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How Did the PCH Prize Patrol Get Started?


Question: How Did the PCH Prize Patrol Get Started?
Answer: Today, the PCH Prize Patrol is such a well-known image that it's impossible to imagine PCH without it. But the PCH Prize Patrol was just an experiment at the beginning, and Debbie Holland, Executive Vice President at Publishers Clearing House, shared the story of how close it came to never taking off.

Debbie told me how two of the members of Publishers Clearing House's advertising department were looking for new ways to create interesting television commercials featuring their winners.

Debbie said that PCH's winners were great people, "but they weren't actors." When it was time to film the commercials, they'd often seem wooden in front of the cameras. So the advertising department got a great idea – what if they filmed people at the moment they were surprised with their big win?

The first Prize Patrol visit was filmed with a couple of people and a jittery hand-held camera, and if they had had a shy or reserved winner, it could also have been the last. But it turned out that the winners' enthusiasm and excitement was contagious when caught on film. Debbie said that the wife just shrieked with excitement, and the focus groups who saw the winning moment captured on tape absolutely loved it.

With the success of that first filming, the PCH Prize Patrol was born, and its fame has continued to grow ever since.

Want to know what the Prize Patrol is doing now? Visit the Prize Patrol Live website.

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