All posts by Kim M.

Patriotic Promotional Products Celebrate July 4th and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Competition

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.

Yesterday, Americans throughout the country celebrated Independence Day with cookouts, parades, and, of course, fireworks. One particular citizen however, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, added consuming sixty-two hotdogs in ten minutes to his July 4th to-do list. Chestnut and his opponents spent the day competing in the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest held in Coney Island.

This marks the 96th year of the competition, which supposedly originated when four immigrants eating at Nathan’s Famous stand on Coney Island conducted a competition to define who was indeed the most patriotic. While the contest has been held in the same location nearly every year since its inception, the rules for qualifying have changed over time. At first, minors were permitted to enter the competition but now only those 18 and older are able to compete. Additionally, only those under contract by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which has sanctioned the event since 1997, are allowed to participate. Contestants must also be granted approval to compete by succeeding in qualifying competitions prior to the July 4th main event.

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Custom T-shirts to the Rescue in Pi Versus Tau

This week mathematical enthusiasts around the world recognized June 28th as National Tau day. While March 14th (3/14) has long been acknowledged as Pi Day due to its numerical resemblance to the first three numbers in the decimal expansion of pi, proponents of tau insist the holiday be more appropriately referred to as “Half Tau Day.”

Tau advocates, or Tauists, assert that tau equals approximately 6.28, which is twice as much as pi, and therefore believe that the number itself is more significant than pi alone. Efforts to replace pi with tau have been ongoing for about ten years but it was Michael Hartl who brought widespread attention to the movement in June 2010. In “The Tau Manifesto,” a dedication to one of the most notable numbers in math, Hartl explains that pi is not factually incorrect, however, it is a “confusing and unnatural choice for the circle constant.” Pi is the ratio of circumference to diameter of a circle but tau is circumference divided by radius. Simple enough, right?

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Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Various Seasonal Products

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.

If you’re among the millions of people who find yourself reciting the age-old mantra of wishing there were more hours in the day, then today is your lucky day. Students, employees, and procrastinators alike scrambling to complete last minute tasks on their to-do-list can rejoice in the extra hours of daylight granted by the June 21st Summer Solstice. Although many agree that the humidity and ninety-five degree weather have been well underway since early June, today marks the official first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

The word “solstice” is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) and refers to the moment in which the sun’s rays are positioned directly above the Tropic of Cancer. The sun continues to rise higher until it appears to come to a standstill in the sky, resulting in varied sunset times of approximately 11:42 p.m. in Alaska, for example, and 9:10 p.m. in Seattle, Washington.

For centuries, cultures throughout the world have regarded the Summer Solstice as a major celestial event and have employed various seasonal products to celebrate the annual occurrence in a number of unique ways. Ireland plays host to “Midsummer Carnivals,” which feature fairs, concerts and fireworks whereas Spain offers special foods and bonfires on the beach. Also, on this day, the Chinese honor Li, the Goddess of Light while the Swedish dance around a raised maypole covered entirely in flowers and greenery.

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Harry Potter’s Emma Watson Promotes Eco-Friendly Apparel

With the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 quickly approaching, the hype surrounding the movie’s three main stars is bigger than ever. Almost a decade has passed since the public was introduced to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first installment of the Harry Potter movie series, and since then the frenzy surrounding the three main characters and the franchise as a whole has remained constant. Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, who play Harry Potter and Ron Weasley respectively, have long since delved into projects outside of Harry Potter. Emma Watson, however, who was named Hollywood’s highest paid actress in 2010, has only just begun to break free of her Hermione Granger mold.

Watson enrolled at Brown University in September 2009 and is currently involved in the filming of The Perks of Being a Wallflower but the exact details of life post Harry Potter are still uncertain. The famed actress, who advocates fair-trade fashion, is quoted in July’s issue of Vogue magazine saying that she “wants to explore more of her creative side,” which some speculate could refer to the creation of more eco-friendly apparel. Watson’s interest in eco-friendly apparel is so strong that she has even offered to work for free as long as the employer is willing to produce fair-trade organic clothing.

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Promotional Health and Beauty Products to Help Increase Sleep

As society continues to fall prey to the inundation of  new technological advancements, many people are beginning to regard sleep as an inconvenient necessity that simply interrupts one’s penchant to stay connected to the digital world.

A number of studies conducted by the National Sleep Foundation recently accused technology of invading the bedroom and identified the increased use of certain electronic devices in the hour before bedtime as a main contributing factor to our nation’s poor sleeping habits. Nearly 95 percent of respondents in the study reported using cell phones and computers before going to sleep and approximately two thirds admitted to not getting sufficient amounts of rest during the week.

The reluctance, however, to relinquish the use of electronic devices in favor of adequate sleep may be more detrimental to people’s health than even they may realize. In fact, another study conducted from 1998 to 2002 revealed that after a fourteen day testing period those who received six hours of sleep were just as incapable of normal functioning as people who had been deprived of sleep for 24 consistent hours.

The study reiterated the fact that not every person has the same sleeping habits, however, because the sleep deprived among us are simply too sleep deprived to properly assess our own needs it is important to recognize certain factors that can inhibit our ability to get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. Lack of physical activity, aging, poor diet, certain medications and the inverse relationship between cell phone and computer use and sleep can all interfere with our ability to live a healthier lifestyle.

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Promotional Food and Drink Products to Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

Yesterday, First Lady Michelle Obama along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said farewell to the iconic food pyramid as they unveiled its replacement in Washington DC. The food pyramid, which was first introduced in 1992 has long been criticized for its inability to properly convey healthy eating habits and is often associated with the increased rate of obesity in the United States.

