All posts by Sofia

Museum Gift Shop Promotions

At the beginning of 2013, I splurged a little and bought a year long pass to the Atlanta High Museum of Art. So far it’s been worth every penny! I’ve enjoyed their take on the emergence of modern art and on Valentine’s Day they opened their latest temporary exhibit: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting.

While I might not be the biggest fan of Frida Kahlo’s work, it’s always nice to spend a weekend afternoon wandering around the different sections of the museum. Of course, one of the highlights of my museum wandering involves picking up a small something at the souvenir shop as I wonder what Pinnacle supplied products I would add if I was running the shop. Museum gift shops usually run the spectrum of kid-centric products to expensive exclusives from visiting artists, truly presenting the age old saying “something for everyone”

I think this is a great practice to bring over in how we look at promotional products. Like many museum patrons, they won’t look at your products for themselves, and instead think of whatever might amuse their children like theKidz Bandage Dispenser™ With Character Bandages. Highbrow it is not, but show it to any kid and there is a good chance they will happily snatch it up and use up all the bandages without actually needing them (true story).

You’ll have you middle of the road browsers, like the museum attendees who have saved up to catch a specific exhibit on it’s opening day, who aren’t kids but don’t have the money to splurge on your costlier items (think of the native hipster). They’ll look for items that funny but useful and always spend a few extra dollars if it’s a brand name they recognize like Fred Flare. So the Fred & Friends iStrike, Mixed Messages Mug, or iPlunge all carry the same winning combo of brand recognition and function that you middle of the line customers would love.

Then there are your high end customers, the ones who make contributions for exhibits to happen. I like to imagine this level, for I am naught but a poor hipster, in my head as people who prefer understand, classic quality.The Waterford® Glendalough Rollerball Pen would be an item that would look great laser engraved with the Museum’s logo and perhaps the patron’s name. It’s design would surely catch the well-trained eye of an upper-level patron.

It’s a great lesson to learn from the museum gift shops: have a little something for everyone and put it right by the exit so people will  just have to take a peek before going home.

Merchandising Assistant

Waiting for Spring with the Herb Garden Set

With superstorm Nemo in the North and the bipolar weather we’ve had here in the South, I am really looking forward to spring and hopefully a quiet and warm spring at that. Until then, I’ve got the Herb Garden Set to keep me company at my window.

There’s nothing like some fresh herbs, especially herbs that I’ve grown, in my meal to cheer me up. This mini herb garden lets me grown my own parsley, chives, and basil from a little kit that has everything that I need. I’ve loved seeing the small sprouts grow, and its provided some nice green scenery when city life gets drab.

This Kit would be great for any company health initiatives, or eco friendly programs. It’s proven to be an easy way to introduce some fresh green into my daily diet.

Merchandising Assistant

Taco Bell and the age of fun

After last night, I could write in-depth analysis of each commercial that aired (or I could send you guys over to Slate’s amazing coverage over here) or I could instead mention Oreo’s blazing fast response to the mid game electrical blackout (but then again, Buzzfeed got the scoop on the post with about the same speed that it was originally posted at here). Instead of re-praising the best of the best, like the Budweiser commercial that seriously made me tear up a little and then realize I was about to cry over a beer commercial, to the lowest of the low (can GoDaddy just go away now? please?), I’ve chosen one commerical that I thought was hilarious but has been received with mixed reviews and has been easily overshadowed by the Dodge Ram ad, which to me seemed more like an awesome powerpoint than a multi-million production: The Taco Bell “Viva Young” ad.

I’ve mentioned before how I’m a big fan of advertising that goes against the grain, like the Anti-Olympic tote bags I blogged about last year, so I’m fond of this commercial for many reasons. If you take a second to look over this year’s commercials, and most years before it, you’ll see a huge emphasis placed on youth and beauty (see this year’s Calvin Klein commercial, which must have been awkward for all the father-daughter combinations enjoying the game together) and if you do happen to see the older generation they are often imparting wisdom upon the rest of us (such as the Dodge Ram commercial). In the Taco Bell commercial, they aren’t waiting for their grandchildren to show up to share a Coke: they are sneaking out windows and partying it up like any rebellious teenager in every coming of age movie. It’s hilarious without mocking old age and, if anything, it pokes fun at what my fellow millennials and I consider to be a great night out. It’s all soundtracked to a Spanish version of Fun.’s 2012 anthem, “We are Young” which only adds to the level of unexpected, but welcomed, absurdity.

