Archive for the ‘Holidays & Celebrations’ category

Casino and the Non-cash Incentive: Three ways to motivate player behavior

November 16th, 2012

Non-cash incentives have a long track record of success in motivating behavior.

Non-cash awards like merchandise, travel, and gift cards are both more motivational and cost-effective than cash. Decades of collective experience and countless employee incentive/motivation studies have substantiated this statement. The net-net is that merchandise can, and does, motivate behavior.

Achieving a desired behavior is the goal of marketers. How do we influence the target audience and persuade them to take action? If non-cash incentive modifies behavior in the world of employee compensation and productivity, it stands to reason that the same principle can be applied to promotional marketing.

Let’s take the gaming industry for instance. Casinos have a high need to achieve the following objectives:

  • Create attention getting events that motivates players or prospective players to visit the property
  • Extend play when players are on property
  • Reward loyalty and repeat visits

Here are three examples of how non-cash incentives can be used to influence player behavior:

Plateau Programs
Leveled point redemption for merchandise can motivate players to increase play in order to obtain merchandise with a higher perceived value.

Shopping Sprees
Create a custom on-site shopping spree filled with luxury items. VIP or Lucky Winners are able to “shop” in exchange for a certain level of play. Tangible items can influence acquisitive behaviors and extend time on property and play.

Experiential Events
grab-and-go run is an exciting way to reward your most loyal players. Fly your players to a special off-property event. Usher VIPs into a warehouse of luxury goods, where they get a chance to run and grab the items of their choice in a pre-determined amount of time. A unique combination of non-cash incentive meets reality television. The experience will leave your most valuable players with a lasting memory and tangible proof of their value.

Mardi Gras Mayhem: Super Bowl 2013 meets the humble throw bead

October 16th, 2012

Spectacular double-header this year with the Super Bowl in New Orleans during Mardi Gras! Let the good times roll indeed with two events that are institutions in their own right. Promotion in and around the events will be at a fever pitch. What better time to adopt long-established, well-loved, and sought-after Mardi Gras beads as your promotional product of choice.

This long-standing tradition began in the 1920’s when the Rex parade threw inexpensive glass strands into the crowd. Krewes continue to distribute thousands of bead necklaces from parade floats along the route. What started out in the traditional Mardi Gras colors, Purple (representing Justice,) Green (representing Faith,)and Gold (representing Power) are now limited only by the imagination of the advertiser.

Throw beads are a hallmark of the season and are an affordable way to get noticed. People will be collecting these souvenir items and taking them home. They are the perfect way to create brand awareness with a tried and true promotional track record. Bead Necklaces come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Look for football-shaped beads, football-shaped medallions, custom-built bead strands, and quick-turn decal medallions for those last minute promotional opportunities.

“Laissez les bons temps rouler!” Let the good times roll.

Mardi Gras Goes Green: The Transformation of a Popular Trend

August 2nd, 2012

Mardi Gras – the festival of indulgence that has intrigued and delighted us in the United States since around 1699. The hallmark of this famous festivity – beads.  Thrown from floats, these timeless give-a-way items have been used by marketers to build awareness and drive traffic for decades. Over time, they have evolved into a pop culture phenomenon and are one of the most popular, and sought-after pieces of promotional jewelry. Collectible beads can be highly customized or a quick-turn promotional solution. Either way they are a proven advertising specialties product.

One of the hallmarks of a lasting trend is the ability to change with the times and cultural values of our society. The emphasis on sustainability, recycling , and environmentally-friendly products is paramount today.  Enter Corn Beads – throw beads made from corn plastic.  New eco-friendly corn beads are biodegradeable and compostable. They are made from a sustainable resource – corn, and return to the bio-mass in the form of simple CO2 and water. 

So go ahead. Think greener promotions when you think beads and let the good times roll!

Groundhog comes out of hiding to announce 2012 Mardi Gras promotional strategies

January 9th, 2012

The Groundhog spokesperson (who asked to remain anonymous,) reported that Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday falls on February 21 of 2012. When asked why Groundhogs would emerge uncharacteristically early with this announcement, he issued the following statement:

“We might not look like a bunch of party animals, but we see real opportunity in promoting ourselves around this celebration. Granted, we didn’t really think of this in the most timely manner, but there are vendors that can meet our last minute Mardi Gras beads needs, including full-color decal medallions to customize our message.”

When asked how they were intending to capitalize on the use of throw beads, the Groundhog provided us with a short list of creative ways to promote with Mardi Gras beads.

  1. Sponsor a Mardi Gras Night event as a way to create brand awareness.
  2. Look for opportunities surrounding corporate, stadium, or tradeshow events around Mardi Gras to provide a memorable give-away item.
  3. Make fundraising festive! Makes a unique direct mail outreach. Add a QR Code on the decal to direct people to online donation URL’s.

When asked why throw beads were their choice over other items, he replied that they were cool, quick to produce, and people love them.

