For the past three weeks Metro and 24h newspapers have hired people to stand at the corner of Yonge and Bloor and hand out papers. Giving free hand-outs is a great promotional tool and really does encourage people to try new things and buy your product. At Yonge and Bloor we get all sorts of cool hand-outs; shampoo, cooking sauces, water, juices…for two months last summer I didn’t have to buy laundry detergent once because I got so many free samples! Giving away samples of products is a great way for people to try new things and a get way to get new customers. Which is why it totally perplexes me that Metro and 24h newspapers are giving away copies.
Metro and 24h are FREE papers. You can pick them up at any street corner in the city and if you ride the subway (as a good 85% of people that are walking into office towers at Yonge and Bloor do) there are copies in every station along the way. Chances are most people that walk by the corner have already read the paper on their commute and/or have a copy shoved in their m/p-urse. So what does handing out these free copies accomplish?
Further, doesn’t it cost these companies money to give do this? They must be paying people to stand there and give out papers (mind you, they’re probably not paying them well as the people are the most unenergetic, unenthusiastic people I’ve ever seen giving away shit in my life). I’m guessing they’re spending about $8,000 a week to pay people to stand around and try to give away something they can get for free (I'm pretty sure they're doing it at multiple stations around the city, not just big intersections downtown). How does Metro have this in their budget? I know that they make money off selling ad space and stuff like that, but is it really necessary to have this “promotion”?
Maybe a better idea would be to give away something else and try to bump up traffic on their website. Like a granola bar with a “Check out metronews.ca for all your awesome news!” sticker? Or one of those accordion Chinese fans with “metronews.ca” printed on them? I know it would end up costing more money than just giving away free papers that they already print, but I think it would actually accomplish something and provide results you could see. COME ON GUYS. Put this kid out of a job. He's obviously miserable.