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Giveaway Mania

Freebies sure are popular these days.

Today's Election Day, and if there wasn't incentive enough to vote, several companies are giving away stuff in order to make the expected long lines worth it. USA Today published an article on the topic, but there are several sites that list all the places that are giving out products. Most are food-related (Starbucks, Ben & Jerry's, Chick-Fil-A, Krispy Kreme), but you can even get a flu vaccination.

Ice cream joints and Starbucks have promotional days often, meant to entice new customers to the store and hope they'll purchase something in conjunction with the item or come back. This has never worked for me, since I'm not the type that's gonna go out and buy coffee and ice cream often. Most of these campaigns are spread word-of-mouth, often assisted from viral videos, ads on Facebook and the occasional New York Times placement. They generate great buzz (see Kevin's entry below), but do these promotions directly translate to sales?

The funniest part of the whole "Giveaway-It's Election Day!" mentality is that it's actually against federal law to provide monetary incentives to get people to vote. Whoops! So now you don't even need to vote to pick up a free cup of coffee.

It's a good thing I don't need to show proof, since my polling place doesn't have stickers...


Note: Most of the stores listed don't have locations anywhere

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Reader Comments (2)

While I applaud company’s like Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s and Krispy Cream for encouraging voting this election day with offers of freebies, it would have been a more sincere gesture (and not quite so obvious a PR stunt) had they brought their goodies to the many waiting in line to vote instead of offering it at their store locations.They may actually have gotten a few people who appreciate a cup-a-Jo and a donut more than they do voting to show up at their polling place and cast that very important vote. This assumes it's legal for them to do so - those federal election laws can take all the fun out of election day!

November 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Schiller

Janet, that's a good point. It also would have made it a lot easier to get the freebies.

November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Schwartz

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