“They keep Mardi Gras beads around long after the event is over. The residual impression rate helps us out during periods of hibernation . . .  Laissez les bons temps rouler!”  Let the good times roll . . .

Three Twists on the Company Picnic: #3 Casino

September 22nd, 2011

OK. So casinos and the great outdoors are not things one readily puts together, but go with me here. Company picnics are about having fun and playing games. Casino day picnics can fit the bill.

Picnic Roulette
Everyone receives a logo tee shirt in one of two company colors. A prize wheel (in company colors) is spun at each activity an individual participates in. If the shirt matches the color on the wheel the player gets a wristband. The wristbands collected can be redeemed (like chips) for prizes.

          Prize Idea
           -  Magic 8 Ball Keychain with custom messaging

Jacks or Better - Trips to Win
Participants are given a Peel & Win Decal Bead Strand upon entry. Each has a poker hand with a pair of cards, 2 of a kind, and 3 of a kind. Pull up or scratch off to reveal prizes. Those with winning hands get a second bead strand with decal and go for a second round. Grand prize winner is determined by process of elimination.

          Prize Idea
           -  Team or corporate color ionic necklaces and bracelets.

Sports Book
Participants wager on who will win contests of dexterity like three-legged races, sack races, or ball toss. Guess the winner, receive a wristband and redeem for prizes.

          Prize Idea
          – Corporate color or team color Booster Sleeves for cheering or visually designating the winner.

We wager that this will be a unique and interactive event where everyone is a winner!

Three Twists on the Company Picnic: #1 The Fat Tuesday Theme

August 5th, 2011

With the rough economy, company picnic events are trending positive. According to a study from the Advertising Specialties Institute, 41% of companies in their recent survey were planning a picnic for Summer of 2011.

Hallmarks of the company picnic include:

  • Good attendance (50%)
  • A penchant for giving away promotional items (41% always give away promotional products to attendees, and 28% sometimes do)

Being good providers of promotional products ourselves, we thought to put a spin on the old fashioned company picnic by introducing themes.

Fat Tuesday Theme

OK. So it is not first quarter, but a Mardi Gras theme is fun any time of the year. The biggest challenge at any corporate event is to get employees to engage. Mardi Gras beads have long been a sought after collectible item. Picnic goers can collect bead strands as they participate in games and other activities. Awards are based on participation and number of strands collected, rather than solely on skill.

Instead of the traditional plastic infant hidden in the cake, try contest driven decal beads. Use peel, scratch, or QR code technology to revel the prize.

Masks,novelty headwear, music, and parades can bring the spirit of Mardi Gras to your next picnic event.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Translation: Let the good times roll!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo & Mexican Heritage

March 18th, 2009


History and Celebration in Mexico:  The Fifth of May commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico and is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. Mexico not withstanding, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.


Celebration in the Rest of the World: Cinco de Mayo is observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture, foods, beverages, music and regional dancing. Similar to other ethnic heritage celebrations, outward expressions of the connection abound. Banners, beads, noisemakers, you name it. Cinco de Mayo is quickly making its way up to Mardi Gras or St. Patrick’s holiday advertising specialty status.


Although it is late for ordering overseas, many vendors offer quick-turn products that allow you to capitalize on this great promotional opportunity.

Bottle-shaped Lo2go Projector Keychain

 A Very Basic Tequila Primer:  Of all things associated with our southern neighbor, what is better known and less understood than one of Mexico’s most famous exports – tequila. Tequila continues to build popularity and if dedicated shelf space and variety of assortment is an indicator, Americans of all backgrounds are embracing it. Growing competition increases promotional opportunity as brand managers seek to stimulate trial.

Tequila is made either wholly or in part from the juice of the agave plant. Agave plants take 10 to 12 years to mature to the point of being harvested. A popular blending spirit is derived from sugarcane, which comes up every year, making a blended product less expensive. Whereas in single-malt whiskey, the expense is in the aging, barreling, and storage, for 100% blue agave tequila, the expense is in the plants, place and micro climate where the plants are grown.


In different tequilas the mouth-feel, aroma, taste, and color are varied. It has been suggested that like tasting fine aged whiskeys, you should never judge by the first sip. The second sip is the ticket.


Tequilas differ by hue, blend and time spent in the barrel. Premium tequilas are made from 100% blue agave juice. A “Mixto” is a blend greater than 50% un-aged blue agave spirit, with the rest made up of other spirit, most often sugarcane spirit.


The three hues of tequila are white, gold, and darker gold. Tequila can get its golden tone one of two ways – short or longer term aging in barrels or caramel coloring.

  • - White (Blanco or Silver) tequila spends no time in oak barrels.
  • - Reposado ( “rested”) is blanco tequila that has been rested in white oak barrels for between two months and a year.
  • - Añejo are “aged” tequilas.

Now that you have, at least in part, knowledge of this happy holiday and mysterious spirit, you are prepared to discuss promotion of agave-based products and raise your own Cinco de Mayo toast!

IMC Marketer – Promotional ProductsPromotional Product