Seinfeld on Marketing: the gift test

I hope you are all enjoying the Holiday Season. I’ll make this week’s installment short so that you can get back to your regularly scheduled fun. In this episode, Jerry is talking with Elaine about a label maker he received from his dentist, Tim Whatley, after giving him Super Bowl tickets:

ELAINE: Hey. Oh, is that a label maker?

JERRY: Yes it is. I got it as a gift; it’s a Label Baby Junior.

ELAINE: Love the Label Baby, baby. You know those things make great gifts. I just got one of those for Tim Whatley for Christmas.

JERRY: Tim Whatley?

ELAINE: Yeah. Who sent you that one?

JERRY: One Tim Whatley!

ELAINE. No, my Tim Whatley?

JERRY: The same, he sent it as a thank you for my Super Bowl tickets.

ELAINE: I think this is the same one I gave him. He recycled this gift. He’s a regifter!

JERRY: Or maybe he liked your gift so much, he decided to get me the same thing. Perhaps it’s an homage.

ELAINE: Yeah, perhaps.

JERRY: Well how did he react when you gave it to him?

ELAINE: Um, he said, “Oh. A label maker. How about that?”

JERRY: He repeated the name of the gift?

ELAINE: Yeah, so?

JERRY: Oh, well, if you repeat the name of the gift, you can’t possibly like it.

ELAINE: What do you mean?

JERRY: Oh, you know, like when someone opens something up and they go, “Oh. Tube socks.”

If you ask for your customer’s personal information in exchange for a 10% discount card and they repeat the name of the “gift” by saying, “Oh. A 10% off discount card” – you’ve got trouble. Anytime you think you are giving something of value to someone, watch for her reaction (or non reaction). Value is in the eye of the beholder.

We’ll see you in 2008. Happy New Year!

This post is part of a weekly series, Seinfeld on Marketing.

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