I was organizing my garden catalogues and noticed, once again, what I think is a slightly off marketing note on the cover of one: "$50 worth of free product."
Maybe they just have an inept copywriter. But when I see that, I don't think "Oh boy! Free stuff!" I think "Product? Is that all plants are to you? Product?"
Okay, I know by saying product maybe they're trying to suggest that you can order anything with your free $50--not just plants but bulbs, seeds, tools, sprouting supplies, birdfeeders, fertilizers, and canisters of milky spore disease. I think gardeners get that point.
So why not say "$50 worth of free plants?"
"Free product" makes me think I'm sitting in a shareholder meeting. ("We found that doubling our prices and offering customers 'free' product when their purchases reached a certain dollar amount resulted in twenty percent higher revenue that we saw at the old price level.")
"Free plants" makes me start daydreaming about this bare spots in my landscaping. And if you're selling plants, you want me daydreaming about my garden--don't you?