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Hershey's Puts a Unique Spin on SXSW Promotions

March 23, 2016 | Hannah Abrams

take5-sxsw-hed-2016Most music festivals feature a slew of promotional products: tote bags, branded water bottles, T-shirts, posters, and more. But when festival-goers are hopping from one tent to the next to enjoy the show, a lot of those promotional products can wind up left behind or in a trash can.

According to Adweek, Hershey‘s Take 5 Swag Exchange at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, might have curtailed this problem. The company teamed up with a creative shop called Barkley to give festival-goers promotional products of their choosing, instead of a slew of products they might not want.

Consumers were permitted and encouraged to swap out items for other products, like ponchos, flasks, portable iPhone projectors and gift cards. Items were valued based on supply and demand and presented via an algorithm.

Check out the promo video for the Take 5 Swag Exchange:

The Take 5 Swag Exchange received 5,661 branded items in total, which were subsequently sent to charities in Austin.

Giving clients what they actually want, instead of products they don’t, might be the promotional boost your company needs.

Here are some promotional products that festival-goers actually want:

1. Sunglasses:


Most music festivals take place in warmer temperatures and often festival-goers are unprepared for the sun’s powerful rays. Keep their eyes safe from UV rays with a branded pair of sunglasses.

2) Sunscreen:


We can all agree that the worst festival souvenir is an unwanted sunburn. You’ll be the hero all festival-goers flock to if you gift them SPF. Add in a nifty keychain, and you’ll have a moving and visible promotion.

3) Frisbees:


Music festivals tend to span an entire day, which means there’s a lot of waiting around. Give festival-goers something to do with a fun, branded frisbee.

4) Silicone Phone Wallets:


The latest trend to hit trade shows and events, silicone phone wallets are a festival-goer’s dream. Fidgeting for credit cards to purchase repeat orders of lemonade can get annoying, and this makes it easy for those grab-and-go purchases. Plus, your brand is front and center when everyone takes their smartphones out for concert photos.

5) Beach Towels:


It can be a pain to carry around a chair all day, but it’s also uncomfortable to sit on the wet grass while watching music festival sets—the millennial’s least favorite Catch 22. Instead, give festival-goers an option that’s both easy to carry and comfortable to sit on: a beach towel. Plus, you can decorate it with a creative spin on your logo and the event name, so everyone will remember your brand.

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