You don’t have to be a promo girl to figure out the reasons why people like marketing events. These promos are fun since they don’t occur every day. The girls are sexy and flirty. But what brings all all genders, races and socioeconomic levels to the table? Swag!
Now, I’ve seen a lot of swag in my day. Having a marketing background from the movie and beverage industries, I am a connoisseur of branded giveaways and have seen the good, the bad and the just plain stupid. Most recently, I’ve been to a few wine/liquor expos and the Gay Pride Festival. Look at the postcard we had at our Blue Moon Publishing booth:
I am a believer that some swag just sucks, or at the very least, it wasn’t thought through properly. So I’m going to share with you the giveaways I love, hate and/or just don’t understand. First, here is the worst freebie I’ve ever seen:
This, my friends, is a crumb sweeper, and a booth at a wine expo was giving them out. To me, there is a basic equation for good swag (fun + practicality × creativity ≤ shiny), and this piece of crap does not add up. First off, what a snobby giveaway. Who is it for? Who even uses a crumb sweeper?! Is an owner of a fancy restaurant supposed to take one and give it to his favorite waiter as a backhanded gift? I didn’t see these flying off the table, especially since the one next door had chap stick. Much better swag. Fits the equation.
I’ve seen lots of good swag lately. Hand sanitizer is really in style, and you can’t go wrong with pens, candy, those little rubber bracelets, glassware, frisbees, and bottle opener key chains…or at least I thought you couldn’t ruin this:
I’m not trying to be a hater, but staring at a pet crematory logo every time I open a beer is a serious buzz kill. Oh well, it’s a quality opener, and at least they didn’t hand out matchbooks instead (rim shot). It’s even more awkward than the Mean Girls sunscreen we gave out at AMC that looked like condoms. So many parents gave me the stank eye over those, and I’m like “They’re sunscreen! I swear I’m not pushing pink condoms on your 12-year-old!” Blinky shot glass necklaces have always baffled me, too. They are specifically why I added “≤ shiny” to my swag equation. They are stupid and impractical (who drinks out of a necklace?), but since they light-up, they are a favorite, especially among drunk people and strippers.
Now it’s time to reveal my favorite swag. Drum roll please…
Turner blew my mind with this travel sized tube of WD-40. Like, wow. How original. How handy! How cute! A man clearly designed this, and I love it. It could go in my car or tool box. There is one other promo item I recently received at Pride that is a new favorite, but it is an unmentionable item. So to keep this post PG-13, I will just let your mind go into the gutter on that note. Swag!