Archive for the ‘Product Updates’ category

Leveraging the “TEXT” for Promotional Marketing & Engagement

September 24th, 2012

According to the Gallup Management Journal, brands that deliver functionally and emotionally for customers result in indexed loyalty scores three times higher.

A bold statement for bold marketers. Promotional marketing is all about engagement. It is the technique of triggering an emotional connection between the customer and brand through relevant function.

Texting has evolved into a mainstream behavior. Ease of use combined with instant gratification has made it more popular than ever. Mobile-based promotion has evolved as well. Enter mobile decoder marketing.

Mobile decoder marketing is basically short code on steroids. It delivers on both the functional and emotional levels by combining popular technology, advertising, and the thrill of a “chance to win”.

The other side of engagement for marketers is data capture. Most promotional products have the ability to engage but do not have the capacity to collect feedback from customers, much less measure the level of engagement. Use of modern communications technology can deliver for marketers too. Optional feedback mechanisms along with measurable statistics make mobile decoder marketing a texting win-win for everyone.

The Game Changer: Titanium Sports Accessories

June 21st, 2011

Titanium wristbands and necklaces. Ionic sports accessories.
If these terms are new to you, it’s time to get in the game.

From professional basketball courts to Main Street and everywhere in between, titanium and ionic sports accessories are taking the world by storm.

Why the buzz? Titanium sports accessories have been reported to enhance focus and stability and accelerate recovery time. Ionic necklaces and bracelets have become the hot new sports trend, popular with a variey of sports enthusiasts.

With massive consumer appeal and endless customizability, titanium and ionic sports accessories are ripe for the advertising specialties industry.

The best part? Built-in product exposure courtesy of the countless professional athletes who are already sporting these ultra-trendy items.

As a promotional product, this trend extends way beyond sporting events: they’re in demand for company events, reward and recognition programs, corporate gifts and loyalty programs.

Why not get your brand in the game with fully customized ionic sports accessories? It’s a surefire win for your home team.

Where did you get that? Promotional Products for Unique Contest Delivery

April 6th, 2011

Where did you get that?” Those five words are music to the ears of anyone involved with promotional products or advertising specialties. Especially when the response leads interested consumers to YOUR booth or display so they can check out the eye catching promotional item for themselves.

What’s the only thing better than being able to reach consumers? Getting them to come to you. And stick around. And get excited about your brand.

We’ve learned that contests are a great way to attract, delight and engage consumers, but you should never underestimate the power of the delivery mechanism. How you deliver the contest should be as engaging as the contest itself. Why not create buzz and draw them in with a snazzy, attention grabbing promotional product?

The possibilities are endless. Customize a device that’s just right for your contest and your brand. Consider the following options:

Instant Win Contests
Peel & Win, Scratch & Win, or Peel-to-Reveal type contests can be part of direct mail campaigns to drive traffic to a particular location, or used on-site to facilitate prize allocation. The excitement surrounding instant gratification and the ability to create buzz when administered on site, are tried and true, evergreen promotions. 


New Technology Contest Delivery
QR Codes are the newest delivery method out there and are changing the way we explore our world. Drive customers to customized contest landing pages via smart phone technology. Customers must have the reader app downloaded on their phone. Codes can be delivered in printed format on paper items, apparel, mugs – virtually on any kind of promotional product.

Contest Delivery via Unique Products
Blinking pins are a great way to draw attention and create excitement around contests. When they blink you either win, or with multi-timer units you go the next stage of the contest. Used to keep people on premise (like in a casino or bar.)

Magic 8 Balls are another unique way of using a retro-toy to deliver your contest results. They also provide the end user with a fun momento of your event.

Edible Contest Items
YUM! Delivery methods like food afford a great way to administer your contest AND provide a sweet treat. Fortune cookies, chocolate bars, or prize inside carmel coated popcorn are fun AND tasty ways to engage your audience!

Excited consumers are valuable assets. When promotional products generate excitement, your consumers just amplify the buzz. They might do this by crowding around to see the results of the contest, or simply by carrying the promotional product around the event.

