Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Does swag really sway?

A couple of years ago, while working in the film industry, I learned a new term: Swag. It's the stuff more commonly referred to as promo items. Those great little goodies designed to put a company's logo in front of as many people as possible.

But does swag really sway readers?

I've bought my fair share over the past couple of years. From pens to bookmarks to these super cute calculator key chains with my name and website proudly displayed. Cute as they may be, I still wonder if I've wasted my precious dollars?

In my overactive imagination, I envision a reader in the grocery store using my pen to check off items on her grocery list. She stops. Looks at her Farrah Rochon pen, and realizes she needs to head to the book section asap so she can pick up the latest Farrah Rochon novel.

Does that really happen? Probably not. To confess, the only promo item that's ever convinced me to buy a book was a bookmark. And that's because the author was blessed with a great cover and had the entire back cover blurb on the bookmark. I've never bought a book because of a pen, or a cute button, or a hot pink jar opener.

Will that stop me from handing out cute swag items? Probably not.

So, has anyone been swayed by swag? If so, what was it? Don't limit it to books. Has any company's promotional items convinced you to try their product?