Interview With Mark Bowness Of Big British Giveaway

At Loquax we get to see a lot of different new sites and new competition ideas. One that caught our eye recently was Big British Giveaway – a forthcoming daily prize site that allows brands/retailers/sites/individuals to get themselves in front of a captive audience for 24 hours. A number of days have already been bought – including one by affiliate favourites Prezzybox! What makes ‘Giveaway more intriguing is that the man behind it, Mark Bowness, is launching in The USA and Australia at the same time.

Mark is no stranger to “big ideas” so I caught up with him to find out more – here’s what he has to say!

1. Tell Me A Little About Yourself?

Some would say I am a dreamer, no, literally, the would. I am an entrepreneur who loves coming up with the most crazy random ideas in order to see whether they can be turned into reality. Most people sit at the pub and discuss, ‘what if ideas’. I am the type of guy who discusses them and then risk everything in order to see if I can turn them into reality.

My first ‘big idea’ was a business called I leased a 200 acre island in Fiji which had nothing on it. I built a website that enabled people to sign up and become a ‘virtual tribe members’, online these ‘tribe members’ voted on what they wanted to see happen on the island, what they wanted to build and how they wanted to work with the Fijians, members could then go and visit the island and get involved in building and developing the eco-village. Tribewanted was featured in the media around the world including ‘Good Morning America’, the ‘Today Show’ and ‘The New York Times’, it was even featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning!’ Tribewanted was filmed for 18 months and became a 5 part prime time BBC2 show.

2. What’s The Big British Giveaway All About?

Big British Giveaway is a daily giveaway site. Every single day, in 10 cities, in 2012, businesses will offer a product as a giveaway. In order to enter the giveaway the public have to like the brand on Facebook, Follow the brand on Twitter and engage with the brand all over the web. This means that, for your chosen 24 hour period, an online social army of brand champions will be raising your profile to all their friends, family and followers which will leave a lasting legacy of a positive digital footprint about your brand, online.

3. How Can Retailers/Affiliates Get Involved With ‘Giveaway?

Quite easily, all you have to do is head over to, select your city and your chosen day and reserve your giveaway day. Simple. Once you have done this we will send you an email asking you to answer a small number of questions and we will use the answers to create your giveaway day text which you will approve before you go live.

4. What’s In It For Them?

Most businesses are on Facebook or Twitter but they either don’t know what to do with these social media profiles or they find it hard to know how to attract a significant audience. Once a brand reserves their giveaway day we will create a specific campaign designed to the needs of your business – you may want to increase the number of Twitter followers you have, or the number of likes that you have on Facebook, you may even want 100’s of people to send out a tweet with your twitter profile link in it – we can do any of these and more!

On your giveaway day your campaign will go live and your brand will be seen by 1000’s of people across the internet, enabling you to reach potential new clients, attracting new followers to your Twitter and new fans to your Facebook, we can even ask people to enter their email it your email database. The members of the public who like, follow or enter their email address want to because they like your brand and therefore you will have gained a targeted audience who you can promote your products to and turn into customers.

5. What’s The Cost/Catch?

Big British Giveaway is a seriously affordable marketing platform. Day 1 is £1 and prices increase by only £1 per day. So, the 1st January is £1, 2nd January is £2 and the 31st December is £366 which is the most that any business will be able to pay next year.

Furthermore, on your giveaway day, alongside a description of your company and information of the product that you are going to giveaway you will also have the opportunity to offer a discount code. With all the exposure that you are getting on your giveaway day you will be able to maximise this opportunity and turn these eyeballs into customers by offering an incentive of a small discount.

6. What Happens If You Don’t Fill The Calendar On A Given Day?

Big British Giveaway launched in the UK only a matter of weeks ago, the American version launched 2 months ago and already we have sold over 1000 giveaway days. I am confident that with the PR exposure that is about to ramp up, we will sell all giveaway days. Furthermore, the cost of the days are so cost effective that it simply makes sense for business owners to make the most of this opportunity.

7. You’re Launching In USA/Australia/UK at the same time – Isn’t That A Bit Mad?

Yes, it is slightly! We launched in the USA (Big American Giveaway) which went down really well, selling over 1000 days within 2 months. As this success has grown and developed we have had enough interest from business owners and the public in both the UK and Australia (Big Aussie Giveaway) requesting that we launch in each of these countries and so we did. The reality is that I have a great team around me and it is not that much more effort launching in three countries as it is launching in one! Furthermore, whilst we have launched in all 50 states in the USA, we are initially launching in 10 cities in the UK and 4 locations in Australia so we are going to build these two countries slowly but surely. I am confident that we can build a strong, successful platform that we can roll out in a number of countries, well, that is the dream anyway!

8. What’s Your Top Tip For Start Ups?

Never fear failure. I have this belief that, in houses across the UK, there are latent future business leaders who will could make world changing products if only they were not afraid of failure. If a business is launched that does not work out, learn from the experience and come up with a new idea, use your experience to improve the next idea and keep going until you create the business that breaks through, if you keep going long enough, you will succeed.

A big thanks to Mark for taking part in the interview! 2012 promises to be a busy year for Mark and I’ll be watching with interest, from a competition point of view and business point of view, how the Big Giveaway sites develop.

To find out more head on over to Big British Giveaway.