After all, it’s that kind of visibility that generates that magic question: “Where did you get that?”

Famous Groundhog Reports Spring Early – Late Mardi Gras

February 2nd, 2011

Famous Groundhogs concur that 2011 will see an early spring but a later than usual Mardi Gras Season.

Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday falls on March 8th of 2011. In the United States we see Mardi Gras celebrated with lots of colorful beads – thrown from fantastical floats by costumed revellers.

One Groundhog (who asked to remain anonymous,) seen flaunting his throw beads was quoted saying “ Laissez les bons temps rouler!”  Let the good times roll . . .

Sports Promotional Trends: 5 Great Ways to Pump Up the Volume

September 3rd, 2010

Sports promotions continually looking for ways to make more noise – literally and figuratively. From cowbells lining the slopes at the Winter Olympics to plastic clapping hands and earsplitting airhorns,  the search to improve the volume of applause in ongoing. Here (in no particular order) is a list of some “noisemaker” trends in the promotional products today.  

vuvuzelas#1 The Vuvuzela

South African in origin (traditionally made from a kudu horn – now made from plastic) the vuvuzela was used to summon distant villagers to attend community gatherings. Present day usage is an integral part of the South African soccer scene and has become a symbol of the sport in that country. A similar device, is used in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

It caught the attention of the world during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  Hyundai constructed the world’s largest working vuvuzela as part of a marketing campaign for the World Cup and the loud monotone buzz eminating from smaller promotional units was the audio backdrop for the series. Unfortunately for some the noise level was too intense, leading to future  bans by a few sporting organizations.  But hey, some folks really like them!

clapper view#2 The Clapper Glove

Think about the sound when you smack two billiard balls together. Clapper gloves are a pretty fun way to keep your hands warm and avoid the muffled sound of a golf clap. These are not really native to anywhere – up for grabs for cultural affinity. They are however, a really great promotional tool for making noise.

Maracas#3 Maracas

Maracas are really cool, even though they originate south of the equator. The are native to Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, Guatemala and several nations of the Caribbean and Latin America. Traditionally make from gourds or coconuts, maracas come in a variety of materials. One of my favorites, unearthed by our sourcing department is the inflatable maraca. Who know balloons, beans and plastic could be so much fun!

5532874#4 Inflatable Mylar Spirit Sticks

What happens when you inflate two elongated mylar balloons and bang them together? These popular promotional items are fairly commonplace. The colorful sticks come flat and can be inflated by the user at the event. The large live are for promotional messaging and optional LED illumination make them perfect for all sorts of sporting events. I recently cheered my husband to the finish at the Twin Cities Marathon with a set.

bbcowbell#5 The Cowbell

Who doesn’t want “More Cowbell”? Sneaky livestock I suppose, but they are in demand in the rally culture and sports promotions. Worldwide, in cross-country skiing and cyclocross, cowbells are often rung at the start and finishes of races.

Attempts to suppress them by imposing a ban include the Southeastern Football Conference. However, this does not stop intrepid Mississippi State University fans who smuggle the contraband item into games.  Elsewhere, at Penn State football games, the cowbell is played in a particular rhythm and accompanied by chanting. Cornell and University of New Hampshire ice hockey fans also want “more cowbell”. The Alaska Aces fans of the ECHL are well-known in Anchorage as the “Cowbell Crew”. The Tampa Bay Rays even have a pre-built graphic that says “More Cowbell!!” I say give the people what they want.

Fans will continue to look for new ways to pump up the volume. The promotional products industry will continue to pump out novel solutions to help raise the roof and deliver the sponsor’s message.

