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Testing out Crumpler's 'Beer for Bags' promotion

Yup, it works.

Blake Robinson (left) and Michael Galpert (center) talk to a Crumpler representative about the company's creative 'Beer for Bags' campaign
Caroline McCarthy/CNET Networks

A field test on Sunday proved that yes, you can walk into either of Crumpler's Manhattan stores this week and, as part of their Beer for Bags promotion, trade in some Stella Artois or Pabst Blue Ribbon (among other things) for one of the Australian company's bright-colored bags--a favorite of some of Crave's camera and laptop aficionados. Crumpler representatives said that the campaign had been a huge success thus far, and indeed, on the second day of the promotion, the Crumpler store at 49 8th Avenue (the other's at 45 Spring St.) was already packed full of cases, cans, and six-packs.

(Some of the libations were made available for consumption on the spot; the rest will be served at a party for all participants later this week.)

I collaborated on the Beer for Bags test effort with two other local blog folk, Worth1000's Michael Galpert and CrunchGear's Blake Robinson. (One run to the beer distributor is way more efficient than three, after all.) While Crumpler isn't a tech company per se, the "B4B" promotion has been getting lots of positive buzz around NYC's tech community for a number of reasons: first, it's an innovative marketing tool that highlights Crumpler's target demographic and helps shape the brand, and us techies like business-y buzzwords like that; and second, they make great bags for toting around our gadgets, from laptops to cell phones to cameras.

Plus, bartering is so delightfully old-school. In today's high-tech world we can pay for stuff with credit cards, gift cards, and even cell phones. There's something very appealing about being able to trade stuff. It seems almost like it shouldn't be legal.

Blake Robinson (right) partakes in some post-Beer for Bags refreshment with two freeloaders who'd towed along when they heard there would be free drinks at the Crumpler store. Caroline McCarthy/CNET Networks

My selection? In addition to a cute little bag for the camcorder I'm hoping to invest in soon, I swapped two cases of Negra Modelo (along with a bottle of hot sauce and a lime) for a Crumpler bean bag chair, which will be adorning my cubicle as soon as I order pellets to fill it.

The highlight of the afternoon was definitely when a (chaperoned) trio of 9-year-olds came into the store carrying six-packs of Rolling Rock and proceeded to trade them in for new school bags. Presumably, their parents had done the purchasing.