Earlier this week, Quillers pointed me to a couple of online advent calendars with giveaways: those for Headline Publishing and Random House. These are well worth visiting if you fancy having a go at winning free books - and the Random House one offers chocolates as well!
But it's not just publishers who are using this promotional technique. Dorset Cereals, purveyor of high-end muesli-type nosh, have got one too with prizes including clothes and crockery. So has What Digital Camera, for anyone interested in photography-related offers - although I was unimpressed when I checked this one out at 7.30 am today, and got a pop-up box telling me I was cheeky for clicking too early on the 2nd Dec box. I've left a comment so maybe they will sort out the problem.
When I got going on Google, I discovered that there are more of these calendars. Here are some other examples:
One for motorsport enthusiasts
One for people who like spa and beauty pampering-type treatments
One with media-type prizes related to Trance Around The World
Sweeties from Haribo (although you have to answer a question) (click on the second button on the right, under the Promotions heading)
And even one for Everton FC supporters (although I couldn't actually get the page to load this morning for some reason).
Heating product manufacturer Danfoss Randall (stay with me, folks) have put an interesting spin on their advent calendar. They are offering good prizes - today's is an M&S hamper, and others include iPods and digital cameras - but to enter, you have to answer a question about energy-efficient heating solutions. All answers can be found on their website, and winners will be picked at random from all those who answer correctly. (I just tested it out, and along with the question they offer a link to the page on their site where the answer can be found. Very user-friendly, I thought.) They're aiming for a bit of eco-education along with their profile-raising, so I think they deserve support: the link to the calendar is here.
If you know of any others, please let me know in the comments, and I'll add them to this post. Happy comping!
Edited to add: Quillers has kindly pointed out that more are listed at www.loquax.com. Some of these have money-off vouchers as prizes, rather than things you win outright, and others are local to a particular area, but do have a trawl if you feel in the mood.