Back in July, Starbucks ran a promotion on Facebook, to introduce their newly debuted ice cream flavors. Most Facebook users are familiar with Facebook Apps - not all of which are well-known for being conducive to productivity. Like the SuperPoke, for example, which enables users to send virtual high-fives, or throw virtual sheep at their Facebook friends. Starbucks, however, took things out of the virtual realm and gave participants the opportunity to send a coupon for a free pint of ice cream to a friend. 800 pints an hour, for a total of 280,000 pints of ice cream. I'd rather someone send me a coupon for a free pint of Java Chip Frappuccino, rather than having a e-sheep thrown at me, wouldn't you?
Doritos did things the other way around - they rewarded customers with online prizes. The idea was that you'd pick up a bag of chips, then head home, and the webcam on your computer would act as a scanner of sorts, enabling you to view a virtual concert in 3-D. Added bonuses like that might be just the thing to draw in customers who were about to go for the competitor's offering.