I'm referring to free pens having a company name and/or logo. These pens are provided free of charge to potential customers or even the general public in order to promote goods or services or even a company itself which provides such goods or services. I'd like to know if there is a better name for such pens than "promotional pens".


4 Answers 4


If you're wondering what to call free pens that your company plans to give out as part of a self-promotion effort, you might call them "complimentary [name of company] pens." "Complimentary" is a standard euphemism in U.S. business for "free for you to own and use, with free advertising for us slapped on it." Another option is "courtesy pen," as in "free pen, courtesy of [name of company]." Many branded objects given out to, say, the first 10,000 fans attending a sporting event are advertised as "courtesy of [name of company]."

In both instances, the name may be better than "promotional pen" from the point of view of the giver—because it makes the giver's motivation for the gift sound innocently generous rather than calculatedly promotional—but it may be less accurate as an objective description.


A current slang term for give-away promotional items is swag, as in "We came back from the convention with bags of swag." Swag pens would be very informal, but would convey the the idea.

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    Swag == "Shit We All Get" Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 3:02

"Branded Pens" might sound less like something used to promote an offer or event and more a product to promote a brand or company.


You can use promo (which is the short form of promotional). It is widely used also.

adj. 2. of, pertaining to, or involving the promotion of a product, event, etc.; promotional.

You can also use giveaway:

n. Informal 2. Something given away at no charge, especially a premium.

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