All posts by Kelsey

The street food scene: “If we didn’t have phones, what would we do?”

Many people can’t imagine life without a cell phone, but believe it or not, most of us would probably be okay (though inconvenienced). There are some businesses, however, that have built strong foundations almost exclusively through the mobile web, and without phones, they’d have a hard time surviving. One industry that is full of entrepreneurs who you’ll never see without smartphones in hand? Street food, which has developed a pretty impressive presence here in Atlanta through the power of mobile marketing.

As Jordan Chambers of Rattletrap Street Coffee bluntly puts it in the video below: “If we didn’t have phones, what… would we do?”

Coffee Gets Creative from Allies on Vimeo.

When you leave home without your phone, will it have a direct impact on how much money your business makes that day? For street food vendors like Rattletrap, the answer is yes. For most of us, though, the only thing that spending a few hours without our cell phones will keep us from doing is sending a text message or two.

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Brand Your Baby with Angry Birds Logo Apparel

I’ve always wondered why you don’t see more custom Onesies on the market. More often than not, when I see a baby wearing a Onesie, it’s plain white without any witty phrases or designs to suggest that he’s got personality. Luckily, that may change with Swaddle Designs‘ new line of Angry Birds logo apparel, blankets, and other items for infants.

From baby burpies to receiving blankets and, yes, logo apparel like sacks and Onesies, you can now start prepping your baby for the smartphone life before she even cracks her first smile. Swaddle Designs will even throw in a free promotional toy when you spend $50 on Angry Birds merchandise.

Who knows – maybe Angry Birds will be first in a long line of games and applications to inspire custom Onesies and more for little people. What game would you like to see endorse official outfits for infants?

Social Media Manager

The Power of Promotional Kitchen Utensils

Do you have a promotional product in your kitchen? 91% of people do, according to a 2009 study conducted by PPAI Research. Furthermore, 82% of people have 2+ promotional kitchen utensils somewhere in their homes, and of those, more than 50% can tell you what logos appear on their promotional products.

Why do branded items tend to make such a significant impact in the kitchen? The above video suggests that it might have something to do with the fact that it’s a place where families tend to gather on a daily basis. Kitchen products are also practical – and if you give them something they’ll use, people are more likely to keep them and pay attention to their imprints.

Promotional kitchen utensils come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and are great for any budget or occasion. Got a home show coming up? Consider trading attendees an imprinted ice cream scoop or bag clip in exchange for some contact information. Perhaps you’re looking for a creative holiday gift to hand out to your employees or clients this year – a bottle of wine and a high-quality, engraved corkscrew make a memorable symbol of your appreciation.

Social Media Manager

Stand out from the Crowd with Custom iPhone Covers & Accessories

At Apple’s iPad 2 event in March, Steve Jobs announced that the company had sold more than 100 million iPhones worldwide since the launch of the device in 2007. If you own one of them, you know it’s not easy to make your phone stand out from the millions of others just like it… that is, unless you’ve got a super-unique custom iPhone cover.

Mashable recently published a gallery of the coolest custom iPhone covers and accessories they could find, including a number of skins, protective cases, and stands. From this Etch-a-Sketch case to one shaped like a child’s hand, there’s certainly no shortage of one-of-a-kind, custom items that your friends will envy.

What’s the coolest iPhone cover or accessory you’ve seen (or own)?

Social Media Manager

Glassware, Koozies and More for International IPA Day

Beer lovers around the world will raise their glasses tomorrow in celebration of the first annual International IPA Day.

International IPA Day – or #IPADay as you’ll see it called in the Twitterverse – is part of a grassroots movement to bring together brewers, bloggers, and beer enthusiasts through social media. Sean of 2beerguys beer blog writes that the India Pale Ale “represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize craft beer’s social voice.” Indeed, the India Pale Ale is made and enjoyed around the world by an incredible variety of brewers, which means that there’s a good chance you’ll be able to fill your glass with something local when you toast to International IPA Day on August 4. Here in Atlanta, many of us will celebrate with a draft or bottle from our very own SweetWater Brewing Company.

