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  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Just got 2nd shot at cvs and they gave me a 20% off coupon. They have given me coupon for flu shot before. I don't think it would be something that would draw anyone to get vaccinated but is a nice bonus.

    This is interesting - and brings a new scenario to the table.

    I'm not sure what CVS stands for - is it the pharmacy chain that you were vaccinated at?

    That is slightly different then - it isnt a separate company nothing to do with getting vaccinated offering a freebie to promote themselves/increase their sales like the KK scenario.

    It is the vaccine provider offering a discount for getting vaccinated with them.



  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,499 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,499 Member
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Just got 2nd shot at cvs and they gave me a 20% off coupon. They have given me coupon for flu shot before. I don't think it would be something that would draw anyone to get vaccinated but is a nice bonus.

    This is interesting - and brings a new scenario to the table.

    I'm not sure what CVS stands for - is it the pharmacy chain that you were vaccinated at?

    That is slightly different then - it isnt a separate company nothing to do with getting vaccinated offering a freebie to promote themselves/increase their sales like the KK scenario.

    It is the vaccine provider offering a discount for getting vaccinated with them.




    Yes, CVS is a pharmacy chain. They also run a drug insurance program (through employers, AFAIK).

    I think you're missing part of the picture here, in the US context. My flu shot is "free" to me, because my drug insurance pays for it. CVS bills them, so I never see the charge and payment. CVS can be giving me that 20% coupon to induce me to get my flu vaccination from them, so they can bill that insurance company, instead of getting it elsewhere.

    You're right that it's not a separate company with nothing to do with vaccination offering a freebie, but they're absolutely offering the 20% coupon to promote themselves/increase their sales.

    Further, though slightly less relevant: CVS in particular seems to have a business model where they offer big discounts from time to time, and run lots of sales, to get people to buy from them. For example, they routinely send me coupons for 30% or even 40% off one item. (IIRC, the 20% coupon after flu vaccination is off the entire purchase, with some products excluded.)

    I'm sure that all the couponing/discounting they do, including the 20% coupon when one gets the vaccination, is with the hope people will buy other things while in the store. Reportedly, the gross margin of retail pharmacies here averaged 25.7% in 2017 (most recent data I could find quickly). If CVS's profit is in that range, they can give that 20% discount and still have enough profit on the sale to be making a contribution toward operating expenses, on top of whatever they make from billing my drug insurer for administering the vaccine.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    I assumed all of that Ann, I dont think there was anything I was missing.

    yes of course all 20% off, and discounts and freebies of all sorts are intended to increase sales by people buying other and more things.

    Here, the govt provides free flu vaccine to people in risk categories (and free covid vaccine, in stages, to everyone)

    People not eligible for free flu vaccine can get private market vaccine - through surgeries, pharmacies, their work place etc.
    and work places dont usually charge employees, the employer wears the cost, but the other places like surgeries and pharmacies do - and of course they charge at a higher than wholesale rate. They are a business, after all.

    What part of the picture was I missing?


  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,499 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,499 Member
    I assumed all of that Ann, I dont think there was anything I was missing.

    yes of course all 20% off, and discounts and freebies of all sorts are intended to increase sales by people buying other and more things.

    Here, the govt provides free flu vaccine to people in risk categories (and free covid vaccine, in stages, to everyone)

    People not eligible for free flu vaccine can get private market vaccine - through surgeries, pharmacies, their work place etc.
    and work places dont usually charge employees, the employer wears the cost, but the other places like surgeries and pharmacies do - and of course they charge at a higher than wholesale rate. They are a business, after all.

    What part of the picture was I missing?


    I don't know whether you missed it - I'm finding some aspects of what you wrote in this last post confusing.

    CVS always gets paid for flu vaccine here. I don't know whether anyone (customer getting the shot) pays them out of pocket (the people who would pay out of pocket might prefer other providers). Most of the people who get flu vaccine at CVS don't pay for it themselves. To me, the flu vaccine at CVS is a zero-payout transaction. But my insurance company pays CVS

    Therefore, the 20% coupon is to get people like me (whose insurance will pay the vaccine provider for my vaccination) to get that vaccination at CVS, instead of someplace else. That they may still make a profit on what I buy (even with 20% off) is just gravy on top of the payment they get for giving me my flu shot. Even if I buy nothing, they make a profit.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    lorib642 wrote: »
    Just got 2nd shot at cvs and they gave me a 20% off coupon. They have given me coupon for flu shot before. I don't think it would be something that would draw anyone to get vaccinated but is a nice bonus.

