Sales Promotion Giveaways: Fun or frolic?

IMG_3747One of the most fun things (in my humble opinion) you can do in marketing is Sales Promotions. I know, this is a contentious thing to say, but really, if you think about it, Sales Promotions can be so much more creative than other forms of marketing comms. It seems to get a bad rep from academics… although so many companies use it!

One particularly perplexing area of sales promotions to me are giveaways… and the immediate question of what makes a good giveaway. I remember having long discussions with students about what makes a good giveaway when I taught Sales Promotions over a decade ago. Thus, I find it funny to see what companies actually give away…

Intuitively I always assumed that giveaways should be somewhat linked to the product or brand originally purchased. So a restaurant meal with a “giveaway” wine seems like a logical connection. A sample mouthwash with toothpaste equally… However, often there seems no logical connection between the two (and arguably those giveaways are more memorable!). Like McDonalds in Hong Kong  recently gave a body wash sample (see above) when purchasing a breakfast meal… Another example, involved me buying toothpaste and I got Oyster Sauce for free.

I had a look on Google Scholar, and there seems to be really little research out there, what is out there is rather dated. So I can’t really find any information about product/promotion congruency… but I wonder which one makes for better giveaways?

Did you come across some remarkable giveaways? What do you think is more important… congruency or maybe the surprise effect?

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