The hot new conference swag favored by Lyft, WordPress, and Twitter

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At a recent Lyft event, the brand decided not to hand out the usual swag. You know, the frisbees or stress balls or notebooks or pens that pile up in your closets and drawers. Instead, in a large bowl, there was a pile of ripe green avocados, each printed with the Lyft logo. They were a hit. Attendees flocked around the fruit, Instagramming the heck out of them. Then, they put the avocados in their bags for a tasty afternoon snack.

Not to be outdone, AT&T sent out branded pineapples to VIP clients. And then Twitter gave out peaches at an event, each one featuring the iconic bird mascot on them. Soundcloud’s branded radishes were a particularly unexpected highlight of a party, and tasted good in salads.

The woman behind this slightly weird trend sweeping through dozens of tech companies is Danielle Baskin, a San Francisco-based designer and visual artist best known for her work designing bicycle helmets. Branded fruit is a fun and exciting thing for a consumer to receive at a corporate event, but it also taps into a frustration and fatigue that many people feel about receiving the cheap, disposable swag churned out by the $24 billion promotional products industry.

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