Archive for the ‘Stories from the “Real World”’ category

Interactive Direct Mail: Tapping our inner human through Decoder Technology

August 20th, 2012

Human beings are social by nature. We crave interaction, looking for ways to stimulate our natural sense of curiosity. We also love being entertained. Advertising has seen a progression from the simple hand-printed sign to interactive advertising using the full power of today’s technology.  

The goal of advertising has always been to alter behavior and to create a forum for interaction with a brand or product. Direct mail has been a stalwart and proven tactic for marketers for decades. With all the emphasis on sexier social outreach, direct mail has been relegated by some as an outmoded technique for promoting products and securing customer engagement.

 Enter Decoder Marketing. It is the use of a proprietary print technology to deliver a hidden message that can be decoded using on-site verifiers. How effective is this at changing consumer behavior? As it turns out…very effective .

IMC recently sent out a campaign to important clients we wanted to connect with at an event. The direct mail piece was imprinted with a hidden message that could be revealed at our booth location. Clients simply had to bring the card with them to the show. The results speak for themselves. Traditional direct mail has an industry standard response rate of around 1%. The addition of Decoder Marketing technology resulted in a response rate of 38%. Yes, you read that correctly – 38%. Results vary but decoder technology response rates hover around 30%.

The moral of this story: Dust off your direct mail program, have faith in human nature, and give yourself a lift.

The Portland Trailblazers Demonstrate the Power of the Fan

January 28th, 2011

Translating fan-based trends into unique arena novelties  can be low cost and down-right fun!

As any self-respecting Trailblazer fan knows, a three point bucket requires props. Welcome “See Three” goggles to arena promotions. Inspired by Blazer Fans – fun for everyone. Great article posted by

Even the players have gotten in on the act! Check out this great pic of Wesley Matthews stylin’ a pair at a season ticket holder event.

Mardi Gras Beads: A great tool for fundraising

September 7th, 2010

When the Sixth Annual Fred Biletnikoff  Hall of Fame Golf Classic / Raiders Tournament needed to spice up thier fundraiser – they turned to a tried and true favorite – Mardi Gras beads. We would like to thank the Office of  Gorilla Rilla for graciously allowing us to share the following images!


Why Mardi Gras Beads?

1. They are just down-right fun! Easy to wear and festive. High brand visibility and easily customized to suit.

2. Highly sought after – folks collect ‘em! We see beads we produced years ago show up at various events. People hold on to them and reuse again and again.

3. Inexpensive to produce – lots of options! Beads run the gammit in price. You can go from standard round hanging medallions, to inline medallions, to brand specific designs with custom shape medallions and inline ornaments.

4. Never know who will be wearing them! From left to right: Jerry Rice, Fred Biletnikoff, Joey Chestnut (Man vs. Food Hot Dog Eating Champion,)  Tim Brown, Angela Biletnikoff and Gorilla Rilla.

The Biletnikoff Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youth, primarily from low to moderate income neighborhoods or backgrounds, who are “at risk” particularly to the realities of drug and alcohol addiction as well as domestic and gender violence. The foundation was established by Fred and his wife Angela to commemorate their daughter Tracey Biletnikoff, who was brutally murdered in 1999 at a very young age.

The Biletnikoff Foundation also proudly supports STAND! Since they began in 1977, STAND! has helped over 15,000 crisis victims and their children annually by offering emergency shelter, counseling and support groups, and transitional housing. Their Battered treatment programs provide offenders with the opportunity to make meaningful changes in their lives and, more importantly, in the lives of their families.

Hillbilly Christmas in July – Wristbands make inroads promoting charities

July 16th, 2010

wrist_bandThe 2010 Hillbilly Christmas in July “Do it for the Kids” is an annual event, with proceeds benefitting the Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington, Kentucky.

One event involves a motorcycle parade around Pikeville. Part of their awareness building campaign was a terry cloth wristband give-away.

Kudos to event organizers for coming up with such a perfect promotional idea for the event. Choosing a product that reflects the spirit of the event will drive engagement with the brand.

What can spur higher levels of engagement?
    – Pride in belonging to a group, organization, or cause
    – Novelty in the way that pride is expressed (the coolness factor)
    – Usefulness to the recipient

HCIJRideAdCropAbility to achieve the sponsor’s objectives is the end game of any promotional outreach. Just throwing something out there with a brand label on it does not always serve the greater purpose. Thoughtful reflection can make a whole lot of difference in the return on your promotional investment.

For more information regarding this event, visit the website at

Sightings: IMC Promotional Products in Action

June 25th, 2010

Dominos-Umbrella-HatDomino’s Pizza Guy spotted in Spring Park, MN wearing a custom Domino’s umbrella hat. Promotional products pop up where you least expect them!

This was a seriously fun ad specialty to produce. A favorite “wear around the office” product for the IMC staff. Who knew that the real deal would be walking right down our street! One of our Reps spotted him and paused to snap this photo.

More Industry Statistics on Promotional Products

March 3rd, 2010

Another stats video from PPAI. Crazy busy this week. Will try to post more original content next time. There are some good statistics in this piece regarding retention rates for advertising specialties.

They really do tend to cut through clutter. I was at a Science Fair (yes, I am geeky) this weekend and was pleasantly surprised at the number of promotional products at the event. People were beside themselves to sign up for a variety of give-away items. The assortment went from jersey’s and plush, on down to small items like pens and magnets.

Too bad I forgot my flip video camera. It would have made a great “real life” interview opportunity. Instead you will have to make due with my second hand account of happy people glorying in thier good fortune of obtaining another promotional product.

I have to say, I was quite disappointed that I left empty handed and I am in this business. Oh well. Maybe next time.