    This is interesting - and brings a new scenario to the table.

    I'm not sure what CVS stands for - is it the pharmacy chain that you were vaccinated at?

    That is slightly different then - it isnt a separate company nothing to do with getting vaccinated offering a freebie to promote themselves/increase their sales like the KK scenario.

    It is the vaccine provider offering a discount for getting vaccinated with them.




    Yes, CVS is a pharmacy chain. They also run a drug insurance program (through employers, AFAIK).

    I think you're missing part of the picture here, in the US context. My flu shot is "free" to me, because my drug insurance pays for it. CVS bills them, so I never see the charge and payment. CVS can be giving me that 20% coupon to induce me to get my flu vaccination from them, so they can bill that insurance company, instead of getting it elsewhere.

    You're right that it's not a separate company with nothing to do with vaccination offering a freebie, but they're absolutely offering the 20% coupon to promote themselves/increase their sales.

    Further, though slightly less relevant: CVS in particular seems to have a business model where they offer big discounts from time to time, and run lots of sales, to get people to buy from them. For example, they routinely send me coupons for 30% or even 40% off one item. (IIRC, the 20% coupon after flu vaccination is off the entire purchase, with some products excluded.)

    I'm sure that all the couponing/discounting they do, including the 20% coupon when one gets the vaccination, is with the hope people will buy other things while in the store. Reportedly, the gross margin of retail pharmacies here averaged 25.7% in 2017 (most recent data I could find quickly). If CVS's profit is in that range, they can give that 20% discount and still have enough profit on the sale to be making a contribution toward operating expenses, on top of whatever they make from billing my drug insurer for administering the vaccine.

    Re: CVS, back when I was newly starting out and had very little disposable income, I learned how to get really good at couponing with CVS in particular. Their deals and sales are (or at least were) incredible, but it was definitely a game you had to play very carefully - there you could break your order up, and use one receipt coupon (that I already knew was coming) to buy the next thing, which I also had a manufacturer coupon to stack with, etc. I never paid retail price for anything there. But for a couple years it's how I got all my toiletries and even a couple other miscellaneous items, because I could get them cheaper than the discount store and I was really pinching pennies.

    But the average consumer won't put in that effort, and they know that. The psychology of shopping behavior is wild and fascinating. I definitely got a kick out of learning how to shop in a way to "beat the system." It was fun. But even then, you end up with extreme couponers who basically end up hoarding the deals, or they buy products they didn't have a use for or couldn't give away. So they still are wasting money, even if the store is making less or no profit (in the case of loss leader items).

    As far as the OP, I feel a little weird about this kind of marketing too, though it's hard for me to put my finger on why. Certainly they have a legal right to do so. But, maybe partly due to my shopping experiences, I tend to be very suspicious of advertising in general, and within reason I'll do what I can to avoid coming into contact with it. Not an easy thing in today's consumer society to do.
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    I assumed all of that Ann, I dont think there was anything I was missing.

    yes of course all 20% off, and discounts and freebies of all sorts are intended to increase sales by people buying other and more things.

    Here, the govt provides free flu vaccine to people in risk categories (and free covid vaccine, in stages, to everyone)

    People not eligible for free flu vaccine can get private market vaccine - through surgeries, pharmacies, their work place etc.
    and work places dont usually charge employees, the employer wears the cost, but the other places like surgeries and pharmacies do - and of course they charge at a higher than wholesale rate. They are a business, after all.

    What part of the picture was I missing?


    I don't know whether you missed it - I'm finding some aspects of what you wrote in this last post confusing.

    CVS always gets paid for flu vaccine here. I don't know whether anyone (customer getting the shot) pays them out of pocket (the people who would pay out of pocket might prefer other providers). Most of the people who get flu vaccine at CVS don't pay for it themselves. To me, the flu vaccine at CVS is a zero-payout transaction. But my insurance company pays CVS

    Therefore, the 20% coupon is to get people like me (whose insurance will pay the vaccine provider for my vaccination) to get that vaccination at CVS, instead of someplace else. That they may still make a profit on what I buy (even with 20% off) is just gravy on top of the payment they get for giving me my flu shot. Even if I buy nothing, they make a profit.


