Posts Tagged ‘free ice cream’

Free Ice Cream and Five Other Truly Evil Marketing Tricks

January 12, 2011

Spoke at Refresh Austin last night about the evils of free ice cream, among other things. Great group of folks and spirited discussion on fighter brands, where marketers should draw the ethical line, and more. The presentation’s here. Thanks Refresh for the warm welcome and great conversations!

Yes, the presentation’s linked in a kludgey way instead of being elegantly embedded. Seems to be one of the drawbacks to being hosted on WordPress instead of on my own domain. So this is a fine time to announce that, as time permits, I’m migrating this blog over to I’m doing so in part for technical reasons – the ability to embed video or slides, for example. I’m doing so in part for business reasons, as the migration makes for a better SEO and visibility play. And I’ll also make changes for thematic reasons. I’m a marketer, so marketing will continue to be a dominant theme. But I’d like the freedom to be a little more personal than ‘egghead marketing’ allows me to be. So look for a few changes in how the blog looks, what I call it, and the range of content.


Free Ice Cream!

July 15, 2009


A friend who used to be in the apartment-leasing business tells me that a common trick is to give away free ice cream.

What’s tricky about that? Well, it’s not a cone. Not a little pint of Ben & Jerry’s with a wooden spoon. People come in expecting something small to eat on the spot. Instead, they’re given a gallon of premium ice cream.

Apartment-hunters that see more than a few complexes remember mostly a blur of formica and amenities. The last apartment viewed is the most easily remembered. By giving them ice cream, my friend ensured that her apartment complex was the last one they toured before going straight home. Because leaving a gallon of ice cream in the back seat while you go from complex to complex can get messy.

Yeah, it’s a little bit evil and I’m not sure I advocate being so manipulative. But can you say “giving people ice cream is an evil thing to do” with a straight face? Officer, arrest that woman, she gave me ice cream!

As marketers we focus on driving awareness, consideration or purchase. Are there other behaviors you want your customers to engage in? Sharing your content, talking about your product or even just going straight home?