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How to get free money: A few interesting marketing promotions

A wise man once said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. In this constantly changing business environment, companies go above and beyond to market online. That means some invest in outrageous promotional efforts and heartwarming charity fundraisers. Others will even send random consumers free goods from time to time.

Very rarely do organizations indulge in these programs to just do good. It's more likely the case these efforts were taken up in part to increase sales. That means those "free" products received by consumers are actually used as marketing tools, and the recipient is expected to publicize their gifts in return.

Here are some examples of products that were nearly free, but actually required a little work from recipients.

Sacrifice your friends for a Whopper
In perhaps one of the most unique marketing ploys of 2009, Burger King announced that it would give a free Whopper sandwich to anyone that downloaded the Whopper Sacrifice Facebook app and deleted 10 of their friends. Digital Marketing giant HubSpot reported that the effort was linked with virtually zero media support, yet it ended in the fast food chain giving away roughly 20,000 free sandwiches. Then again, that depends on your concept of "free." Around 200,000 friends were sacrificed in the process, and the stunt awarded an incredible amount of media buzz and marketing to the organization.

$150,000 and the best job in the world
HubSpot also reported that the Queensland Board of Tourism launched a similar stunt focusing on "free" material in 2009. The group published a wave of ads in the classified sections of newspapers looking for applicants for the "best job in the world." The job entailed a $150,000 salary over a six-month period to help explore the beautiful islands of the Great Barrier Reef, feed the fish and clean the pool.

While this may seem like a dream for applicants, it was a hole-in-one marketing campaign for the Queensland Board of Tourism, which drew in over 7 million visitors, collected 34,000 applications and received a ton of press coverage for the stunt.

Meanwhile, applicants didn't exactly get free money either. Sure, they had to clean a pool and feed some fish, but the winner was also charged with producing a one-minute video for the application that was better than 33,999 other videos, which is no small feat.

Free or not, these marketing programs offered products and cash to people who put in very little effort compared to what they earned. That process in and of itself is enough for many critics to call the rewards "free," even if they aren't exactly.

If you'd like to capitalize on similar programs that offer money to people who contribute comparatively little effort, you may want to explore paid online surveys. After a short signup process, you could offer your opinion by filling out a series of questionnaires that companies are willing to pay for. The process is simple and easy and allows users to make money at home online for such little work that many people may call free money.

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