Coming home yesterday I was first confronted by a guy in a fish outfit. As I tried to walk past him he thrust a jar of NEW JOHN WEST SPREADABLE TUNA into my hand. I walked on across Flinders Street Station and a hoard of Neighbours extras and out of work foot models swarmed about dressed all in blue. From a guy who looked like he could have brought a muffin in the background of the café in Summer Bay I got not one but two bottles of NIVEA BODY - SMOOTH CARE LOTION. I had almost gotten to my platform when a smiling idiot motioned for me to take my head phones off. I thought they wanted me to buy a doctor but turned out she was just canvassing for donations to Médecins Sans Frontières.
Just traveling to and from the office, I get at least two offers of free stuff per week and daily propositioning from various charities and credit card bootleggers. As a trained and practicing marketer I like to think that I’m immune but you can’t help but be influenced by the launch campaigns and trials that are so commonplace today. I foolishly included the question “Do you enjoy receiving free items?” in a questionnaire I ran as part of a third year investigation. What I wanted to ask was “How much does free stuff influence your purchasing habits?” but instead I got a load of positive responses who some how thought the question was a veiled offer and were now expecting giveaway items. Basically, even if you don’t know what it is or if you want it you’ll still take a handout as a moment ago you were a loser with nothing but now, worst case scenario, you’re a loser with something.
Before you go, there is a point to all this. First, the obvious revelation “everyone likes to get presents”. And B, if you see a dude dressed up as a giant tuna run the other way as NEW JOHN WEST SPREADABLE TUNA is nothing more than 1970s fish paste in a new coat of paint.