Fidget spinners took off like a wild fire.  Within a week everyone knew what a fidget spinner was.  Let’s stop right there and look at this… This thing is a little “toy” that spins and is supposed to keep us occupied because our attention span is shorter than a goldfish. Yea, it’s actually a proven study from Microsoft (goldfish have a 9 second attention span while us humans have an attention span of 8 seconds… here’s more on that). But back to the main point… Remember when Selfie Sticks were popular… or even last summer when Pokemon had the geocache app. Where are either of those now?  They’ve vanished… well, not completely; but you get the point.  Now I’d like to really drill down this point a bit further… Selfie sticks actually did provide some value to us.  I mean shoot I know there’s been recent times with my family where we tried to take a pic of the 4 of us (with our dogs too) on the beach and our pic came out pretty shitty.  A selfie stick actually would have been useful then. While I’ve never actually “played” Pokemon or the trendy Pokemon GO app, I do get why people liked it… My friend Manpreet actually implemented Pokemon GO into her marketing strategy and got over 100,000 views on this YouTube video.  The point is that both the selfie stick and the Pokemon GO app actually brought VALUE to the marketplace.  Honestly, please tell me what value the Fidget Spinner brings to the market.

Here are a few more reasons I don’t believe in Fidget Spinners:

  • SWAG Trade Show Use:  Okay, so you want a fidget spinner because they are cheap and you can hand them out like candy at your booth and you think it’ll drive traffic to your booth.  Great, I get that.  Well, how many other companies at the trade show are thinking the same thing… do you really want to do what everyone else is doing?
  • The “Me Too” Concept:  Fidget spinners are a “me too” item.  I’m in the promotional products business.  So, I see it from the factories I work with sending me flyers about Fidget Spinners to my client requests for them.  Everyone wants them.  It’s a very low value “me too” item.  Now on the flip side, the knock-off S’well bottles like this one  are a cool “me too” item.  As a promotional products distributor, if I’m not showing my clients the greatness of the 12 hour hot / 24 hour cold S’well bottles than I’m not doing my job.  We all know exactly what this item is and you’ll happily take another home with you and use it for years to come.
  • Short-Sighted:  I’m not trying to knock anyone that believes in fidget spinners but c’mon really… do you think your clients are going to have this thing in their homes 3 months from now, 6 months from now… a year from now?  Let’s be real, it’ll probably break in a matter of months.
  • Safety:  Have you heard of kids choking on these?  Product safety is extremely important and this can not be ignored. Here’s a point of reference – or just google it to find more 😉

But wait, I have a solution for you!

Yea, that’d be pretty lame for me to just go on a rant and be negative, wouldn’t it?!

HACKY SACKS… We recently did WhatUp Silicon Valley hacky sacks as a SWAG giveaway.  For no other reason than it fit our brand and they are nostalgic.  However, to be honest… I’m actually shocked by how great the response from my friends and ValueBP’s clients has been.  People are using these to “fidget”. I kid you not… I’ve brought these to networking meetings, gave them to friends at my house, given them to clients in meetings etc.  Without fail the recipient will either begin to squeeze the hacky sack like a stress ball or start to toss it.  Then there’s Stephen from ValueBP that went so far to juggle them at a trade show… the guy has skills!  (BTW, there was a huge buzz at the trade show about the hacky sacks… people came to our booth asking for them because they had already heard about them from other attendees).

Oh and hacky sacks get “desk space”… I’ve had multiple friends send me text images of our WhatUp hacky sacks on their office desks.  One dude even put our hacky sack right by his beloved Golden State Warrior bobblehead figurines… now that’s pretty awesome!

Final Thought:  I’m by no means saying hey if you want fidget spinners then that’s a mistake and you should get hacky sacks instead.  But I am a big believer in these hacky sacks because they reach people on the “emotional level of the child” (great sales tactic), are nostalgic, similar price point, and they will withstand the test of time.

For a complimentary “Brand-Storming” session for your SWAG needs, just email me at

Oh, and one more thing…if you’d like your clients to have an interaction like this – then, sure go and get all the fidget spinners you can while they are still the latest trend 😉

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