best & worst advertising giveaways

I was lucky to attend a Braves game last night with a friend who got tickets from her job. We “watched” the game from an air-conditioned suite, gorging on free food and drink, as well as sorting through the advertising giveaways we received from the rep who was hosting us.

My friend and her coworkers were clearly used to receiving swag from reps. They took the gift bags full of loot with all the enthusiasm that 20-somethings typically receive free stuff, but they also offered their remarks on which items were cool and which were junk.


T-shirts were a hit. They were well-designed with a unique, artistic logo on sizes that could actually be worn. The gift bags used different colors to denote which held women’s shirts — an attractive mauve with a fitted shape — and which held men’s shirts — a cool gray. We all agreed we would wear the tees.

Bottle opener keychains were also popular, but most of us already had one.

One woman among us was very excited to receive golf balls, but the rest of us non-golfers were indifferent and gave ours to her. The takeaway here is to know your audience: golfers or not?


I was surprised to hear people in our group complaining about receiving “yet another USB drive.” As relatively expensive products, USBs make good one-time gifts, but make sure not to overwhelm your customers with them. Generally people don’t need a whole handful of USBs. They can, however, never have too many pens, and click pens are far less expensive.


The winner of last night’s advertising merchandise didn’t come from my friend’s rep, but from the Braves themselves. At the turnstiles ballpark employees handed each fan a complimentary Atlanta Braves cap. Remember how I said to know your audience? Turner Field assumed every person walking into a Tuesday night match between the worst two teams in the division were Braves fans who would be completely stoked to receive a free hat. They were right.

Marketing Coordinator

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