Friday, February 02, 2007

Gift With Purchase

In the US, gifts with purchase are usually limited to the makeup counter and fast food outlets. They're certainly important in those markets. I don't know a single woman who hasn't, at some time bought a lipstick, on an unguent because it came with a free set of makeup, purse, umbrella, perfume..... I'm sure that every child in America knows what a Happy Meal is, unless she has never seen television, nor been allowed to mix with other children. Where would McDonald's be without them? It's a pity that most US manufacturer premiums seem to be limited to cheap disposables or those bought from vintage tchotcke vendors on eBay.

In the UK, it's all about the gift with purchase, with everything. Every weekend, the Newsagents are chock full of free premiums offered by publishers. This Saturday alone, the London Times was giving away a free DVD of The Killing Fields with purchase of the newspaper, The Independent was giving away one of a series of banned books, Time Out London's Literary supplement was giving away a free book too. Glamour was giving away a free umbrella with the purchase of this month's magazine.

It's not limited to publishing. Branded premiums are available every day in grocery stores. PG Tips is currently giving away a free toy monkey in specially marked boxes of tea. It ties in with a new ad campaign, which pays homage to their old "monkeys' tea party" ads. They seem to be flying off the shelves. I've noticed some are up on eBay already.

This Web site gets about 100 hits a day, so I know there are readers out there. I'd love to hear from you. Have you ever bought something because there's a free gift with purchase? What was it? Am I one of the few swayed by these type of marketing ploys?

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