Friday, October 06, 2006

Congrats you're having a baby - here's your promo bag!

On our very first prenatal visit for Tex here in Dallas, we met with the dr in his office after the sonogram confirmed a little heartbeat.

On his desk was a large plastic bag that looked to be packed full of papers and samples. I thought to myself a drug company rep must've dropped off the latest goodies for the dr while he was out.

It turned out the bag was for us! It was brimming with coupons, free magazine samples, prenatal vitamin samples and other booklets and papers telling us all about what's out there for baby.

Now, I, like most people, enjoy getting a bag full of free stuff :-) Especially when its appropriately targeted.

What was interesting was the amount of ad space dedicated to the formula vendors. The bag was sponsored by Infamil and carried several marketing pieces about baby forumulas. I noticed that in UK, for example, all infant formula ads have to marked with a notice that highlights that breastfeeding is the most complete nourishment for a baby up to 6 mos. Here in the US, there is no such requirement. Our bag also had mail-in cards to sign-up for the formula clubs promising formula coupons, free toys, a free diaper bag, free formula samples and more, more, more. Who can resit?
Enfamil Family Beginnings

I also got free issues of American Baby (sign up online for free subscription), Fit Pregnancy (the swimsuit issue), Baby Talk (another free subscription available online) and Women's Health and Fitness. (Where was my sample of Cookie!!??) I flipped through all of them when I was feeling queasy in the early days and now often go back to look for decorating ideas, find out what all is available in baby strollers and to cut out pictures of infants for Peanut's photo book.

There were coupons and product brochures from Baby Depot, Babies R Us and a local guide to what's what for babies in the metroplex. All complete with lists of 'must have' items for baby -- some over the top, but I know I would have appreciated the ideas for my first baby. And, there sure is a ton of gear, clothing and what nots that you can pile up if you want.

One of my favorite pieces is the "as your baby grows - from conception to birth" magazine. It has the most amazing photos from inside the womb of how a baby develops. Incredible color images of this tiny miracle! The photos are from a book called A Child is Born.

In contrast to all this, in Finland, I didn't see a piece of promo materials until I received my KELA box. In it were some free diapers, baby lotions and condoms. No coupons. At the hospital they had also tucked away, out of sight, on a shelf some small purple bags from the diaper brand, Libero. I just happened to overhear a nurse answer another mom that yes, you can pick one up if you want to, you don't have to.... Never anywhere were there any materials promoting formula.

Also, once Peanut was born and registered in the national population registry, we received some promotional mail at our home for her.

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