Vintage Computer Swag

While poking around in my vintage computer junk, I found some swag from my old job. I thought I should immortalize it with a photo on the web, and then throw it in the trash.





ComputerLand produced a lot of crappy promotional items, and this can cooler must have been one of the worst. Back in the early 1980s, every major computer manufacturer was dying to associate themselves with ComputerLand, so they’d fund almost any advertising gimmick that put their names together. This cooler has the Hewlett-Packard logo on the back, so I know HP paid for it, ComputerLand paid nothing. This is called “co-op” advertising. I think it barely qualifies as advertising. The world would be a better place without so much of this disposable crap.

Whenever I see some old bits of ComputerLand swag, I always think about the ultimate swag our company ever produced, a surfboard. One of our salesmen was a surfer dude, he somehow conned the boss into funding his new custom surfboard if he’d put a huge ComputerLand logo on it. Everyone would see him riding the Malibu waves on top of a ComputerLand logo, it would associate our company name with the cool surfer image. In return for funding his board, the salesman agreed to prominently display the logo at the beach. To maximize exposure, the salesman was allowed to come in late to work any time the surf was up, which happened with no advance notice, leaving the rest of us to carry his workload. After coming in to work late, he would display the board in our lobby. He must have been a hell of a salesman for the boss to agree to that deal.

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