The good, the bad, and the ugly of your corporate swag

Treasure or toss? Readers weigh in on the highs and lows of promotional products.


July 3, 2020

This week, we looked at the evolution of branded swag during the pandemic. We asked you to ID some of the best and worst, erm… prizes… you’ve ever received.

You didn’t disappoint:

  • Mike gushed about a giant fishing lure — 29 inches! He wasn’t as enthusiastic about the stale popcorn someone once gave him. Maybe he could use that to attract fish, too?
  • Jared liked a bottle opener/seed depth tool. “It’s used to measure the depth of seeds in a field or the height of a plant,” he said. “Add a bottle opener to it, and you can enjoy a cold (or warm) beer while out in the fields.” Right on.
  • Ysmay once received an Acer mini laptop with Livescribe pen. Makes sense that Ysmay was unimpressed by a water bottle that “started to smell like melting plastic” after 5 uses.

Which leads us to the swag that made you gag.

  • Poor Christopher once picked up a “collector’s edition” Smirnoff bottle from a liquor distributor. Alas: “Apparently it’s for display purposes.”
  • Heather said a power bank was the best and worst promotional product she ever received: “It was given to me after a job interview. I didn’t get the job.”
  • And then there’s Ben, who once got… a logoed condom. I guess that’s one way for a brand to make a personal connection?

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