Storage Soup

Aug 1 2008   12:43PM GMT

Storage Swagapalooza!

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

NetApp’s gift of a T-shirt the other day made me think about all the other s.w.a.g. I’ve collected during my time in the storage industry – I’ve become something of a collector of odd trade-show tchotchkes. And I realized when I looked at the items I’ve kept, my desk has become a personal museum of now-defunct or acquired companies. So I thought a brief tour of my collection might be a fun Friday post.

Here are some of the things I’ve accumulated:

Commemorative EMC baseball
This baseball commemorates EMC’s naming rights to the luxury boxes at Fenway Park. No word on whether it matches the one Joe Tucci threw at Hideki Okajima.

Clearly, a match made in (baseball) heaven
Might a shared passion for baseball-themed marketing strategies have brought these two together?

A plastic poseable snake with ‘Neverfail’ on it
That’s about all I can say about this one.

Stress ball collection
I’m into items I can squish in moments of angst. As you can tell by the wear and tear, the green Copan version in the back there is the prize piece of my collection. It makes a sickening squishing noise when you squeeze it thanks to its air-filled honeycomb structure.

Somehow not the message I think they wanted to send
All I can think of when I see this Arsenal dice-shaped mint box is, “Arsenal–roll the dice and choose us!” Not the kind of thing a backup SaaS provider wants to be saying to customers, necessarily, but then again, that is taking this particular item out of context – I’m sure I got it in Vegas, where 99.9% of storage vendor conferences are held and where chip, dice and card-themed giveaways are mandatory.

Squishy braiiiiiin…
Another of my absolute favorites. It’s really difficult to describe the sticky, squishy texture of this little model brain in a plastic petri dish from ADIC. Kind of like Wacky WallWalkers, if anybody remembers those. Can be used to simultaneously entertain and horrify coworkers and friends!

“Who Backs Up Your Remote Office?”
This colorful travel mug, another Avamar classic, is meant to provoke frightened introspection about whether your remote office data protection strategies have been left up to a gum-popping entry-level employee.

DPM man
This is from the first launch of Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager. Adam West’s appearance at their launch event was admittedly more of a draw.

CommVault Magic 8 Ball
Another possibly unfortunate association with randomness and uncertainty, but this was one of my favorite toys as a kid.

EMC desk calendar
As you can see, I haven’t kept up with it very well…

Green EMC storage
Last year’s origami project helped me repurpose these EMC calendar resources and cut down the amount of waste I generated from my desk. My goal is to do the same with this year’s calendar,  totally behind though I am, and put both batches of birds towards a Senbazuru.

McData parachuter
This was a donation to my collection from one of my former colleagues. Not sure where it came from.

Contents: one brain
Sanrad’s got my back in case I need a spare. Or need to sarcastically offer it to someone.

Email archiving voodoo doll
Now this is the piece de resistance. Quite possibly the most thoughtful and elaborate marketing giveaway ever, by MessageOne. this voodoo doll comes with pins, hair samples and an instruction guide as well as its own storage box…

…as well as outfits to dress it up in:
Pictured here: Rogue User’ and ‘Idiot with Backhoe (presumably one that takes out power to your data center).

3  Comments on this Post

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  • Storagezilla
    Hahahahahaha. :) Nice collection.
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  • Martin Tuip
    At TechEd2008 TNT gave away Blue Spruce saplings which definately stood out in the crowd in my opinion. Sybari used to give away hand made cigars at Exchange conferences.
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  • djensen
    Beth, this struck a chord with me. During the years I attended and exhibited at trade shows I often pondered what percentage of "gimmies" would end up in a landfill somewhere. In one two-year period I acquired more than 40 branded foam figures!! I did not throw them away, and instead beqeathed them to a colleague whose children loved those sort of things. Perhaps the takeway from your posting should be that the first step toward "green marketing" is the elimination of "tchotchkes" from marketing programs altogether? While they are fun to collect, they don't necessarily generate leads or effectively support the brand, hence, they are often little more than a momentary novelty before they turn into a long-term environmental issue. Hang on to the trade show novelties you have because someday the idea of using novelties to promote a product or service may become...a novelty?! Cheers!
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