Years ago I had an idea while walking down the aisle of a grocery store. Looking at the various kids breakfast cereals and the prizes they offered inside, it occurred to me that one day kids would open that box and find a DVD inside.
DVD's were becoming common at that time and burning your own was still very new. I figured in time it would happen. What a great way to distribute movies to kids than make them a prize inside the box?
DVD's are safe, too large to swallow and can provide enjoyment many times longer than a plastic or paper toy. They can be sealed in a plastic wrap and dropped into the box itself along with the tasty cereal.
The other day I was again in the market and saw where some distributors offer DVD's on the box, but you have to send in a coupon to get it. It reminded me of my original idea.
This is not a new approach to marketing. Cracker Jacks had been putting toy surprises inside their boxes of Carmel popcorn for decades. As a kid I bet you looked forward to the simple surprise in a box. I still do, though I'm more than often disappointed by the paper surprise now offered in the boxes.
Buy something, get something free is still one of the best marketing tools you can use. It's also a good distribution method for video content. Software companies use this approach as well. Go look in your local department store and I bet you will find a Netzero DVD free for the taking. Of course they give you the disc so you will sign up for the service. I guess that would be the reverse of the concept, get something free then buy something.
If you are a company that offers a product have you considered having a Surprise Inside? Perhaps a DVD? It would depend on your product but a free DVD as a companion prize could boost sales. Especially if the product is geared toward kids. If it's an adult product perhaps a demo dvd or tutorial would be better?
And if your product needs no such instruction then consider putting a few older public domain movies on DVD and offering them as an additional free item with the product. Buy the product, get a free movie!
If your store sells various items you can make products too. You could get inexpensive baskets from a local thrifty store, put in some candy, a packet of Hot Coco, one pack of popcorn, and your free movie. Wrap the baskets in cellophane and sell them for a few dollars as a gift basket or give them away as a promotional device. Call it a "Movie Night Special!"
Ok, Using the aforementioned marketing idea, you and I are going to make 10 promotional items for your business. This will be easy & fun, plus you have plenty of time to do it.
Step One: Go to your local dollar store and get 10 little plastic witch kettles like this one. You don't have to use a kettle, it can be a basket or any other container. But for the purpose of this item we'll use a kettle. Feel free to modify this idea!
Total cost: $10.00
Step Two: Right-Click on the witch image to the left and download it, then print 10. You can write something in the crystal ball she is behind. Get creative!
Something like, "We're brewing up a special deal for you!" or just "Happy Halloween from _____, enjoy the show!" You can write on the circle with your printer or just make copies and cut them out with scissors then hand write on them. Personalize them too with the receivers name for a special touch!
Step Three: Buy a box of Hot Coco Packets, and a box of Microwave Popcorn. Depending on how many packets come in a box you may have to buy two. Most of the Dollar Tree franchises have them for a buck. You want to end up with 10 of each. Total, about $2.00
You will also need a box of white paper DVD sleeves if you don't already have some.
Step Four: Choose & Download a movie from Prelinger archives:
House on Haunted Hill: The original Vincent Price horror movie. This movie is public domain: 2 gigs. Right click here and "Save Link As" the file to your hard drive. It will take a while to download.
Horror Express: Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee in a color classic! Public domain. 792 megs. Right click here and "Save Link As" the file to your hard drive
Night of the Living Dead: The all time classic zombie movie! Public Domain 3.8 Gigs. Right Click here and "Save Link As" the file to your hard drive. Will take time to download.
Grave of the Vampire: Classic vampire action! Color 1.4 Gigs. Public Domain. Right Click here and "Save Link As" the file to your hard drive.
All of the above movies are public domain. Many are over a gigabyte in size so expect them to take time to download depending on your Internet connection.
Now to prepare your promotion.
(1) Print and cut out the witch images on card stock. You can cut them into index card size. They will stick out of the kettle. Put one packet of coco, one packet of popcorn and some candy in each kettle with a card.
(2) Load one of the movies into your video editor. It is up to you how you want to design the movie. You can put a promotional "commercial" to run before the movie starts or before the menu comes up. Or you can just burn the movie to DVD.
This step depends on your creativity and how much time you want to put into the movie creation. I recommend if you put a "commercial" on the dvd, make it 2 minutes or less and have it run before the menu displays.
If you do not already have a promo, demo reel or some other video about your company, now is a good time to make one!
(3) Burn 10 movie DVDs onto blanks and label them, put them in paper sleeves. This is a gift so don't worry about hand writing the labels if you have to. The end users will appreciate the sentiment. If you intend to sell the item or really want to impress, then printing the DVD labels will be better.
(4) Put one DVD in each kettle and use cellophane to wrap up the "gift" so the card and what is inside can be seen. Each kettle has a pack of popcorn, a coco packet, the DVD, candy & card inside. You are giving your friend or client a "Movie Night Special" all put together in a nice way that is sure to impress anyone!
And it cost you less than 20 bucks. Probably less than $15 if you shopped around! Plus you get 10 happy clients with a smile. A great way to impress any potential customer.
How could you modify this idea for Thanksgiving? Baskets instead of kettles? Comedy instead of horror? Coffee instead of coco? It's up to you! Get creative, make a few and pass them out. Get your family involved making them. I bet they will still be talking about you well after Halloween. ;-)