When you walk through a big train station in Switzerland (eg. Zurich HB, or Basel SBB) it is not unusual to find stands or promoters which give free samples and discounts from all sorts of brands and products. Sometimes they advertise a new innovative product on the market or sometimes it is just a new flavor or packaging from your favorite brands.

No matter if they give you just a small sample or the full size, I think this is a great way to advertise a product because it gives the possibility to actually try the thing and decide on your own whether you like it and wanna buy or not. I am not saying that I don’t watch TV and that I am not influenced as everyone else by commercials but honestly sometimes they don’t make much sense. Honestly who really cares if a super paid beautiful supermodel,  football player or  actor/actress – that is probably in a low carb, gluten free, in the zone diet – thinks that a pasta sauce is super: he/she is no expert (and I am not sure he has even tasted it!). Sometimes they give merchandise but that really doesn’t work for me: why should I have a bracelet/T-Shirt/baseball cap with the name of a famous brand of chocolate/cola/cookies. Who wants it? Even if shopping bags are always welcomed, I must admit. So to me old good sample is what works best.

Every now and then this marketing strategy can lead to awkward situations. Like the one time a lady dropped a packet of cream filled biscuits in my basket while I was shopping at Coop and I thought it was some sort of scam and try to return it at the counter (facing the disbelief of the waitress). Or  the time a girl literally forced in my hands a packet of dog and cat food (I don’t have pets). Luckily there was a “cat lady” outside the station collecting all the non-wanted gifts.

Anyway the mascots are always the cutest (even if I don’t envy the poor guy who had to spend the afternoon dressed like a Haribo bear at Zurich HB!)…

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