I once wrote a catchy advertising slogan for a major New York retailer looking to reinforce its low-priced marketing sales agenda. The words: “As Close to Free as Everything Can Be.” Now that the Black Friday retail stampede is over with sales results setting new records, it is interesting to note how the most powerful word in retail sales advertising and marketing has again had such a successful run this holiday season.
Free Shipping, Buy One, Get One Free, Free this and free that. Free, Free, Free. Watch Free Movies. Admission Free. From Wal-Mart to Kohl’s to Toys R Us to Macy’s to Bloomingdales, from national chains to local shops, not surprisingly, the holiday shopping season is off and running with a Free for All attitude. Copywriters of the world know that if there’s a way to work in the word ‘Free’, you almost can’t miss. Even words that suggest getting something for virtually nothing can add up to a powerful ring at the cash register. 0% financing is a car dealer’s message. I saw one online retailer use the words “Scrooge-pricing” to symbolize how cheap their products are.
Take a look at all the ‘Free’ offers that are out there during this time of the year. Marketers have put a lot of effort to work this most powerful word into their sales messages. You’re free to look…and free to save.