Below is a link to a story about a gentleman who ordered a laptop and received it with origami paper cranes as the packing medium.
In this case, I don’t believe it was marketing. Perhaps they had them laying around the house. However, this could be marketing. This was obviously interesting enough for this person to post it on the internet, which always earns some attention, or questions, like “Where did you order this from?”
Here’s the thing, it’s not a practical way to ship things. It could break something, from not being sturdy enough. It would cost too much to do on every package.
The latter is the most important. Since it can’t be done on every package, large companies won’t do it on any package. They are about standardization, processes, each task looking like the last.
However, even though it costs too much to do on every package doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done on every 10th package, or every 100th. The random surprise aspect of it makes it interesting for people opening up their boxes!
Things that don’t scale well are the secret sauce of small businesses, use it to your advantage.