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Games People Play

Ideas to keep them playing along.

Ideas to keep them playing along.

McDonald's is good at it. The California State Lottery has perfected the art. But the big guys aren't the only ones who can play games. You can, too.

Devising a successful contest, game or sweepstakes accomplishes three important objectives: It attracts new customers, rewards them for patronizing your business and encourages repeat purchases. Games are also a great way to distinguish yourself from your competition, says Tim O'Meara, president of Creative Promotional Solution Inc., a sales promotion agency in Marietta, Georgia.

Although most of Creative Promotional Solution's clients are large retailers, O'Meara says games and contests can be scaled down to cut costs. However, before you implement a game or contest, you'll need to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a lawyer specializing in games and promotions, or your secretary of state's office to check out the FTC guidelines governing different types of promotions. Equally important is making sure the name you give your contest or game isn't trademarked.

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This article was originally published in the January 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Games People Play.

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