Probably Promotion

If Duke Nukem Forever is released in 2008, everyone who comments on this post* will get a free, RETAIL game from me.

I’m not sure what the buzzword for this type of advertising is but it seems to be coming up more and more. It all basically follows the same formula: if event X (outside of the company’s control) then free (or discounted) Y. In the above example, if Guns N’ Roses releases Chinese Democracy this year, Dr. Pepper will give away free drinks. During last year’s World Series, Taco Bell offered a free taco to everyone if a base was stolen. This wasn’t the first time they used such a promotion. In a more localized setting, Pizza Pizza offers every ticket holder at a Raptors game a free pizza slice if they score 100 points. This has caused some odd reactions during some blowout games.

In some ways, these kinds of promotions can be regarded as gambling: there’s a prize and it’s dependent on chance. I wonder if there are any legal implications? The payoff for the marketer, of course, is that if the chance event doesn’t happen the company gets free advertising. On the flip side, if it does happen I’m sure numerous statisticians were employed to crunch the numbers to ensure that the possible risk is still worth the benefit. So even if they have to pay, the cost is minimized by the advertising and side-purchases it brought them (a single taco isn’t going to fill you up. Want a drink and fries with that?) I’m also sure that numerous lawyers were used to ensure there were appropriate outs and loopholes to ease the potential damage. There’s always a catch.

That said, I figure I’m not above self promotion. I can get in on the act. If Duke Nukem Forever is released in 2008, everyone who comments on this post* will get a free, RETAIL game from me. Make sure you leave your email address (will not be shown.)

  • * Before the comments are closed, which is usually about 30 days or at my own discretion.
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