Back in July, I received a great package of freebies sent to drum up publicity for the new TV show "Rizzoli and Isles," based on books by Tess Gerritsen. The show stars Angie Harmon as a tough Boston cop and Sasha Alexander as her brainy and beautiful coroner friend. The package included a copy of the book on which the first episode was based, a DVD of the first episode, a T-shirt, some bookmarks, a puzzle, and my favorite, this cup and saucer and tea bag featuring the show's logo. A teacup figured into the plotline of the first episode, so this was a very clever freebie they designed.
Now I don't really like to promote a show until I've seen a few episodes, but I have to say I have really enjoyed "Rizzoli and Isles," mainly because the two female leads are strong characters who are great at nailing the bad guys, and it's a very witty show as well. Also, I have a friend who is a police officer, and Angie Harmon's character reminds me of her a lot!
Most of the freebies I've received through the years have come because I'm a journalist, and marketers will go to interesting lengths to try to get you to write about them. I'll never forget the time the morning mail arrived and I was handed a manila-colored padded envelope that weighed a ton! Inside was a black iron skillet promoting a new Turner South cooking program, and this was one of my favorite freebies ever! Other goodies I've received through the years have ranged from the yummy (boxes of new flavors of Girl Scout cookies) to the strange (plastic eyeballs promoting "Fright Night" at Halloween) to the whimsical (a Norman Rockwell floaty pen in honor of an exhibition of his paintings) to the wearable (t-shirts, flip-flops, aprons). The other day a colleague received an empty ice cream carton containing plastic raspberries and a coupon for her to try the new berry flavor of their ice cream for free. Of course plenty of other companies and consumers get freebies as well, so I'm curious. What's the best (or perhaps the weirdest) freebie you've ever received?