The Swag of the Rich and Famous: Promo Giveaways They’ll Remember

5dIMG_0631 (640x427)“Swag bags” are stealing the spotlight at celebrity award shows, major trade shows and even political conventions. Why are marketers spending thousands of dollars giving away free stuff? It’s the power of promo giveaways.

Marketers are seizing the opportunity to get their brands 15 minutes of fame in the hands of celebrities, social influencers and politicians in the hopes the figure will be photographed using the product… or even better… tweeting about it. Companies are cashing in on the opportunity to reach possible celebrity endorsers at the MTV Movie Awards, the Oscars (with a bag valued at $85,000!) and other award shows. With the average tote bag, owned by the average consumer, gaining 5,983 impressions, to have a celebrity just carry their bag of goodies out of the venue can make a HUGE impact.

The key to a successful celebrity swag bag is the same for marketers targeting average consumers and even business-to-business marketing: usefulness. Eight out of every 10 people who receive a promo item, decide to keep it based on its usefulness. Whether you are a celebrity or the average Joe, if you are given something you could use, branded or not, you’ll hang on to it. Pretty promos help too, with 29% of people saying they keep branded items if they find it attractive.

It is also becoming popular for celebrities to donate their swag to charities. This is not only a generous gesture on behalf of the celebrity, but it also demonstrates another important trend: 63% of people who receive a promo item they don’t want to keep, give it away. That means even if your marketing efforts didn’t get in the right hands the first time… your branded items most likely end up with someone who finds value in them.

The Washington Post recently announced the contents of the People/Time swag bag given to White House Correspondents. At 17.2 lbs., these 41 items are getting in front of people with influence. Interestingly, this bag is valued at less than $600 (Keeping it under what is required to be reported to the IRS), showing that you don’t have to have a celebrity budget to make a blockbuster impression with a carefully crafted swag bag.

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