While rummaging through old things, I found an old key holder with a Wendy’s frosty card attached to it. Late in the year of 2013 I went to Wendy’s after a late football game and the lady at the cash register offered me a little plastic card that gives customers free mini frosty’s for a whole entire year. Crazy right? I always used to wonder why stores and restaurants used to give out promotional stuff that was actually free. It seems counter-productive, doesn’t it? Then I understood. Every time I would pull out my keys, someone around me would probably see the cutout of the Wendy’s frosty I had on my key chain and think to themselves, “hmm… That actually sounds pretty good right now.” The frosty card encourages other people to go to Wendy’s, especially if the people that they hang around also go to Wendy’s. In addition to getting that free frosty, the patron might smell the French fries cooking in the back and become inspired to purchase some. Of course, Wendy’s is not alone in it’s advertising of food through free stuff.
I am a consumer who has collected a number of different “discount cards” in my time here in Nashville. I have one for Rite-Aid AND CVS. I also have cards for Mapco and Harris Teeter. These discount cards function the same exact way as the Frosty card. When you open your wallet and take out that Harris Teeter card, you remind people around you that that grocery store chain exists. The next time that person around you has to go to the grocery store and get some eggs, they’ll be more likely to go there. You become a walking advertisement for the stores that you go to, but you aren’t a victim because you also benefit from this advertisement with all of the discounts you obtain.