Companies have to think of new ways to engage the customer interest in their products in the light of customers being bombarded by ads and marketing all day. According to a PRSA class I went to recently an average American sees 5000 marketing messages a day . This NY Times has a article that confirms it http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/15/business/media/15everywhere.html .
A few weeks ago I saw a thread on SlickDeals.net about a Thomas The Tank Engine for $2.99 with free shipping. I jumped at the offer and ordered one. It was a no brainer - My son loves Thomas and these things retail for $10.
Yesterday I received the Thomas Tank engine and my son is thrilled with it and is sleeping with it beside him. This morning he brought the catalog that the company had sent with the engine and we both spent at least 90 minutes reading about the various Thomas products from Learning Curve.
I think this is good marketing, You got me hooked and gave me a product that I know about for free and in turn the company got 90 minutes of my time. I enjoyed the catalog and the time spent with reading it out to my son. I didn't check how Learning Curve rates in customer satisfaction so please do that before you order. The smart guy at Learning Curve who thought of this campaign deserves a promotion. Guess where I am going to my next toy for my kid. Cost of Acq. of a customer $7.