Have you ever been to a large event such as a football game, festival or market and been given a free sample?
You’ve been targeted.
This form of marketing is used as an alternative approach to the marketing mix and traditional methods.
It is very common for free samples to be given out as it almost removes all sense of risk when trying a new product. Red Bull have done this frequently in the past at sporting events, busy areas such as Bondi Beach and shopping malls. It is even more common and Red Bull sponsored events such as their diverse range of extreme sports. This is a concentrated population of their target market all in one place. A marketers dream.
If you walk through a shopping mall there will quite often be free samples. A great case of this would be a makeup artist giving out a free application in the hope you will buy the product. This is another example of lifestyle marketing where a brand has reached its target market in large numbers through anyone who is in that shopping mall.
While it may seem simple, this approach can be very effective in having a very specific target and not just handing out a waste of free samples.
It has numerous benefits such as brand awareness and word-of-mouth which have a great flow-on effect that can boost sales immensely.
While it may not be something to avoid and watch out for, it is something, from a consumers point of view, that has a deeper purpose than merely a free sample.
K.E. Clow and D. Baack, (2018) Integrated Advertising, promotion, and Marketing Communications:, 8th edition, Pearson.