How to make swag sparkle

Gifts should be useful but still go for indulgence

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So what's it take to score high on the swag scale, and to keep your goods from being re-gifted? Giftcorp President Sheila Schechtman has designed gifts for some of the world's top companies, has some pointers.

Make it useful. Turner Broadcasting was thinking of giving magnifying glasses as holiday gifts for advertisers on "The Closer," a detective show. "But who would use a magnifying glass? If you're over 50, you already have magnifying glasses," Ms. Schechtman said. Instead, Turner tucked a selection of DVDs in a DVD storage box packed with sweets, because the show's lead character has a sweet tooth.

Go for the 200-calorie truffles. One of the basic rules is to give people something they wouldn't buy for themselves. Fruit is a supermarket commodity. Unless you're a fitness magazine, steer away from health-conscious gifts; go for celebration and indulgence. Plus, when you give desirable food, it's likely to get shared among co-workers. Then the whole office will know who sent that amazing gift.

Be smartly subtle. Ms. Schechtman recalled a corporate gift her company did for UPS to give to the CEOs of companies using rival shipping services, asking them to give UPS a shot to show what it could do. Instead of filling it with logo-laden tchotchkes, the color of the faux-leather, chocolate- brown box was the exclusive branding element, and the box was just the right size to hold DVDs-functional and beautiful.

Pass it around: A gift box with enough food for co-workers to share is a winner

Pandamonium: Discovery last year launched a migration of stuffed toys to MediaVest

Popcorn patter: ABC Radio Networks boasts it's "popping with rich opportunities"

Cheer factor: ABC Family sends an office-decorating kit to promote holiday shows
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