The guidelines for wholesome eating are newly represented by a simple circle referred to as “MyPlate,” a design which is intended to simulate a dinner plate. The plate is divided into different sections with a nearby circle representing a dairy serving. On the plate, fruits and vegetables occupy one half while the second half is comprised of grains and proteins.

The new food image is expected to successfully complement Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative to help alleviate the threat of obesity but as former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. David Kessler appropriately points out, the challenge lies in the ability to motivate people to actually eat what is depicted on the plate. One recommended solution is to utilize promotional food and drink products to reinforce the importance of healthy eating habits. Nuts, such as cashews, pistachios, and almonds, are an excellent source of protein and can easily be packaged and distributed as promotional food and drink products to appeal to both children and adults.

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Memorial Day Travel Made Easy with Promotional Travel Items

Despite an alarming (and unwelcome) increase in gas prices over the past few weeks, Americans seem surprisingly undeterred in their plans to travel over the 2011 Memorial Day Weekend. Airlines have increased fares more than six times this year to make up for a 30 percent rise in fuel prices, however, the need to spend more seems to have had little effect on the plans of the 34.9 million people who will travel 50 miles plus over this upcoming long weekend. In fact, a recent USA Today/Gallup poll revealed that 71 percent of Americans have prepared for an increase in the amount of money required for personal travel expenses this year, compared to the 39 percent in 2010 who echoed that same sentiment when the average price of gas was only around $2.80 a gallon.

To compensate for higher expenses and make traveling more comfortable, many will rely on certain promotional travel items and cut out other unnecessary vacation costs. But, try as they may, there are certain factors that vacationer’s can simply not control. The stress of long security lines, potential lost baggage, or road-rage inducing traffic for example are sometimes unavoidable. Travel problems, however, can thankfully also be alleviated with specific promotional travel items designed especially for those traveling by either plane or car.

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President Obama Visits Memphis; May Be in Need of Promotional Cell Phone Accessories

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.

promotional cell phone accessoriesAs threats of some of the worst Mississippi River flooding since the 1920’s continue, thousands of Americans evacuate their homes and head for higher ground. Earlier this month, a Louisiana spillway was opened and a levee was blown up surrounding the town of Cairo, Illinois. Now, US Army Engineers are opening floodgates in attempt to divert water from the Mississippi and decrease pressure on the levees to, hopefully, prevent flood water from reaching Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The expected influx of floodwater prompted an appearance from President Obama, who visited Memphis on Monday to meet with families affected by the flooding. Unfortunately, the 25,000 people situated in  Louisiana’s Cajun country have already been forced to abandon their homes in compliance with mandatory evacuation orders. The record-setting flood waters are predicted to unleash up to 25 feet of water set to wash over approximately 3,000 square miles of low lying land.

Amidst the crisis of the impending natural disaster, Obama remained positive and offered words of comfort to young students at Booker T. Washington High School who excitedly welcomed him as their official commencement speaker. Obama’s phone however, did not meet such a pleasant fate earlier that day. The President, who currently may or may not be in need of some promotional cell phone accessories, sent his BlackBerry phone tumbling to the tarmac of the taxiway at the Air National Guard base in Tennessee. In this case, promotional cell phone accessories would have undoubtedly prevented any damage to the President’s phone.

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The Oprah Winfrey Show: 25 Years of Promotional Giveaways

As of April 29th, Kate Middleton may officially be recognized as the Duchess of Cambridge, however Oprah Winfrey still remains the queen of talk show hosts around the world. For twenty five seasons, The Oprah Winfrey Show has aired spectacular episodes that have played host to numerous musicians, actors, celebrities, authors, doctors, and even politicians. However, none of these esteemed guests could compare to the popularity of the annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” episodes, where Oprah surprises her audience with an abundance of promotional giveaways. Now, as the producers prepare for the highly secretive finale of her last season, fans throughout the world take a look at some of the memorable moments that brought Oprah 25 years of success.

Throughout the years, Oprah has managed to promote her brand while still spontaneously surprising her audience with a wide variety of promotional giveaways. Some of Oprah’s most famous promotional giveaways have included items such as: books, clothing, jewelry, candy in customized tins, Apple products, and of course, who could forget her 2004 episode in which she generously gave each of her 276 audience members a brand new Pontiac G-6 midsize 2005 sports sedan? In addition to the long list of promotional giveaways, Oprah’s website also boasts a section specifically dedicated to apparel and other items which fans can purchase in order to show their support and help promote the Oprah Winfrey brand.

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Promotion Gifts: Help Celebrate in Royal Style

The Royal Family and Anglophiles alike are gearing up for the April 29th nuptials of Prince William to his soon-to-be princess Kate Middleton.  Invitations have been issued and the final details are falling in to place for the approximate 1,900 guests who will attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey.  And, although schools will be closed and UK residents are taking the day off (thanks to it being a government designated public holiday) worldwide preparation has been ongoing since the couple announced their engagement on November 16th, 2010.

With just under two weeks left before the matrimonial union of William and Kate take place, you would be hard pressed to find a company who isn’t in on the wedding frenzied action, and creating  various promotion gifts. Jewelers, cell phone manufacturers, and even Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, have been wracking their brains to come up with innovative ways to remain up to speed with the latest promotion gifts to help commemorate the ostentatious affair.

Since early April, Baskin-Robbins has been offering a chocolate mousse royale ice cream cake, which executive chef, Stan Frankenthaler, says is meant to be reminiscent of a traditional English rose garden. The cake’s flavor is intended as a reminder of Prince William’s affinity for chocolate while the white and sapphire flowers are used to serve as a tribute to Kate’s engagement ring, which previously belonged to the late Princess Diana.

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