    Ann yes I get all of that. As I did already before this post.

    Not sure what you found confusing in my post or what you think I missed
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 810 Member Member Posts: 810 Member
    Yeah, CVS is a drugstore/pharmacy and some of them have actual (limited-scope) clinics as well, like a tiny urgent care. I've used the Minute Clinic a few times for minor infections, to get scrips for antibiotics or whatever. They also sell basic household and personal care items, and most of them have a small grocery selection as well - no fresh meat or produce, but there's usually an aisle of canned or packaged goods and maybe a little frozen section with pizza rolls and stuff like that.

    Also, to your point @cmriverside, I was thinking of a "seniors get 10% off" deal at a place like a TJ Maxx or a Marshalls/HomeGoods, not necessarily a grocery store. My grandma doesn't need anything from HomeGoods but that doesn't keep her from popping in there on senior discount day just to ~see what there is to be seen~.
  • Theo166Theo166 Member, Premium Posts: 2,496 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,496 Member
    dang, nobody gave me a voucher when I got my shot two days ago. 😡

    It is good marketing for the brand, can't fault them for trying. I don't think it does them any harm since people who already don't like them or associate their product as unhealthy aren't the people they are trying to influence. But their fans think better of them and may redeem the voucher.

    The marketing I hate is when fast food asks you to donate to their charity when paying. If it's 'your charity' then support it with your profit, not my spare change.
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,661 Member Member Posts: 3,661 Member

    That is slightly different then - it isnt a separate company nothing to do with getting vaccinated offering a freebie to promote themselves/increase their sales like the KK scenario.

    It is the vaccine provider offering a discount for getting vaccinated with them.

    It's the vaccine provider offering a discount to promote themselves/increase their sales. More conveniently it's at the same location where the vaccine was administered, you don't have to take your coupon to another place for fulfilment. I don't know if the discount would be available at any CVS pharmacy, so if you didn't feel like shopping on the day of the shot you could go to another store at another time?

    In other words, it's a business trying to generate additional revenue for themselves (above the cost of the vaccine).
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    yes of course it is a business trying to generate additional revenue for themselves yhannah - just like all freebies, discounts,vouchers etc.

    Like I said it is a different scenario to KK though - since it is the actual vaccine provider offering a discount if you have the vaccine with them.


    Unlike KK which has no connection to vaccines and is just piggy backing onto a health promotion with an irelevant and unconnected product.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,223 Member Member Posts: 10,223 Member
    That happens a lot here. Our stores have sales pretty much every holiday. The North Face has a president's day sale, nobody from that company has ever been president, nobody here has a problem with that. It would be an issue in Australia? Or is unrelated piggybacking ok outside the medical realm?
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,517 Member Member Posts: 6,517 Member
    We dont have presidents day here - but , no I dont think a sale celebrating presidents day would be a problem, cant see why it would - we have sales for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, EOFY, back to school, winter etc

    I dont see that as the same as an unrelated freebie commercialising a health message or a social message: domestic violence, for example.
    People sell white ribbons to raise awareness and money re the issue - I dont think get a free donut with your ribbon would be ok.

  • glassyoglassyo Member Posts: 5,137 Member Member Posts: 5,137 Member
    We dont have presidents day here - but , no I dont think a sale celebrating presidents day would be a problem, cant see why it would - we have sales for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, EOFY, back to school, winter etc

    I dont see that as the same as an unrelated freebie commercialising a health message or a social message: domestic violence, for example.
    People sell white ribbons to raise awareness and money re the issue - I dont think get a free donut with your ribbon would be ok.

    What about a white ribbon with a picture of a donut? :)

    I'm actually reminded of the soap I watch. They've had episodes with blatant product placement but sometimes the product is one partnered with a cause. Campbell's soup and breast cancer comes to mind.

    In my opinion, everybody won. The show made some advertising money (it was a dire time for soaps), Campbell's made some sales, people could make some rockin' green bean casserole (you use cream of mushroom soup for that, right?)😀, more awareness was brought to breast cancer...

  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,661 Member Member Posts: 3,661 Member
    People sell white ribbons to raise awareness and money re the issue - I dont think get a free donut with your ribbon would be ok.

