Jan 8, 2008

Premiums? What balls!

Ah the never-ending irony that is advertising. If you’ve ever worked at an agency or gone to an event, you’ve had the luxury of getting handed one of a wide assortment of “premiums”. I use quotations and employ the use of said terminology as lightly as possible because the myriad of shit people will stand in line to get free for is just alarming. $1 watches, low quality t-shirts plastered with company logos, mugs you’ll never use, five use umbrellas that break afterwards, glowing thingamajigs and buzzing boppers, the list of inane bullshit that’s handed out reaches ludicrous levels and guess what, sometimes we design them, and other times we simply look through a big book of bullshit, look at something that can have our logo on it and make the premium magic happen.

That time is taken out to do this is testament to one single thing though, as lame as these shits are, they work. Know how I know? I still own a pair of dominoes with various Cigarette company logos on it. Some beer company logo still lingers on a Frisbee that’s in some closet somewhere and the shit t-shirt I use to wash my car with has more logos than a NASCAR automobile.

It’s the idiotic power of branding via free trade. That means you give people free shit and they will always try to look for a use for it. Maybe some nostalgia is embedded into the very fabric of the thing and often times, mementos spring from the oddest places. A shitty lighter someone used to light their first joint, the bag of goodies that you reach into to get that condom you thought you didn’t have, a glow in the dark tattoo you never put on and never threw away because you just know that one day you’re going to put it on even if the chemical reactions of the broken down components could melt asphalt.

“Premiums” are idiotic if you ask me in the sense that they clutter, litter and pollute the surroundings they touch, but they’re brilliant at times if you’re looking for permanence. Don’t believe me, then check old drawers and see if some random ass sticker is not on it that your son or daughter put there and that you never took off because you thought it cute or you thought it’d do more damage to take it off. Need a cap? No worries, you have a wide array of head attire to don if you so happen to need the cap to paint, mow the lawn or something else like that. You say, hey, it’s a piece of shit but it works and are pushing a brand while you work your ass off, or hang out on the beach or something other.

But how premium are premiums? Well seeing as I have access to the good books of premium land, I can tell you what that thing you got for free cost to make. So you have a t-shirt at an event? Guess how much it cost.

$5? ………………………………..Nope.

$3? ………………………………..Nope.

You can actually get t-shirts for little over a dollar if you buy the right amount and guess what else? It can be even cheaper if you look hard enough for suppliers and have enough t-shirts to make.

How bout them glasses your son loves to wear that they gave you at that walkathon? Put the price on them?

$3? $2? $1?

Nein mein friends, less than a dollar for those piece of shit glasses and that’s the case with most premiums. They give them out for free for a reason, because it’s dirt cheap and it’s branding any way you look at it. And you’re helping put forth that brand.

So now look at that cute little cap, or paper weight. And I mean REALLY look at it. See it for what it is? Good. Now dust it off and keep it there cuz you still get good memories from it and that’s what really counts.



Eugen Suman said...

every word is true. stumbled it.

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