Top 10 Real World Uses for Promotional Beads

April 17th, 2009

Once, beads were only the province of Mardi Gras and the parade circut. Not anymore! Beads have become an inexpensive promotional solution with a wide variey of applications. Check out the wide variety of promotional applications promotional beads are now used for: 

  1. Branded blinking pint glass on strand promoting a specific St. Patrick’s day beverage
  2. Bead strand with FDA approved branded shot glass stimulating on-premise trial
  3. Bead strand with non-removable inline medallion advertising call sign for radio station - implemented like a bumper sticker “sighting” program
  4. Custom bead strand tradeshow give-away for event attendees – creating roving billboards, word-of-mouth activitiy, and increased impression rate
  5. Used in conjuction with Peel & Win decals as a contest “winning number” delivery method – keeps customers on-premise longer.
  6. Used in conjunction with Peel & Win decals to create a medallion with a hidden “fortune” or message - branding with a sense of fun.
  7. Used in conjuction with Peel & Win decals to play a social “matching” contest at an event
  8. Festive beads for company event promoting new products, safety issues or mission awareness
  9. Dual usage – stadium beads promote team spirit and deliver contact information for interactive mobile platforms
  10. Branded beads for a messaging tool used to drive traffic to online promotional efforts

Do you have any innovative ways that you have used beads over the past year? Let us know!

Ode to the Promotional Bag

March 18th, 2009


The modest bag.

Simple, utilitarian and, according to results from the latest ASI Advertising Specialties Impressions study, a promotional powerhouse.

“Among wearables, bags were reported to be used most frequently with respondents indicating that they used their bags an average of nine times per month. They also deliver the most impressions: Each bag averages 1,038 impressions per month.”

The survey of 465 business people,mainly between the ages of 21 and 44, was conducted in June and July of 2008. Respondents had all received promotional products within the past 12 months. 8 out of 10 could recall the advertisers of the products they had received.

Bags were seen 30% more of the time, beating out old standbys like shirts and caps in the wearables category. Bags were held onto longer, with a whopping 42% being kept over a year. Shirts at 10% and caps at 15%, lagged well behind.

Bags were also considered 14% more useful than thier shirt and cap counterparts.

In ability to identify the advertiser, bags again led the wearables category with a 94% brand retention rate. Respondents reported having a better impression and higher likelihood of doing business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional bag item.

It’s nice to see the modest bag coming into its own. Quietly and resourcefully it has taken on the competition and emerged victorious. Innovations making them more interesting and relevant are abounding. Try one for your next promotional project.


IMC Marketer – Promotional ProductsPromotional Product

Our Love Affair with the Promotional Product

February 5th, 2009

Premiums, advertising specialties or promotional products – What ever you call them they are an integral part of daily life.

Check your desk, your closet or your morning mug. I bet there is at least one promotional product in the effluvia of your daily life. Have you ever noticed that promotional products have a weird way of becoming some of your favorite items? I never noticed this phenomenon until I started working in the world of premiums. Please note that this is not only personal conjecture – there is statistical data that proves that theory. Millions of us receive, keep and continue to use those cute little advertising specialties.

Steeling Hearts with Promotional Products
Steeling Hearts with Promotional Products

Why do we love them so much?

Is it because they are free? Heck, the beauty industry has made a fortune out of the “gift with purchase” promotional bag, tote or pouch as a way of moving product.

Is it that a useful item at hand is easier than reaching for the phone book? How many countless times have you gotten the number from your penscratch pad or the calendar on the wall.

Is there a coolness factor? Remember as a kid waiting for the next great item in the cereal box? You must remember Mom ordering you to finish a box of something you totally disliked because you made her buy it for the premium it contained. What else can explain the frenzy to stand in line for what may seem like hours for a complimentary gift bag or the anxiety that goes with not knowing if they will run out?

Is fondness triggered by allowing us to relive a moment? One of our Reps cheerfully announced the day after Super Bowl XLIII that he had spotted one of our Cardinals V8 inline bead products in a pre-game interview. This is a very satisfying experience for those of us who make these things. My favorite piece of this year’s Super Bowl’s promotional product memorabilia is the picture of the two lovely Steelers Fans attached. They are decked out in full IMC extreme fan regalia, which we all know has mystical qualities to improve your team’s chance of winning.

Times are tough and uncertainty is high, but some things never change. I will still get that phone number off the wall, drink tea from a logo’d mug and stand in line to get my goodie bag. Promotional products are influencing the way we purchase and winning us over every day.

For research data and statistical information regarding promotional products, link to the following trade organizations:

IMC Marketer – Promotional ProductsPromotional Product