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March 02, 2005

Comments

jennifer rice

OK, ok, I've been overruled. :-)
My first impression was that it was a gimmick for BR to drive sales, without considering whether customers would actually want ice cream on March 2. But as I'm not a big ice-cream eater (even in the summer) I'm probably not the best person to critique this!

Darren Johnson

I thought it was strange too - then I printed off the coupon and added "drop by Baskin Robbins" to my calendar. I then told 3 other people about it before I stopped to think, "Is this exactly what Yahoo wanted? Who wouldn't talk to all their co-workers about free ice cream?" My flavor of choice - Prailines & Cream. Thanks for the heads-up!

Charles Martin

I went twice.. once at lunch to get my ice cream and then once after dinner for my wife to get hers. I ended up buying a scoop of another flavor to try and we also bought a couple of quarts of pre-packed ice cream (2 for $7 was cheap for Baskin Robbins).

However, the reason I comment is that I spoke to the manager about this offer. What he mentioned was that they were over their limit.

"Limit?"

"Yeah, each store is only supposed to give away 300 free scoops."

Did anyone see that wording on the Yahoo website or on the coupon saying "first 300 customers at each location receive free ice cream"?

This manager had done the smart thing and gave away the ice cream anyway. After all, the point of the promotion is to drum up new business at B-R and it worked with us (at least as long as the quarts are on sale). I feel for the Yahoo members that went to a location that was sticking to the limit and had stopped giving away the free ice cream. Imagine the bad word-of-mouth that would generate for the chain.

Also, knowing this was why we decided to buy some ice cream. After all, we may have been on of a few customers actually spending money.

Jim Logan

To demonstrate one size doesn't fit all in marketing...my first thought was the Homer Simpson response..."Free Ice Cream!"


Jackie Huba

I like the promotion....great way to drive people into an ice cream store in the winter.

Not sure I'd actually go Baskin Robbins just for the free scoop...but if it was a free coupon for Wild About Harry's custard in Dallas, I might fly there today ! : )

BTW, it's a lovely 21 degrees here in sunny Chicago.

Bruce DeBoer

It's 45 degrees in Raleigh too. I'll bet they could have come up with something better, but if I had to guess, the opportunity was there, it was cheap, and you usually includ icecream with your birthday cake, sooooooo .....

Maybe if they included a birthday candle with a 10 on it but then it might actually COST something for the pormotion.

I think this can be tossed in the "couldn't hurt, might help" catagory.

-b

Lance

Here in Minnesota we love to eat ice cream year-round. It really bums me that many Dairy Queens actually close for December and January. And I wish we had more BaskinRobbins up here - I can think of two in the Mpls/StPaul area.

Tally

I just assumed it was a new Hot Chocolate flavor that actually warms you up in the winter.

Yes it's weird but partially because of the weirdness we're talking about it. buzz

John N

Jennifer, I thought the same thing! Being in the ice cream business, I know that March is not high seasonality for many parts of the country. But I still think it's a good promotion for both companies.

Yahoo! gets to "give away" a semi-high value and certainly fun treat for probably no cost at all. Plus, you have to be a registered user at Yahoo! to get the freebie, so they are probably getting some extra registrations.

B&R is probably paying for the free scoops (or at least the franchisees are), but their prices are so high and margins are so good that they'll probably at least break even because many people will buy an extra scoop or two because one is free. Also, it gets people into their shops (traffic is always a good thing at retail) and gets them familiar with where their local B&R shop is located so when they want ice cream in the upcoming summer months, they know where to go.

And even though it's 45 degrees in Dallas (it's 25 here in Grand Rapids), many people will take advantage of the offer simply because they 1) like ice cream anytime and 2) can't pass up something "free". As such, I think it's a good promo for both companies.

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