I *Heart* Free Stuff

May 12, 2009 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

Everyone loves a freebie. In Japan, if you look in the right places you’ll find all kinds of free stuff — tissue packs in train stations, makeup tubes in department stores, food samples in supermarkets. And now, fashion magazines are getting in on the action with ‘furoku,’ name-brand freebies.

It ranges from a cute pouch or tote to a mirror or pocket calendar. It’s neatly stuffed in a corrugated box in the middle of a magazine and a picture of it is shown on the cover.

Of course, it’s a strategy to get more women to buy the magazine as opposed to simply perusing through it at the bookstore.

I don’t know about you but I love the idea of getting more than I bargained for. Last winter, I went overboard on free-shipping and two-for-one deals. And even though I spent more than usual, I still felt like I was on the winning side. I guess that’s the psychology of it: making the customer feel good about their purchase.

Magazine companies take painstaking consideration when choosing their freebie product. They want something both fashionable and useful to the consumer. That’s why bags — lunch packs, pencil pouches, shopping totes, etc. — are the most common items. And because the industry is so competitive, you’ll find more and more magazines dishing out stuff to stay in the race.

American magazine share a similar notion by inserting perfume scents on advertisement edges. But it certainly doesn’t compare to stuff you can actually use.

Hopefully they’ll learn from their Japanese counterparts: Free is good! (^o^)/


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May 2009


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