Get the scoop on SweetWater’s International IPA Day celebration…

The ’90s Are All That: Promotional Toys in Honor of ’90s Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon came close to inventing a time machine this week when it debuted “The ’90s Are All That,” a block of programming on TeenNick featuring some of Generation Y’s favorite childhood shows. From All That to Hey Arnold!, Salute Your Shorts to The Adventures of Pete and Pete, twenty-somethings can now relive their glory years Tuesday through Saturday between midnight and 4 a.m. (or whenever they want, thanks to the magic of DVR). In honor of the reemergence of characters like Pierre Escargot and Ferguson “Fergface” Darling, we’ve compiled a list of five of our favorite promotional toys that remind us of the 1990s.

Click here for the full list…

‘Harry Potter’ Series Lives on Through Branded Merchandise

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Trending Topic Tuesday,” where we share our take on what’s going on in the world and what promotional products would appropriately (or inappropriately) market the subject matter.

The final installation of the Harry Potter film series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, smashed box office records and brought in nearly half a billion dollars in its opening weekend. But the story and its revenue-generating potential are far from over, if the countless forms Harry Potter branded merchandise has taken over the years are any indicator of just how far-reaching this franchise really is.

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New Food & Beverage Marketing Guidelines Could Affect Brand Value… and More

A few weeks ago, the President & CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) put out the following video blog about the association’s new initiative to develop and implement a system of generally accepted brand valuation standards – a system that, he says, our economy currently lacks.

In the video, Bob Liodice discusses the relationship between marketing and brand value. He is a firm believer that investing in the former is essential for the growth of the latter “If we don’t invest in marketing activities,” he says, “we could be damaging our brand value.”

The video comes in the midst of efforts from the Obama administration and the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children to cut back on the amount of junk food marketing and advertising initiatives specifically geared toward kids. Strict new guidelines have been proposed that could potentially cut current food & beverage advertising expenditures by 20%, reducing total sales by businesses in this industry by $30 billion in as little as a year. Of course, there would be job losses to go along with that dollar amount – 378,000 jobs over a four-year period, according to the ANA.

However, these brands won’t only be losing money and manpower. As Liodice notes in his video, marketing efforts directly relate to brand power, so if marketing initiatives are cut, brand value will also take a hit. He says that “we know empirically that strong brands means strong operating results, which means higher shareholder equity…organizations that have strong brands have a higher stock market value than those that do not.” Putting restrictions on how and to whom members of the food & beverage industry can advertise might not just affect these companies’ employees and profits, but our economy as a whole.

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Enjoy Your 20.8 Gallons of Beer a Year in the Right Promotional Glassware

In 2010, Americans guzzled down 20.8 gallons of beer per capita, which isn’t surprising when you think about how many options are out there for us to try – with 89 varieties, hundreds of brands, and a dozen glassware options, our 222-bottle average per person is completely justified.

To help us keep track of what we’re drinking and how we’re drinking it, Pop Chart Lab has developed “the world’s most comprehensive beer taxonomy,” a 2′ x 3′ limited edition poster featuring all 89 varieties of beer as well as 200+ examples, with arrows from each pointing to which type of glassware should be used for maximum enjoyment.

While you might think you know your favorite variety or brand of beer like the back of your hand, making sure that you drink it out of the recommended glassware can make a big difference. That goes for beers you might have tried but not been impressed with, too – they can taste radically different poured on draft into the right glass. Luckily, we’ve got you covered in the glassware department (but it’s up to you to decide what you put in your promotional beer glasses).

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“Cars 2″ Inspired by Success of Promotional Products, Not Critical Acclaim

Welcome to this week’s edition of “Trending Topic Tuesday,” where we share our take on what’s going on in the world and what promotional products would appropriately (or inappropriately) market the subject matter.
cars 2 promotional products
According to movie critics, the 2006 animated film Cars was not much of a success – at least not for Disney-Pixar, which put out 6 movies before the release of Cars and never received anything lower than a 91% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. According to that site, Cars only managed to please 74% of critics and 80% of audience members. It wasn’t a failing grade, but it also certainly wasn’t the sort of feedback Disney-Pixar was used to getting.

However, while Cars-inspired promotional products earned Walt Disney Co. more than $8 billion in retail sales of everything from toys to toothpaste and bed frames to bubble gum, a sequel was produced (along with 300+ new Cars 2 branded toys and other items). Despite the fact that the movie has received positive reviews from a mere 33% of critics and 66% of audiences, making it the first Disney-Pixar film to be deemed a “rotten tomato,” Disney expects its Cars 2 promotional products to surpass the $2.8 billion in sales that Toy Story 3 earned last year. Counselor magazine notes that this would make Cars 2 “the largest branded merchandise program ever related to a single movie release.”

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