    It's common here to get "swag" with charitable fundraising. I've attended events for both health and non-health related causes and been handed a bag with product samples and business coupons and little promotional items when I walked in.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,223 Member Member Posts: 10,223 Member
    I guess the answer is see don't really consider health messaging sacrosanct here. And we love free stuff. Maybe it would have been a problem if they were giving away books.
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 31,142 Member Member Posts: 31,142 Member
    I know, NorthCascades.

    Paperpudding, you need to move to the U.S. It's all about the free stuff.
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member, Premium Posts: 5,815 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,815 Member
    I know, NorthCascades.

    Paperpudding, you need to move to the U.S. It's all about the free stuff.

    I call it the Free Stuff mentality, and I don't like it because it can be very wasteful. Part of my work is public education, and I do give away stuff promoting the message I'm trying to get across. Some are "prizes" for participating in an activity, but it's interesting to watch people like to just grab and grab and grab, and then frustrating to see those things in the garbage later in the day.

    Years ago I was volunteering for another organization. They had some very nice informative literature; people liked it. The organization was asking for a very small donation to help offset printing costs - like ten cents maybe or at most a quarter. It was really interesting to watch when people would want to take one, and then one of the staff would mention the very small donation, and then watch the hands dart back as if the literature was on fire. Seriously. If it's not worth ten cents to you, you didn't really want it.
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 810 Member Member Posts: 810 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    We dont have presidents day here - but , no I dont think a sale celebrating presidents day would be a problem, cant see why it would - we have sales for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, EOFY, back to school, winter etc

    I dont see that as the same as an unrelated freebie commercialising a health message or a social message: domestic violence, for example.
    People sell white ribbons to raise awareness and money re the issue - I dont think get a free donut with your ribbon would be ok.

    What about a white ribbon with a picture of a donut? :)

    I'm actually reminded of the soap I watch. They've had episodes with blatant product placement but sometimes the product is one partnered with a cause. Campbell's soup and breast cancer comes to mind.

    In my opinion, everybody won. The show made some advertising money (it was a dire time for soaps), Campbell's made some sales, people could make some rockin' green bean casserole (you use cream of mushroom soup for that, right?)😀, more awareness was brought to breast cancer...

    Soap operas have always been about product placement, though - that's what the "soap" refers to, literal laundry powder.
  • ythannahythannah Member Posts: 3,661 Member Member Posts: 3,661 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    I know, NorthCascades.

    Paperpudding, you need to move to the U.S. It's all about the free stuff.

    I call it the Free Stuff mentality, and I don't like it because it can be very wasteful. Part of my work is public education, and I do give away stuff promoting the message I'm trying to get across. Some are "prizes" for participating in an activity, but it's interesting to watch people like to just grab and grab and grab, and then frustrating to see those things in the garbage later in the day.

    If it's any consolation, I will probably never need to buy any scratch pads or sticky notes for home use ever again in my lifetime, I've accumulated such a collection. And I DO use them. None were grabbed by me, all given. Some were conference swag, others had messages (like a really nice sized note pad promoting home CO detectors). And, yes, I have a CO detector, so perhaps it worked :D
  • glassyoglassyo Member Posts: 5,137 Member Member Posts: 5,137 Member
    glassyo wrote: »
    We dont have presidents day here - but , no I dont think a sale celebrating presidents day would be a problem, cant see why it would - we have sales for Easter, Christmas, Halloween, EOFY, back to school, winter etc

    I dont see that as the same as an unrelated freebie commercialising a health message or a social message: domestic violence, for example.
    People sell white ribbons to raise awareness and money re the issue - I dont think get a free donut with your ribbon would be ok.

    What about a white ribbon with a picture of a donut? :)

    I'm actually reminded of the soap I watch. They've had episodes with blatant product placement but sometimes the product is one partnered with a cause. Campbell's soup and breast cancer comes to mind.

    In my opinion, everybody won. The show made some advertising money (it was a dire time for soaps), Campbell's made some sales, people could make some rockin' green bean casserole (you use cream of mushroom soup for that, right?)😀, more awareness was brought to breast cancer...

    Soap operas have always been about product placement, though - that's what the "soap" refers to, literal laundry powder.

    LOL true. Over the years that's been toned down. I think. I didn't watch soaps from the beginning of time even tho it feels like it!

    I'm talking full on commercial mode.

    "This hershey's syrup tastes wonderful mixed into the milk, doesn't it?"

    If I remember right, they did something similar with the Campbell's soup and breast cancer but it was more of a psa during the show instead of after like they normally did.
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