Did you know that coupons started with Coca-Cola? That’s right. The super-brand had no idea what it was unleashing on the world when it passed its coupons around the United States. The coupon offered customers a free glass of Coca-Cola anywhere the strange new drink was sold. It prompted curious onlookers to give it a try, and reminded long-time fans to pay a visit to their tasty friend. That promotion started in 1887, and wouldn’t end until 1913.
The geniuses behind Coca-Cola had no idea what wrench they were throwing into the world of commerce when they used the coupon. But their idea took off, and they ended up giving away 8.5 million free glasses of Coca-Cola. That promotion turned the obscure pharmacy brand into a nation-wide household name. The actual financial gain from the promotion can’t really be calculated, but the fact that they’ve now become the best-selling carbonated drink in the entire world might say something about their marketing strategy if you ask me.
As any expo-goer, cosmetics buyer, Costco-shopper, and general customer of anything anywhere knows, coupons didn’t end in 1913. They’re alive and well. Even though we don’t need another branded pen and we have no interest in an anti-aging wrinkle cream for youthful, radiant looking ankles, it doesn’t stop the psychology of the coupon from doing a number on us.
What hold do coupons have over our brains?
Short story: They make us happy.
Long story: Simply receiving a coupon can send our oxytocin (our happy hormone) levels soaring. A study done by Dr. Paul J. Zak at Claremont Graduate University found that a $10 voucher coupon caused a 38% increase in oxytocin levels and resulted in receivers of the coupon being 11% more happy than participants who did not receive a coupon. Some other things happened too, like heart rate and breathing rates dropped, sweat levels dropped, and people reported being less stressed out. As remarkable as it sounds, his research found that people who receive a coupon find more enjoyment than when they receive a gift.
Coupons act as an incentive to try new things
Let’s face it. The routine of everyday life can sometimes leave us feeling trapped in a box we desperately want to peak out from once in a while. That’s where coupons can help. Why? Because we risk less if it doesn’t work out.
Let’s say you decide to have a night out with the missus. You decide you fancy pizza. So naturally, you scour the internet to find the best deal you can. The food turned out to be only OK, but you saved 40%. Now, doesn’t that offer some conciliation that you didn’t pay full price and were able to try out something new? And do you know the best part? We need food every day. If it didn’t work out today, there’s always tomorrow. And there will always be another coupon you can take advantage of!
On the flip side, imagine a win win situation. The food was impeccable, you save money and you’ve found yourself a new favorite restaurant! That’s the beauty of coupons. It gives us experiences that we may never have given ourselves otherwise.
Eat With Coupons
We here at Eat With Coupons want to do just that. We want to give you experiences that you won’t normally give yourself. Our team are constantly on the lookout for new restaurants in New York City. We negotiate deals with them to give you the best value possible. It’s completely free and could be that spark you need to edge out of the box of everyday life. Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you the best deals from New York’s finest restaurants!