Hot tech company trend: Branded fruit as conference swag


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Give away swag that will spoil or be eaten in a few days? Whose bright idea was this? So if somebody really likes your brand, it can end up as that moldy shrunken tangerine in the back of your fridge?


Seems fitting IBM would be on an avocado. Only ripe for a few minutes and then totally rotten.




A few years back I interviewed with a division of IBM that was trying to be hip and cool, which apparently involved recycling the worst interview questions from the 90s. They asked me my “spirit animal” along with a bunch of other weird shit 90s Vogue type shit. I said it was Bill Murray. They didn’t make an offer. Got the impression the interviewer was disturbed on a fundemental level at the insinuation that we are all just bags of saltwater and farts. Or maybe they just were annoyed I didn’t realize they wanted lateral thinking not lateral thinking.


The Facebook logo is under the mold:



Diabolically effective marketing strategy. You subconsciously associate the fruit with the corporation and when you eat it, you have made that corporate entity a part of you. It now inhabits your body and soul at a homeopathic level making you much more susceptible to viral media sensations. The corpcebo effect (or “corpse-bow”) will become prevalent in future consumer driven markets. A small percentage will eat physical talismans of the actual company like business cards and such but that is obviously to be expected.

Am I being serious? I can’t even tell.


Most tradeshow swag just goes into the trash anyway. How many stress balls and mini-slinky’s does a person need?


I thought the greenish coating was the logo?


I was sorting through old boxes recently getting rid of stuff and one was half full of swag from companies and products I don’t recognize. None of it was recyclable as far as I could tell. Just a bunch of junk that no one wants. Self destructing, compostable swag suddenly seems Ok to me.


Ya know: she’s a genius though.

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Just look at that banana. Just look at it.


There’s a few ways fruit can be marked up with branding. Laser would be quick but getting the power level correct and the irregular nature of fruits might make it difficult. Maybe?

An alternative is to just use non-toxic paint and use an airbrush plus a stencil. Bet that’d cost less than $5 and as a bonus you could do color.

PS: Yes this is quite stupid but hey, gotta separate suckers from their money. More power to people out there making a living on stuff like this.


I was trying to imagine how this could be done quickly and in a large enough quantity to supply a corporate swag table at a big convention. There are a couple more organic ways I remember (initials on an apple, a piece of fruit grown in a bottle), but they are more suited to one-offs.


Same here. I am presently disposing of accumulated junk prior to an office move. I really, really don’t need yet another tee-shirt emblazoned with yesterday’s marketing slogan. At least you can eat the banana.


Dumb idea, and a waste of good food, but as @Garymon points out, at least it’s all biodegradable.


There was a time, long ago, when I got excited to get swag (because FREE), but in retrospect, it’s all pretty dumb. After any expo/Con/Event I remembered the interesting products and followed up with them and forgot all the other stuff not relevant to me.

Not once did I think what was that super amazing product? Oh no it was amazing but I just can’t remember what it was called. Good thing I have a bag of plastic junk to solve this problem that a spec sheet and my brain couldn’t handle.


In the past, I’ve worked for companies like Conde Nast, doing their shipping. The endless amount of useless promotional/branded crap that ended up just taking up space in storage was utterly disgusting and depressing.