Eric's note: This article is about product giveaways on game and other TV shows.
A current question is, "How good are merchandise give-aways?" The answer lies in the handling. Too many ad agencies and p.r. men have misused the method. They've taken this single facet of an overall promotion and called it a complete campaign.
WHERE AGENCIES GO WRONG...They arrange a give-away for a small account and feel they're doing a full publicity job for him. Actually, give-away campaigns can be of value only if they're part and parcel of an overall program. By themselves, they're invariably a waste of merchandise, money and effort.
WHEN TO USE GIVE-AWAYS...They're for the manufacturer with distribution on a national (or almost national) scale, who still can't afford his own air-time. If the product is advertised in other media, and if there is a working product publicity program in effect, to consumer and trade, then you may safely add the give-away phase and hope for good results.
HOW TO DO IT...Use shows only in areas where you have distribution. Supply local retailers with window streamers, counter cards, newspaper mats, to tie-in store with product "as seen on." Don't rely on the 25-word air plug...help promote the show to the public; in return, it will build interest in your product.