” or “Holiday Events” and load up all the photos taken during the campaign.
A great practice example of archiving community events is this pediatric dental practice in Colorado. Check out the gallery page which shows photos of their community involvement over the years.
We recommend sending your candy to a 501c3 organization that enables your practice to write off expenses. We’re not accountants. We don’t even pretend to be accountants on television. You’ll want to speak with a legitimate accountant about the tax benefits, but you should be able to write off some of the campaign costs.
We recommend Move America Forward which is a 501c3 organization that distributes candy in care packages to US troops stationed around the world. They collect 20-30 tons of candy each year that is shipped out.
You don’t have to do anything but ship the candy. No need to weigh it or sort it. The Move America Forward team takes care of all the logistics.
I spoke with Scott, the director of the campaign and he mentioned that the troops love the care packages. If the parents of the children that donate the candy are OK with sharing their address, the troops will often write back thanking the children.
Campaign tip: When you post your photos online make sure to use the hashtags #sweetswap and #halloweencandybuyback.
Running a Halloween candy sweet swap campaign is super simple and extremely effective at creating amazing social media content, connecting with your patients and community, and establishing yourself as an oral health leader.
Download the materials which include everything you need to turn Halloween into a creative dental marketing opportunity.
About the author
Adrian Lefler is a dental marketing expert and the vice president of My Social Practice. He lives in Draper, Utah, with his four super snarky kids, professional chef spouse, one awesome dog and one dumb dog.
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