Posts Tagged ‘mardi gras beads’

Fans are Open to Advertising & Promotions Around Super Bowl

January 25th, 2013

The Super Bowl – the penultimate sporting event in America. Brands are vying for a slice of football watching consumer mind share and the consumers are apparently ready and willing to be wowed.

According to a Lab42 survey published in Adweek, “Nearly 40% of American adults said watching the commercials was their favorite part of the Super Bowl.”

BIGInsight for the National Retail Federation reported in a survey conducted last year that 73 % of of U.S. adults consider Super Bowl commercials to be entertainment.

Not everyone can afford the pricey commercials, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get in front of your target audience at a time when they are open to being advertised to. Promotional products surrounding Super Bowl fanfare are a great low cost, high return way to to get attention. The many quick-turn options offered in the industry, give you a variety of last minute options.

This year’s Super Bowl event is held in New Orleans over Mardi Gras. What a great time to invest in a cost-effective bead necklace solution. Beads are also kept long after the event is over. Industry statistics also point out that promotional products are kept by recipients for an average of five years.

Team color is a great way to go when you want a last-minute promotional solution. Some team color decal bead options to consider for last minute sponsorship and events:

Have some fun and get in the game with Mardi Gras inspired football promotions!

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 last minute fundraising ideas for breast cancer awareness campaigns

September 28th, 2011

October is breast cancer awareness month. Lots of last minute activity surrounding fundraising efforts for this important cause.

Is your company hosting a fundraising activity or awareness event? Add a bit of panache — and a lot of pink — with specially designed promotional products.

 We’ve compiled three simple and memorable ideas to help you raise awareness and increase engagement with potential donars in a short timeframe. Any of these ideas can be adapted to align with your regular advertising specialty needs as well.

 Mardi Gras Beads. Branded (pink!) inline decal beads or hanging medallion beads are always attention-grabbers and are fun to wear. Plus, they are often retained long after an event or worn to subsequent events. This creates more awareness for the featured charity with residual impressions.

 QR Codes. Consider adding a Quick Response code to any promotional product. These codes can direct people to donation landing pages, creating an instant connection between awareness and action.

Peel & Win. The “Peel & Win” decal can add an extra dimension by creating an impromptu raffle. Your audience can purchase a strand or card with a Peel & Win decal sticker and pull to reveal a prize. Proceeds from strand purchase can support fundraising efforts.

 These items have two things in common: first, they can be turned around very quickly and used for last minute events or as substitutes (in some cases, turn can be as fast as 48 hours). The second thing? They are a great way to create much needed awareness and support during the month of October and long beyond.

Back to School: Promotional Products 101

August 31st, 2011

Was that a crisp autumn breeze I just felt? Maybe it’s just all the excitement about back-to-college season. Across the country, campuses are braced for the return of refreshed, enthusiastic students.

Everyone knows that college students have two things in common: 1) A fierce sense of pride for their own school, and 2) A profound love of free stuff.

As a member of the advertising specialty field, you can capitalize on both of these factors with specialized back-to-college promotional products.

Just picture students milling around campus with a branded keychain and drawstring jersey backpack. Imagine dorm rooms decked out with branded banners, Mardi Gras beads, and mascot bobbleheads.

At the first home game of the year, your company could be the winning team with sponsored gate give-aways like Spirit Stix or acrylic soccer scarves emblazoned with your logo.

Perhaps you run a business with locations in college towns? The opportunities for incentives are endless: use customized promotional products to entice students to stop by your restaurant or bar, shop at your store, or open an account at your bank. Give-away items like trend-right titanium ionic necklaces and bracelets in school colors are really popular with this demographic.

Consider this course Promotional Products 101. Advanced lessons in The Anatomy of a Sponsorship and The Science of Gate Give-aways coming soon.

Promotional Products are Fair Game

August 23rd, 2011

The State Fair: three small words, but they evoke a sensory whirlwind. Food, music, livestock…and a whole lot of people.

 Texas boasts the largest state fair with an estimated annual attendance of 3,000,000. The largest paid state fair is in Minnesota, which drew nearly 1.8 million visitors in 2010.

These attendance numbers add up to one thing for those in the advertising specialty industry: extra eyes on your brand. State fairs represent an extraordinary opportunity for the advertising specialty industry. While Texas and Minnesota win the blue ribbon attendance prizes, state fairs all around the country attract people in droves. Attendees are ripe for a good time — and for free goodies!

