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Sometimes Even The Big Boys Get It Right

Saturday morning. Sleeping in. Food Network. Yeah... I noticed a TV ad for an Osteoporosis preventative (don't remember the name now). Basically your typical drug ad - half disclaimer. But at the end, they made an offer for a free month (maybe it was a week) sample. Call direct. Brilliant! Imagine the implications:
  1. The company will be able to measure the effectiveness of their ads. If they use a different number on different networks, they'll even be able to compare the networks against each other. But at the very least they'll know if anybody us paying attention.
  2. By sampling they'll be able to penetrate deeper into the market - reaching people who may not have been ready to buy - but who will take a free lunch. And if the sample is a positive experience, many will wind up buying.
  3. Finally, by asking interested persons to contact the company directly they'll wind up building a massive database of people who are interested. This is like earning interest on their ads...because at some point they can stop running the ads and continue following up with the leads they generated via mail, email, phone, etc. Much much cheaper.
Amazing how such a small change can make such a drastic impact. Why doesn't everyone do this? Ego. That's it. The fancy suited execs in the board room on Park and the uber-cool ad execs over on Madison look down on advertisements like that - and there's virtually no chance of winning an award if your ad calls for something cheesy like a free sample. But outside of the big city, the rest of America still has to finance their marketing budget with the results it delivers - and free samples are definitely a good way to go. Nice to see it done properly from the big players occasionally.