Nov 17, 2009 at 07:27 PM
written by

How to Sponsor Free Stuff

Some sponsors will be looking to build goodwill by lining consumers pockets this holiday season.

No problem in that right? Wrong. There's a right way and a wrong way to sponsor product and cash giveaways.

The final tally for online marketing company's €100,000 free cash promotion: an angry mob of 5,000, 10 arrests, overturned cars, threatened legal action and 0 cash envelopes given away. Tons of publicity, sure, but likely not the best scenario for most healthy brands.

On the flip side, and on a much smaller scale, a New Jersey jeweler is building buzz and community goodwill, by discreetly spreading 30 pieces of jewelry totaling $2,700 around 20 Garden State towns in what it's calling a 'Finder's Keepers' Game.

Let's hope Jersey jewelry-seekers show a little more constraint than Parisian protesters. In the meantime, a few less-apparent-than-we-thought lessons for sponsoring free giveaways:

  • Disburse product, not cash. More memorable tie-back to your brand

  • Giveaway products in multiple places, not a single, central location

  • Vary the time of distribution

  • Create a credible call to action that rewards consumers for a given objective