No one needs more swag than at SXSW. But what if you could trade in your tees and cozies for something really worth something, like headphones or VIP concerts? That’s the idea behind the SXSW activation from Hershey’s TAKE5: an exchange that lets you trade your branded merch for something better.
The TAKE5 Swag Exchange, created by advertising agency Barkley, let attendees swap their branded merchandise for freebies ranging from ponchos to flasks to iPhone portable projectors to reservations at impossible-to-reserve restaurants…along with a $250 gift card for the meal.
People traded in roughly a thousand items each day, from the usual shirts to a SXSW yarmulke to VR goggles pre-loaded with porn. (it is SXSW after all). When attendees handed over their swag, TAKE5 ambassadors with tablets entered the items and matched them up with the appropriate exchange.
But the most expensive items didn’t necessarily yield the most expensive freebies—an algorithm took into account the most commonly traded items each day and set a premium for the rarest items. One man brought in a cardboard coaster and walked away with a Bose speaker. People kept coming back throughout the day trying to game the system…which is exactly what was wanted.
The activation, Hershey’s first at SXSW, marks their relaunch of TAKE5, which they call a remixed snack. The experience remixes the swag experience so that people get things they actually want.
The exchanged swag is making its way, where appropriate, to local Austin charities. For example, leather-bound notebooks are going to a foundation helping women start professional careers.