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Renewing the call to marketers

July 19, 2008

After I attended SXSW earlier this year, I posted a blog entry as a “call to marketers” to cut the crap, that is try to control all the junk that gets handed out at that and other conferences.  At this BlogHer, Susan Etlinger posted a similar rant about all the swag that gets handed out here.  Rather than be redundant to her post, I’m going to tackle one simple area – t-shirts.

First, the TNT shirt, which was provided in the tote bags.  I thought, this is strange, a conference where we celebrate our uniqueness, and they’re giving out a one-size-fits-all shirt?  I opened it up, expecting an “XL”, to find it was a “M”.   I wondered, is it better to NOT do a promotion like this than possibly offend your audience by giving them a product that’s too small/too large for them?  For something where everyone gets the same thing, like a conference bag, I think that’s the wrong way to go.  TNT also gave out a CD of the premiere episodes of some of their shows, so I think they could have found something a bit more appropriate and useful to accompany that then a shirt that maybe 1/3 of this conference will fit into.  For the record, but not that you care, it does fit me, but I swear it’s a men’s cut not a women’s.

Kathy Sierra spoke at SXSW and laid down the day for marketers –  if you want to get the attention of your customers, offer t-shirts in men’s AND women’s sizes.  You’ll make friends fast.   I’ve tried to follow that, especially when creating shirts for co-workers to wear at trade shows.  We at work range from XS to XXXL, so it’s nice to have something for everyone.

I was at the Six Apart party tonight where they gave out gift bags teeny tiny American Apparel shirts in size large.  A size, BTW, that fits Little IT.  To their credit, they were also giving out shirts in the suite in all sorts of sizes.

I can’t tell you how annoying it was to be begged to take t-shirts at TechEd that were a men’s L or XL.  Where was Kathy Sierra when you need her?

BTW, kudos to the recycle room sponsored by Zwaggle where people can give up the stuff that they don’t want from swag land.  I’ve already visited, but unfortunately, I keep picking up stuff people left behind.  Got to make some contributions myself, as I don’t need to drag all this junk home.  Maybe Susan wants some of it?  I should ask her.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2008 2:31 am

    Ummm, no thanks!

  2. July 19, 2008 1:46 pm

    I find that men’s L or XL conference swag t-shirts make perfect summer pajamas.

  3. July 20, 2008 6:33 pm

    Lisa, I was saved when Six Apart gave me a men’s L American Apparel shirt, as I forgot to pack PJs. You are so right!

  4. July 21, 2008 6:15 pm

    Hey, thanks for coming by and using the recycling room. We had a great time meeting our fellow BlogHer attendees, and appreciated all the participation we saw going on with the giving and taking. Maybe we’ll see you next time. Until then…

  5. July 24, 2008 11:55 am

    Just say no to swag! Keep your ethics and keep posting!


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