1. A Dollar For a Sample? Get Out of Here!

    HERE’S something you don’t see every day.

    It’s a sample box of Cheez-Its. I put a Toolie Bird by it for scale.

    There are 3 pouches inside. Each pouch features a different flavor of Cheez-It baked snack crackers. Asiago, Colby, and Romano.

    I had to buy this thing at the grocery store. They charged me a dollar for it. A dollar!

    Folks, I remember a time when samples were given out for free. Free! Or they came in the mail. And if you lived in a mid-sized apartment complex and you got to the mailboxes before anyone else, you earned yourself 22 little travel-size tubes of Aqua-Fresh.

    So what has happened to our society that we now think it’s okay to pay for samples?

    When did this happen? Where did we go wrong? And what has happened to the people at Sunshine that they now expect us to pay for samples? And can we get a close up of the net weight of the entire box…?

    No…?

    …Okay, well, if you look close, the net weight of the entire box – of the contents of all three pouches – is 2.31 ounces! That’s less than one lousy ounce per pouch!

    And on top of that, to add insult to injury, after you’ve spent your hard-earned money…they want you to go onto something called Facebook and vote for your favorite flavor! Which by the way is Asiago. Also…? There’s a little card in the box telling you to do this – but no coupon. Traditionally, your samples would come with a coupon to further entice you to buy this new product. I mean, they’re already putting that card in there. Would it have killed them to make one side of it a coupon? I sure like italics, don’t I?

    So basically we’re – you and me, pal – we’re doing all their research and development for them! We’re paying for the sample! We’re eating the sample – which I might add we paid for! We’re voting for Asiago! We’re doing it all for them!

    I can remember a time, too, not so very long ago, when these sorts of decisions were made by a focus group! An efficient, unfailingly accurate focus group! A focus group where they paid you to participate! A focus group that when the research company called you and once you found out how much it was for, you lied and said, “Yes, I drink bottled water on a regular basis.” A focus group in some office building down by the airport that you hoped they overbooked so when you got there, they took you out into the hall and just gave you fifty bucks to beat it. But even if they didn’t, you still made seventy-five bucks for spending ninety minutes discussing the upcoming regional test market launch of Dannon Water and turned red when you were admonished by the jackass in charge in front of eleven other strangers that if you didn’t start talking more, they weren’t going to pay you at all, and then when you did start talking more and said you didn’t think Dannon Water would sell because people associate Dannon with yogurt, not water, you got a dirty look.

    Where was I going with this…? Oh yes, a bit of trivia for you, there – Dannon once tried to launch bottled water, believe it or not. I managed to put the kibosh on that little endeavor, though with my astute yogurt remark.  Also, vote Asiago.

    Posted by on March 24, 2011, 2:51 AM.

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