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Marketing Competing Products In An Event’s Swag Bag? OK Or Not?

October 27, 2011 1 comment

Yesterday and last night I was at AndroidTO 2011 thanks to my buddy Justin Baisden (@The_JMoney on the Twitters) and I had a fantastically amazing time – and learning experience – all day during #AndroidTO itself and the #Harthfest after-party afterward. Ok, you got me, there wasn’t any learning going on during Hartfest. Come to think of it, Harthfest was more about killing brain cells with alcohol, but I digress.

While I can write a lot about many different subjects from AndroidTO – which was an extremely well put together production by the organizers and volunteers – what really struck me yesterday is the way one of the event sponsors chose to use the AndroidTO vehicle to market themselves and their products.

I am somewhat uncertain about the etiquette of even writing this and naming names so if you think I should take down the specific references, let me know.

Above you can see the picture of two of the items from the AndroidTO event swag bag – one very appropriately themed awesome t-shirt…but what is up with that red card? Is it for Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango? It is? What the…?

For those of you who don’t know, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform IS NOT a version of Android. I get it that the vast majority of people who attended AndroidTO were in some way or another involved in making a multitude of apps on a multitude of platforms a reality. I understand that Microsoft is trying to push for people to develop for their mobile platform. I am well aware that a lot of app developers/development companies don’t just do one platform but do apps on many different platforms but was the AndroidTO swag bag the place to push a different mobile platform? To me it seems like it really isn’t the place.

Some who were there yesterday may argue that the panels and speakers yesterday didn’t only discuss the apps they had and development experiences they had with the Android platform but talked about a myriad of other platforms as well. While this is true, it doesn’t change the fact that the panel members discussing different mobile platforms in terms of their centralized app downloading spots or marketing the app on the internet or through traditional media or beta testing an app holds true pretty much across mobile platforms and is, therefore and in my mind, completely valid to bring up. But out and out advertising a contest for developers to develop for a different platform through the swag bag of an event targeting and geared towards another platform just seems crass to me.

What say all y’all? Let me know in the comments!

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