After years of Chihuahua’s selling us tacos, Taco Bell has started to explore what more they could offer instead of almost offensive south of the border jokes. They’ve feature popular music, customer tweets and pictures in their ads in 2012 and have kicked off 2013 with it’s hysterical salute to old age. Taco Bell doesn’t need you to be a farmer, or a horse trainer, or even a guy with washboard abs, they just want you to have fun.

So how does this all tie back to promotional products? The takeaways are this: enjoy yourself. Laughter is a powerful thing, it makes you stick in your consumers minds. How do I know this? Well I just spent an entire blog praising Taco Bell and to be completely honest: I don’t even like their food.

Merchandising Assistant

Almost Promotional Products

Our Merchandising Managers are back from the PPAI tradeshow out in Vegas, and they’ve returned with lots of new pictures and stories about what to expect this year. For a sneak peek about all the trends they’ll be blogging about in the near future check out the Facebook album they created here.

So it’s with this spirit of “new-ness” that I’ve decided to take a quick break from my usual blogging style of pointing out items new and old on our website and how they could be applied to different promotional campaigns. I’m taking a cue from our ever awesome Pinterest account and one board in specific, the Not a Promotional Product… Yet board.



Source: via Pinnacle on Pinterest


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Promotional Items for Weird Weather

Lately, I feel like I’m always complaining about the weather in Atlanta but with weekends like the one that just ended it’s hard not to. Our cold spell was broken by temperatures in the high 60’s to mid 70’s. I even saw people in shorts! But today we’re back to rain and the cold. So in honor of this backwards weather, I’ve put together a list of items that would help you recipients transition during these weird weather days.

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A new journal for a new year

My resolution for this new year is to write things down. It’s easy to jot things down on virtual sticky notes or onto my iphone but I still love the idea of writing down with pen and paper my new years resolutions, my grocery lists, and my to-do’s. Not only does it serve as backup in case my phone gets lost or my computer shuts down,  it’s good for keeping my penmanship in check. The NeoSkin Hard Cover Journal has caught my eye and I think it would be the perfect addition to any companies promotional lineup.

The journal has nothing but pro’s for me. It’s a good, carry-ready size: not so big that it can’t easily slip into a purse or briefcase but not so small that you have to squint to see the lines. It’s available in eight different colors, with a matching elastic closure and ribbon bookmark. All in all it’s a smart buy, whether you’re handing them out to new employees or seasoned employees getting refreshers on the this years tactics. The NeoSkin journal is sure to have a shelf life long beyond the first day you hand it out.

Merchandising Assistant

The IdeaKit, for when you know that you don’t know

Sometimes, say on a Monday morning a week before Christmas, you find yourself completely out of ideas. Suddenly there are too many choices and too many distractions, and you can’t choose between a gift bar or a bar gift. During this holiday season we have often ended our gift guides with the phrase “call us or visit our website for more ideas.”, but visiting our website doesn’t mean trying to track down the perfect item by yourself (unless you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, in which case disregard and return to your happy surfing). Sometimes you have to ask for a little help, at that where our IdeaKit Requests come in.

Just click the Need Ideas link at the top of our website and this lovely popup will appear. Then fill out the IdeaKit Request with some basic information about what you are looking for and send it our way. We will put together an IdeaKit chock full of items that will help out your search. So have no fear, the IdeaKit is here!

Merchandising Assistant

Secret Agent Promotional Product

The new James Bond movie was released recently and it’s had me on the look out for promotional items of the secret agent caliber. The LED Aluminum Light with Bottle Opener and Pen jumped out at me as soon as I saw it. While it seems like a simple pen, upon closer inspection, it’s so much more.

The LED Aluminum Light with Bottle Opener and Pen can provide light for reading a secret message in the dark, it can be used to write a coded reply, and it can open up a cold congratulatory drink when your mission is done. No need to carry a million tools! So if you’re looking to add a little Bond intrigue to your offering of promotional products, be sure to give this item a look over.


Merchandising Assistant

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