6 Iconic Product Sampling Campaigns

Written by Mollie Cross 19 October 2023

6 Iconic product sampling ideas to inspire your campaign

Product sampling is a powerful marketing strategy that can help businesses increase brand awareness, generate interest, and ultimately drive sales. However, with so many businesses using product sampling as a marketing tool, it can be challenging to create a sampling strategy that is truly innovative, memorable and engaging.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best product sampling ideas from the past to see how those companies and their product sampling agencies innovative campaigns that are still famous today!

1. Sephora: Beauty Insider Program

The Insider Program at Sephora offers members access to promotions, extra perks, promotions and discounts. The product sampling strategy of the Beauty Insider program is encouraging customers to try out different products and discover new favourites. 

Part of this product sampling strategy is known as insert sampling as customers can get free gifts with their online purchases when Sephora partner up with one of their e-commerce brands. Insert sampling involves giving samples with purchases to encourage existing customers, i.e. an invested market, to test other products and increase the range of purchases in the future.

Forbes found that almost 75% of customer engagement and loyalty drivers are emotional perks, leading to the introduction of promotional samples and discounts on its customer’s birthdays. Results indicated that giving little perks like this, once a year, were enough to keep customers emotionally invested in the brand and more likely to make future purchases.

2. Glade: Scent by Glade

Partnering with Walmart, Glade launched the Scent by Glade campaign to target online shoppers. Their approach to a product sampling campaign was to take packing pillows used for deliveries and fill them with its air freshener so that customers could smell Glade’s spring scent. 

According to figures, the Scent by Glade campaign saw an 83% increase in home fragrance sales on the website during the first week and demonstrates how impactful product packaging can increase brand awareness and drive sales.

Find out how Relish worked with Dr.Oetker to distribute product samples with a step-by-step recipe to encourage the trial of their ingredients.
[Read more]

3. Cadbury Street Santa

Run during the Christmas season, Cadbury’s Secret Santa campaign lets you send a chocolate bar for free, in secret to someone special. To enter, participants must locate a Cadbury Secret Santa Postal Service digital or static poster in the UK and scan the QR code when it is available. Alternatively they could pay for a chocolate bar online to personalise and send to the intended recipient.

The campaign is a fun and festive way to raise brand awareness, spread holiday cheer and share the love of chocolate. It is reported that the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign contributed to a 1.4% market share growth, 6.1% value growth YoY and best in class sell rates amongst competitors.

Relish work with a range of food and beverage companies and have had amazing results within this industry, including an 89% intend-to-purchase rate for Thorntons Pearls
Have a browse through our case studies to see all of the impressive results we’ve achieved for our clients!

4. Cheerios: Hacking Prime Day

Cheerios’ product sampling strategy took place over Amazon Prime Day where they would offer a free box of Honey Nut Cheerios and $10 discount to Amazon shoppers who spend a certain amount using the Amazon Pantry service.

Furthermore, they were able to leverage Amazon’s recommendation algorithm, moving Cheerios to the number one product in the cereal category and even topping the grocery items on Prime Day.

E-commerce Product Sampling

ASOS is one of Relish’s product sampling partners, collaborating on campaigns such as Clinique. The Clinique x ASOS campaign by Relish Agency involved sending samples of Clinique’s Moisture Surge 100 Hour with ASOS customer orders, resulting in an 82% intend-to-purchase rate!

5. Aperol Cocktail Kits

In 2020, Aperol partnered with UK takeaway delivery partners to distribute cocktail kits to 40,000 customers across 300 restaurants. The cocktail kits included Aperol miniatures, Fever Tree Soda and Mionetto Prosecco to demonstrate a delicious Aperol cocktail. 

The campaign in total reached 185,029 people. Those who received a sample not only received a sample of the product but also extra products to help demonstrate the product. This campaign went above and beyond the usual product sampling strategy and was all facilitated by Relish.

Learn more about Relish’s Bespoke Projects, which can bring your brand’s most creative product sampling ideas to life and find the perfect sampling partner, with invaluable consumer insights to inform your future campaigns.

6. Tequila Rose x Missguided

As an age restricted item, Tequila Rose weren’t able to engage in traditional product sampling strategies and so needed to identify a pocket of their target audience to whom they could freely advertise.

Tequila Rose sent samples to popular fashion brand Missguided, who typically hire the ideal target audience. 300 samples were delivered to Missguided HQ just before pay day, and Missguided staff were encouraged to share their samples on social media to raise brand awareness.

The result of the campaign was a 100% positive sentiment score, with plentiful free social media advertising. Tequila Rose and Missguided were brought together by Relish, who facilitate workplace sampling for many other exciting brands also.

Get creative and stand out 

As we’ve explored in this article, the undeniable benefits of product sampling are showcased through a series of iconic campaigns that have left lasting impressions on both consumers and the industry as a whole.

The strategic fusion of innovation and engagement is at the heart of these triumphs. Whether it’s hacking Amazon Prime Day with Cheerios’ or elevating the sampling experience with Aperol’s cocktail kits, each campaign demonstrates the extraordinary results that can be achieved when imagination meets strategy.

The success stories outlined here underscore the critical role of not just product sampling, but also the masterful orchestration behind the scenes. The ingenuity of Relish in fostering connections between brands and audiences has consistently given birth to campaigns that resonate and endure.

Interested? Learn about more of Relish’s customer triumphs.

Product sampling is a valuable marketing strategy that can help businesses generate interest and increase sales. By using these creative product sampling ideas, brands can not only increase their reach but also leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of consumers for years to come.

If you would like to hear about how Relish can help you with your product sampling strategy, or other channels to suit your business, drop us a message or give us a call on 01173751160. Alternatively send us an email at

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