If people have said, “It doesn’t take much to make you happy,” the makers of Dixie Cup paper plates and cups have an offer for you.
Its contest, “ A Lot on Your Plate,” aims to help make life in these cloistered coronavirus times a little better by gifting contestants with items big and little they say would make their lives more enjoyable.
Since mid-May, Dixie Cup has pledged to provide eight people with “bespoke” gifts worth up to $10,000. But the heart of the contest may be the more middling-sized amounts, like the 300 people who will get gifts worth up to $500, and the 4,000 others who are going to get Dixie products before the contest ends July 6.
So far, there have been 10,255 #offmyplate Instagram video or photo submissions.
“Please help this 67-year old lady with a window installation of an air conditioning unit I can plunk myself in front of,” reads one entreaty that is attached to a photo of an indoor thermostat reading 91 degrees.
“A nice mani/pedi would be nice to take a little stress away,” reads another.
The competition's aim to ease everyday stresses grew out of the insight that during the pandemic, according to social media listening firm Sysomos, there’s been a 27% increase in dishwashing complaints on social media, probably because in stay-at-home mode, households are creating more dirty dishes.
Dixie’s solution to that is, of course, the luxury of paper plates and cups.
“We didn’t have a good benchmark to guess what response to this contest would be,” says Bradley Hamilton, the senior brand manager for Dixie Cups, which is a unit of Georgia-Paciific. He says the brand has seen a small uptick in sales but solid consumer reaction on social media.
This is not a contest with the budget of the Publishers Clearing House giveaways of the past.
But it has a homey touch that fits well with the idea of using disposable dinnerware and cups on occasion, even if the occasion is a worldwide pandemic.
“This is not an ad so much as it’s an act of understanding,” says Hamilton, theorizing brands have to be careful advertising in this fragile environment. “It’s an uncertain time to be talking about any product these days.”