America Loves Free Stuff

Vote For Free Stuff

After you vote, make sure to run by Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to receive your free tall coffee, free scoop of ice cream, and free star shaped doughnut with ‘patriotic sprinkles’ in exchange for showing them your “I Voted” sticker.

Why are so many companies so eager to give you free stuff in exchange for doing your civic duty?

Why not?

If you’ve got the cash for it, nothing generates more word of mouth buzz than a free product giveaway.

In addition to being a good bit of PR for the company, since they can claim to be supporting the American democratic system, it’s also a great way to get people in store and trying a product of your choice.

In fact, I’m surprised more companies haven’t jumped on this bandwagon. If there’s one thing Americans like more than political debates and showing off their ability to vote, it’s waiting in line for free stuff. We’ll gladly trade twenty minutes of our time for two-dollar donuts, or walk five blocks out of the way for a free coffee, because it’s free dammit, and you can’t pass up an opportunity like that.

Free Taco Bell

Taco Bell has been the master of the free product giveaway for years, having promised to give away tacos to every man, woman and child in America if a certain, likely event happens during the World Series.

This year, it was a stolen base that triggered the free giveaway, and guess what? During game one, Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett stole second base, and thousands of Taco Bell fans across the country cheered for reasons entirely unrelated to the outcome of the game.

So whether it’s presidential races or stolen bases, giving away free stuff will always be a popular way to drive in-store traffic, so don’t expect the offers to dry up any time soon.

The Good:

  • Free product giveaways are a relatively inexpensive way to get people in-store.
  • Event gives a platform for PR messaging.
  • High Word of Mouth buzz.

The Bad:

  • Must be done on a nationwide scale to garner full press coverage.

The Future:

  • Free product giveaways for all kinds of events allow companies to test out new product, boost in-store sales, and offer a friendly gift to deserving (and eager) customers.

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