Fusion USSD Airtime Competition

Fusion, a FMCG Brand, found that a mobile platform with a viral element around winning airtime over USSD was an effective way to increase in store purchases.

Mobile Marketing campaigns that spur immediate purchase and are viral in nature provide huge value over other campaigns.



Working with Whalleys (Agency) and Always Active Technologies (Digital Mobile Partner) Fusion first looked at packaging by designing eye catching labels announcing the competition with special “gold caps” for the bottles.

The entry mechanic was USSD due to its familiarity within the broad target market of mid to lower LSMs. (Airtime purchasing and “Please Call Me’s”)

Airtime was the incentive as it perfectly matched relevant research on the South African mobile landscape:

80% of urban South Africans have prepaid accounts.
The most popular cellphone banking transaction that South Africans carry out is the purchase of airtime. (74% of people)
Consumers dialled the USSD number and entered the barcode found on the reverse side of the label. Valid entries were entered into the weekly draw and winners received their airtime vouchers via a congratulatory SMS.

The Results


Campaign value was incredibly high and this was noted by consumers who stood a chance of winning R5 or R10 worth of airtime through making a R6.99 purchase.

Research showed that consumers searched for the “gold cap” competition bottles and have since asked when the next competition will be.

WOM (Word of Mouth) was huge at campaign start as fewer entries meant more winners and this increased the viral element.

USSD Stats

Over the 4 month campaign Fusion received 1 563 185 successful entries with 485 848 unique entries.

They created a database of customers and increased national sales by 8% compared to the previous year.

  1. Duration: September through to December 2012
  2. Unique entries: 485 848
  3. Total entries: 1 563 185
  4. Airtime rewards: R5, R10
  5. Busiest Entry Days: Thursday, Wednesday
  6. Quietest Entry Days: Sunday, Monday
  7. Participation Growth: September 4%, October 24%, November 32%, December 39%
  8. Busiest Days: 20 December, 29 December