Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Friday Five for July 4th: Schwag

I've missed Friday Five for several weeks now ... and that's a shame.  Because they're great questions and are fun to answer.  So ... please excuse the tardiness ... but let's do a special July 4th Friday Five!
The Friday 5

* From Wikipedia: Promotional merchandise, promotional items, promotional products, promotional gifts, or advertising gifts, sometimes nicknamed swag or schwag, are articles of merchandise (often branded with a logo) used in marketing and communication programs. They are given away to promote a company, corporate image, brand, or event. These items are usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or slogan, and given away at trade shows, conferences, and as part of guerrilla marketing campaigns.

1. What’s the most practically useful article of schwag you’ve ever received? - I think the schwag I've enjoyed most were the perks I received working within the State Fair.   My ID badge got me free entrance on and off the grounds at any time.  My parking pass got me a front row spot 24 hours a day seven days a week.  Other perks varied.  In the early 90's, I had a friend in the front office who gave out bundles of carnival ride tickets to a few of us.  I usually had extra parking passes to give out for one or two days of the fair.  In the last few years, I had books of admission tickets to give away.  Silly things like lanyards ... coffee mugs ... and t-shirts were pretty common.  There was knowing the secret WiFi password for the grounds.  Oh, and let us not forget the holiest of holy perks ... the use of a golf cart.

Don't misunderstand me ... working on the grounds was, for the most part, an enormous pain in the ass during the fair itself.  The traffic was a nightmare.  The visitors could, at times, be staggeringly rude.   The heat was mind numbing.  But I also met some of the nicest people on the planet ... I tried a lot of weird, new food (mostly fried) ... and I was able to use my perks to give some people a really special fair experience.  This will be the first year since 1991 that I won't be a part of the Illinois State Fair ... and I think, much to my surprise, that I'm actually going to miss it.

2. What’s the most useless schwag you’ve ever received? - For awhile ... back in the early 90's, I had a part time job at a video rental store.  The owner would receive schwag from various movie companies ... and from time to time he'd share the items he didn't want with the employees.  We would come in to find various items stacked on his desk in the back room with a "Free to Take" sign next to them.  The items were always stupid ... like a handful of key chains from whatever new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie was coming out ... or a t-shirt from a Rodney Dangerfield movie that was size XX-small ... a size that fit no one on the staff.  The worst was a clock for some action movie ... that didn't even work.  So lame ...

3. What schwag do you receive on a regular basis, and how do you feel about it? - I don't get a lot of schwag these days.  In my last job, there was always something fun in our "prize closet" ... rain gauges or hats or garden gloves or totes ... calculators and mouse pads and tape measures.   These days I am, sadly, nearly schwagless.

4. What’s something that could reasonably be great schwag material but for some reason isn’t? - About four months ago, my current employer passed out cool little pedometers ... with the idea that all of us could get a little healthier.  Not a bad idea, in and of itself.  The problem was the way it was presented ... which was more in the vein of ... "Here, ya bunch of fat asses ... do something with yourselves!"

My pedometer is still in my desk drawer ... still unopened in the original cardboard box it came in.  I may be fat?  But I am also a woman ... and sensitive ... and, I suppose, a little stubborn.  So how about you show a little sensitivity?  Asshats ...

5. What the schwag that’s physically closest to you right now? - There is Vision Care bag two feet from me ... a "goodie bag" that came with my newest pair of prescription glasses.  There's a magnet and pen in there ... along with a little bottle of glass cleaning solution and a microfiber wipe.  I love that stuff ...

That's it ... that's the schwag report for the day!  YOLO!

Baby, baby, baby oooh
Like baby, baby, baby nooo
Like baby, baby, baby oooh
I thought you'd always be mine

Justin Beiber - Baby

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