Why not consider capitalizing on the throngs of fun-seeking fairgoers with a branded promotional product? Give away highly coveted beads, and you’ll have fairgoers asking each other, “Where did you get that?” Offer branded drawstring backpacks and your logo will be loud, clear and mobile as fairgoers carry your backpack around all day.

Consider these additional “fair-ready” promotional product ideas:

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!

IMC’s Shane Erickson on the art of translating popular trends into promotional products

April 19th, 2011

What can we say – we love pop culture.

In this exclusive interview, IMC CEO, Shane Erickson shares his thoughts on the role of trends in promotional product development and how it all got started.  ___________________________________________________________________________________

What would you say is the number one factor that has kept IMC ahead of the game when it comes to promotional products and advertising specialties?
For us, it’s been our ability to continually come up with fresh ideas. We never get complacent and we’re always looking for the next product and the next trend. We are always on the lookout for things we think are cool. We spend a lot of time just brainstorming around the office about how we could translate things into a usable promotional product.

 How have pop culture trends affected your business?
We’ve been involved with trends since the start. When we started it was baseball cards or Beanie Babies or Pokémon, and tomorrow it’ll be something else. We’ve become good at identifying unique trends and turning them into effective tools for the promotional products industry. For example: Someone on the team came in wearing a molded silicone band that their kid was crazy about.  I looked at it and thought to myself “Hey, this could be big if we take it promotional.” My whole team got involved. We wanted to do something more – make a product that our client could really own.  It evolved into the fully custom solution we offer today.

What has been the biggest surprise for IMC over the last 20 years?
I’d say the sports-shaped and customized Mardi Gras beads. We’ve really become known for them. When they first came out we thought the trend would last perhaps one or two years, but they have lasted over 12 years. Today, we’re still known as “The Bead Guys.” We are proud of that. It goes to show how important translating a trend can be in the advertising specialties industry. When you put the time and energy into truly capturing the spirit of a trend, you can end up with a product that stands up to the test of time. I think that is what differentiates IMC from its competitors.

 What’s the hot trend right now?
The newest item is the ionic necklace. The ionic trend has been around for a while, but the necklace is a fresh new twist. You see quite a few people wearing them these days, including professional athletes and college players. Staying true to our mission, we wanted to do more than bring team color to promotional. We offer a completely customized product – from the imprinted decorative knobs to the logo imprinted directly on the strand. It is not enough for us to hop on a trend in a superficial way. We want to create a promotional product that is true to the trend. It brings an authenticity to the process that clients and end users appreciate.

IMC’s Shane Erickson reflects on 20 years of developing great promotional products

April 14th, 2011

We have been unearthing cool stuff since 1991 and now we’ve hit 20 years – two decades in the business! Time flies, and we’re having fun. We’re celebrating this anniversary by spilling all our secrets to success. In this exclusive interview, IMC CEO Shane Erickson shares how we’ve come this far and what lies ahead. 

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How has IMC established a place in the market?
We don’t try to be everything to everybody. We focus our energy and attention on the areas we know best (sports, beverage, and casino promotions,) and that concerted effort allows us to be exceptional in those areas.

What has been the biggest change in the industry?
Definitely importing. A lot of people in the promotional products and advertising specialties field are now going direct overseas. Some execute better than others. There is a definite learning curve. Experience counts when developing promotional products abroad. There are a lot of nuances in the process. Our sourcing team is well seasoned and has great relationships. We started importing ten years ago and have learned a lot in a decade. We will continue to help our clients by bringing them the best possible value.

What’s the key to staying relevant and competitive in the future?
For us it’s staying true to our markets and understanding our clients better and better. Our clients are who we talk to every day – the people in the sports, beverage, and casino industries. We talk to them about how and why they use the products.  It gives us better insight to develop the right promotional product for them. We want to see positive results for our clients. We are highly interested how the products worked (or didn’t work) so we can source more strategically. We strive to bring them something that they want with a twist that will deliver more. This can mean a lot of customized development – a strong point for us. It’s really about an exchange of ideas and constantly moving forward. We’re always asking our customers, “What’s new for you guys?” or bringing them new ideas we come across to the table.

 When it comes down to it, we stay true to our passion – unearthing cool stuff to create a better promotional product for our clients.