NY Post

Why Didn’t We Think of This: App Gives Away Swag in Exchange for Watching Ads

May 27, 2015  •  Post A Comment

“Three business bigwigs from Blackstone, Saks Fifth Avenue and Goldman Sachs are backing a new app that offers free swag to users in exchange for watching 15-second video ads,” reports our friend Claire Atkinson in the New York Post.

The app, says the report, is called “Claim It! — which has attracted 42,000 users and shown 227,000 ads since its New York launch four months ago…”

Furthermore, the story says, Claim It! “allows users to get free gifts by claiming codes, which they can redeem at a pink truck that travels around the city every week. The truck’s location is given to users so they can track it down. In a few weeks the app also will allow users to redeem codes in stores like cupcake shop Crumbs.”

Atkinson spoke to Ali Abdullah, a former Google engineer and a co-founder of Claim It, who told her, “I was told the two most powerful words in advertising are ‘free’ and ‘sex,’ and I decided free is the way I want to go.”



  1. “Swag” is a 4 letter word! It is not clever, cute, campy or ‘in’. It is a slang term that disparages and defames the work of thousands of dedicated advertising professionals that use promotional advertising to get results. This article is about the effectiveness of promotional advertising yet the slang demeaning term “swag” is part of your bold headline! In 1823, that’s nearly 200 years ago, Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of Vulgar Toungue indicated it was a crude term to be avoided by intelligent people.

  2. That was a great job of trollin….took me a few reads, but I’ve come away impressed.
    Well done sir or ma’am!

  3. Whose Reality?
    For those of us who study such things, one of the most fascinating aspects of slang is the dynamism of its meaning across time and cultures. I would invite you to Google “swag.” I suppose “swag” could be insulting to ad pros of 1823, but ad pros attempting to reach a current market would benefit from understanding the value-added nature of the word in contemporary usage, as well as its cultural reflections. “Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong, Under the shade of a coulibah tree, And he sang as he sat and waited till his billy boiled: Who’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me?”

    • Thank you for the cultural reflections – The jolly swagman was an out of work vagabond, a tramp. And the word swag[man] was used to be derogatory. Just because a slang word in used by a segment of the population that does not make it acceptable. Journalists, even young ones, should strive to use language that avoids alienating people. The term “gift” or “premium” or “reward” certainly increases the value of the program and offends no one.

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