Keeping up with the swag

MSP 2008 (Republican convention) host committee has sent over a boatload of GOP convention swag, at the same time the mayors of the Twin Cities were at the National Press Club to provide a “sneak peak” of the convention. Convention organizers are said to be ticked off that the state reneged on a promise to provide a letter of credit to the convention.

These things also serve to show what media is where on the GOP pecking order. Let the record show: Cathy Wurzer is high on the list. News Cut is not. Mercifully, the Morning Edition staff recognized a candidate for a blog entry when they saw it.

How did these items get selected? “(They) didn’t have to pay,” MSP 2008 communications director Teresa McFarland said in an e-mail. “The visitor and convention bureaus sent out an email asking for items that brought our key messages to life from the press kit.”

  • Key messages? I’ll leave that to the discussion.

    It may not be the best of manners to “compare swag” but how does Minnesota’s offering measure up against previous goodie bags from past RNCs”

    Any News Cut readers out there with info on that?


    Julia Schrenkler

    Interactive Producer, MPR New Media

  • c

    Nickelodeon? Is this any affiliation to the Loonie Tunes/Pooh Mafia?

    What is the connection of Nickelodeon to the Republican Convention? other than absurdity.

  • minn whaler

    I, too, zeroed in on the Nickelodeon Universe hat. Is that the new theme at MOA? I’m guessing that’s the connection. Anyhow, as for swag, the GOP always has more stuff, i.e. junk. Let’s just for a moment think how much those little “Party bags” cost and tell me it wouldn’t feed those in Minnesota who are having to choose between housing, food and medical care for themselves and their children… at least for a week or two??? And on the other hand (besides having 5 more fingers) I need to wonder what do the snag “donors” get in return?

  • c


    Ohhhh Nickelodeon is part of the Maul of AMerica, well no wonder I didn’t know that is because i do not partake in the Maul.

    I am with you on the whole idea of the waste behind the swag…..I think that the donors are in bed with the GOP, you know just like how every thing else works for them.

  • Slow down GOP haters. This is just advertising.

    These swag items are from local advertisers, promoting their business in MN.

    Many local advertisers will have items in the DEM bag in Denver.

    As to feeding the hungry, no company that I know of gives up advertising to feed the hungry.

  • c

    /Many local advertisers will have items in the DEM bag in Denver.

    As to feeding the hungry, no company that I know of gives up advertising to feed the hungry. /

    So what’s in Denver’s Bag?


    does anyone want to challang Brians comment on a business who will skip advertising to feed the hungry……how about MPR?

  • /challang Brians comment on a business /

    My words were no business that I know of.

    Many wonderful Non-profits, of course, do feed the hungry all the time – and in my mind I did not include them. There are many companies that do good things, Target is a big local one that comes to mind (some thing like 5% back to local schools or charities) but they hardly give up advertising opportunities to do so. Again using Target as example, this past weekend they were the sponsor of the winning Indy 500 car. Sponsoring an Indy car is VERY expensive.

  • c

    what i wanna know is what IS that green thing?

  • Bob Collins

    The answer is in the slideshow

  • Bob Collins

    I’m not sure businesses have a responsibility to feed the hungry at the expense of the business. Advertising is essential to a successful business. Successful business is essential to jobs. Jobs are essential to eating in many cases.

    Advertising isn’t a bad thing. And as I pointed out in the original post, the companies didn’t pay to have their material included.

  • c


    how successful does successful need to be? i always thought that your work sells itself.

    i totally missed the vid. i’ll look

  • Bob Collins

    Clearly a successful business requires advertising. You can have the best product in the world and if nobody’s ever heard of you, well…

  • c

    //The visitor and convention bureaus sent out an email asking for items that brought our key messages to life from the press kit.”//

    ok so lets pretend that we are convention goer(s). we are also basing our idea of minnesota or msp on the key messages behind the advertising propaganda in the box. we assume that minnesotans all like the opera, hockey, truffles,golf what are the 3 rivers….?

    these are key messages?

  • Bob Collins

    Well, that’s a good question… what WOULD you put into a box to give to delegates to show them what Minnesotans are like?

    I think I’d put pieces of a broken fender… to symbolize our inability to merge. (g)

  • C


  • Minn whaler

    Brian… I am not a GOP hater. Fact is 90% of my immediate family is GOP and I love everyone of them. As for giving up advertising to feed people, I feel I was unable to truly communicate the point I obviously didn’t make.

    That is, I don’t truly consider these goody bags as advertising. How many conferences or conventions, etc., have you gone to and not grabbed a few “freebies”. Pens, paper, toys for the kids, novelty items, and on and on. Did you ever find one of those items later and become a diehard customer? I liken these bags to the goodies handed out at the Oscar, Emmy, and various other award shows. None of those in attendance needs any of that stuff. If they don’t discard it, it sits in a closet for years as a ??? and then when whatever senitment is attached to it goes away and it is given away, discarded or there is an attempt to see if the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee sample is still good. Afterall, we’d hate to waste it. This isn’t advertising and the costs I was talking about were not the costs of getting your stuff into the bags, it was the cost of the stuff you put in there (no charge) but in hopes that the 1000 plus people who get the stuff will become your customer? Again failure of logic from this point of view.

    And no I do not believe businesses should give up advertising to feed the poor. What I was intending was that in times of economic troubles businesses should be spending more wisely.

    Also, having been connected to a person who has attended 2 or 3 conventions for each party, I can honestly say, the GOP folk get more stuff and I am looking forward to seeing the stuff from Denver this year. Anyone want to bet it won’t include a Nickolodeon Hat?

  • Bob Collins

    I’m pretty sure that these trinkets are different than what the delegates will get in their swag bags…but maybe not.

    I’d say it’s about on par. But it’s funny you should ask because I happened to be digging out junk in a closet the other day and found the ’04 GOP and DFL pack. Of course there’s the Kraft Macoroni and cheese shaped like iether an elephant or a donkey. There was a razor blade from Gillete (must’ve been Boston)… I actually made coffee from the small bag of Dunkin’ Doughnut coffee that I’d forgotten about (tip: Don’t make coffee from 4-year-old grounds). There’s usually a disposable flash camera, a book or two with local things in it that nobody ever reads, notebooks pencils etc.

    All in all, pretty forgettable stuff, although I do think the ’96 Anheuser Busch plastic beer mug with embedded red,white and blue streamers and hash marks to indicate what percentage of a glass of beer goes to taxes was interesting.