Friday, September 21

The Summer of Give Aways

On this the last day of summer, I thought it would be fun to recap the best of the best of the summer in marketing.

There's not doubt that the summer was dominated by The Olympics, which I have more than covered on a series of posts.  But rather than create a laundry list of this summer's activities, I thought I'd point out a theme that emerged ... one that I personally have not seen before.

Full product giveaways.  Not sampling, but giving away full products for free!

My years of skin care marketing taught me that if you can get a consumer hooked on a product by giving them a small sample, then you've got an ROI to beat the bank.  Even all those lessons learned at Johnson & Johnson never taught me to give away full product though.  That's taking the consumer out of the market!  But sure enough, we saw a lot of it.  Here's only the pieces I know:

Trojan.  People in NYC lined up for blocks to get the brand's new vibrator.  Full size for free ... created quite the buzz (sorry, had to do it).

Ben & Jerry's.  The mobile ice cream truck made many a stop at office buildings around the country to give out ice cream for mid-day snack breaks.   Huge Twitter rage.

Lipton Iced Tea.  As a full fledged member of Klout, I received a bunch of single serve packets of the new flavor in the mail.  But not just one or two, a full dozen of them.  All the same flavor (a big miss there if you ask me).  Complete with an advertising campaign featuring Lady Antebellum.

Centrum Vitamins.  The brand's new line made its way to my doorstop with not one full size bottle but TWO!  What's the ROI on that?!?  Although I have to say that everyone in town was talking about it.

I guess Summer 2012 was the summer of give aways.  Couldn't tell you if any of them delivered any results, but I have to imagine that it's a sign of needing to up the ante in order to continue to compete for consumer attention. What's next ... cases of soda?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
Author, The Experience Effect series
Professor, NYU

PS - Join us for all the marketing chatter during this year's Emmy Awards on Sunday night, 9/23, at 6:30EST at #EmmyExp.

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