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Don’t you just love swag? Just about every event I go to lately has a nice little swag bag for each of the guests. You know those bags that have a variety of “free gifts” inside as a thank you for attending the event. Typically these items are branded with a company logo because they want you to of course try the item, love it and then go out and buy it. That’s why they do these in the first place. It even works for service businesses as you may not be buying their item, but ultimately they want you to think about them for the services they provide. Swag can be a very powerful promotional element.
Take for instance the biggest swag bag of all, the one given to the Oscar Nominees. This past year it was filled with
a variety of merchandise with a retail value of over $85,000!! From the most simplistic, a $6.49 DrainWig (cool idea by the way) to the extreme, a $15,000 walking tour around Japan. All of course trying to get the attention of the stars so that they might ultimately talk about their experience with their product (or be seen with the product) and thus the merchandise and the brand would get more exposure.
Virtual Swag is Effective for Increased Interaction
With the internet so widely used, it was only a matter of time when swag would become “virtual” in nature. So now there are swag codes. I actually love this on many levels from a promotional marketing perspective. Swag codes are used on the website swagbucks.com. This site is designed so that the user receives points for doing what they do every day on the web: search, shop, watch videos and more. But when you do these through swagbucks.com you get the bonus of points redeemable for gift cards for major retailers, travel operators and more.
What makes this site so interesting to a promotional marketing guru like me? The swag codes and how you get them. The swag codes allow you to get “bonus” points so you can redeem for the gift cards sooner. They “hide” the swag codes throughout their website, in a twitter message (Twitter Tuesdays), on their blog, Facebook and Pinterest. It’s almost like a virtual scavenger hunt. They give out a clue and you search for the codes! They are only there for a limited time so you have to find and use them quickly. The quintessential sales promotion program. It gets more traffic to their site and social media posts with results NOW. Not in the future.
Of course, they are not the only ones utilizing this method, think about the big guys, Amazon and Google. If you shop or search either I am sure you have seen enter the Amazon gift card code or the Google play gift card codes. You can get these legitimately and should. Unfortunately there are many sites (even Facebook pages) that tout legit or not so legit ways to get free Amazon gift card codes or more general free gift card codes.
I think in many ways the brands are behind the programs. There are even YouTube videos that will help you understand how to get the free amazon gift cards or free amazon gift card codes. It’s all about getting you to be interactive them or their sponsored brands. There are apps that you can download to your IOS or Android that as you use it, share it or use it to download sponsored apps you get points, coins or codes. It’s another sales promotion in that it is trying to get you involved with them and their brands.
Since we are all on the go, always on our IOS or Android and shopping virtually, a virtual “swag” is a win-win promotion.