A Promotional Product Idea That Is Worth Betting On…

Let me preface this post by saying that I consider myself to be extremely unlucky. Aside from the watergun I won playing Bingo when I was 8, I can’t remember the last time I won a contest or drawing. My sister, on the other hand, continues to win countless freebies: tickets to sporting events from furniture store raffles, numerous movie premiere tickets from radio stations, and even a weekend getaway courtesy of a large hotel chain. My losing streak, however, does not discourage me from trying my luck every so often with scratch-off lottery tickets. 9 times out of 10, I wind up empty-handed, but the mere prospect of scratching off prizewinning boxes is enough to keep me coming back for more. “Not a winner” this time? I guess that means I have to buy another ticket!

One of my favorite giveaway ideas involves the aforementioned scratch-off cards. At a tradeshow booth or even in a direct mailing to valued customers, distribute custom imprinted scratch-off cards to promote your brand. If you are feeling generous, make every card redeemable for an inexpensive gift so that everybody feels like a winner, or vary the price points of your prizes to add to the excitement and suspense. Premium giveaways featuring your company’s logo and contact information can generate buzz and create brand awareness, and you can minimize costs by only giving out a handful of winning cards.

Scratch-off cards, unlike most promotional products, provide an experience instead of just a giveaway item. When people are engaged in a memorable activity related to your company, they are much more likely to think of your brand first and foremost when they have a need for your services in the future. Also, the originality involved with scratch-off card promotions can be helpful in terms of referrals, lead generation, and client retention.

You don’t need luck to ensure the success of your next promotional giveaway- customized scratch cards are destined to do the trick!

Marketing Coordinator
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101 Uses for Promotional Hacky Sacks

kick-bagOkay, so maybe just 6 uses so far, but I got your attention, didn’t I?

Did you know that July 27 – August 2 is World Footbag (Hacky Sack) Week? John Stalberger and Mike Marshall invented the footbag in 1972. Today, the footbag is more commonly known in the United States as the “Hacky Sack,” which is the trademarked name of one particular type of footbag. The name “Hacky Sack” is actually a genericized trademark used to refer not only to the footbag itself, but also to the game of footbag. In the traditional hacky sack circle, two or more players compete to keep the footbag from hitting the ground without the ball touching their hands.

Aside from facilitating a fun and competitive sport, footbags can be used for many other purposes. Keep reading for a few of my suggestions:

1. To promote your brand. Well, I work for a promotional products company, so of course this is going to be my first idea! Our promotional hacky sack can be custom imprinted with your brand’s logo or marketing message to become a unique, enjoyable promotional product. Any item that encourages employees or clients to let loose and engage in a friendly athletic competition is bound to maximize exposure for your company. Pens and office accessories always make for practical branded giveaways, but products that people can enjoy in their leisure time with their families and friends also have potential to turn into favorite possessions. Imagine one of your clients gathering his or her family for a weekend at the beach and being asked by their children, “Did we pack that hacki bag that you got from _____ (fill in your brand name here!)?” Your company can become a household name as a result of a distinctive promotional giveaway like the hacki bag.

2. As a stress reliever. While this should not be the primary purpose of a hacki bag, if a true stress ball is not available, a hacki bag can be a suitable substitute to let out some aggression. It is slightly less squeezable than a stress ball, but can definitely provide a wrist workout in a pinch!

3. Doubles as a paperweight. Heavy, eye-catching, compact. All qualities that are desirable in a paperweight. When customers or employees are not using your hacki bag in one of the other ways outlined on my handy list, why not encourage them to set it on top of their important papers?

4. Portable fitness accessory. Playing hacky sack burns an estimated 281 calories per hour! Healthcare or medical companies can incorporate this product into an informational campaign about the importance of exercise and wellness. We offer hacki bags shaped like footballs or basketballs, which are likely to be broken out for impromptu games at the office because they are probably going to be kept on desktops as paperweights (see Use #3).

5. As a weapon. Well, a playful “weapon,” that is. If a coworker is getting on your last nerves, toss a hacki bag their way. It is lightweight enough not to hurt them, and you can work on your pitching arm at the same time.

6. To prevent clients/employees from resorting to using their cell phones as kick bags… Watch this really cool Vodafone footbag commercial to see what I mean!

Any item that can fill this many unique needs in a person’s life is certain to be a successful promotional tool.

Can you think of any other creative uses for a hacki bag? Leave us a comment with your ideas and maybe we can eventually reach 101 uses!

Marketing Coordinator
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Living Promotional Products: Not Just For Those With Green Thumbs

With the summer weather being this gorgeous, who wouldn’t want to start a new outdoor hobby? For me at least, I am thinking gardening. I can just imagine the spectacular salad I will make with all of the fresh veggies I have grown myself!

Whether you already have a green thumb or if you are more like me, the girl who likes getting flowers but has never planted one herself, a promotional product like the Leeds Seasons Garden Tool Tote seems like a great investment to help encourage employees or clients to go outside and be active. This bag is stacked with everything any gardener needs: a trowel, cultivator, gardening gloves, pruner, and weed picker. The various pockets on the bag can hold just about anything – packets of seeds, plant markers (you don’t want to think you’re growing watermelons when it’s actually a pepper plant!), and maybe even a Slimline MP3 Player so that you can sing to your plants. I heard that music helps them grow…but if your voice is as horrible as mine you may want to look into getting something like the Hi-Fi Portable Speaker.

If gardening isn’t your thing, you can still provide a great gift for clients that will allow them to experience the joy of growing a plant. With the Grow Cup, all your recipients have to do is water the pot, but they still get to see the flowers bloom.

Account Coordinator
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Order (with a zippered padfolio) in the court!

Did you know that people worldwide spent more than $18 billion dollars on promotional products last year? I have only just recently joined Pinnacle Promotions Inc. (you may have seen my debut on the Pinnacle blog with my contribution to last week’s What Not to Wear posting as Fashion Police Officer #2), and so am relatively new to the promotional products industry, but have quickly been able to understand the impact of promotional products and realize why companies are putting so much money into this market.

For the past year, I spent my days trying to further my legal career as a paralegal with a criminal defense law firm in Buckhead (shout out to my friends at Conaway, Strickler & Margolis, PC!). While I am happy to now be free to unleash my creativity in writing blogs rather than trying to contain it in writing procedural orders and motions (no offense to all the lawyers out there…), I cannot stop looking at all the promotional products that Pinnacle Promotions offers and thinking of how they could have benefited the law firm. It came at no surprise to me then that purchasers from the professional fields such as doctors, lawyers and CPAs rank in the top 10 among buyers of promotional products. From custom pens to business card cases to ceramic coffee mugs and more, it seems that everywhere I turn I envision an opportunity to print a name and logo on an item and instantly promote a brand. Here are some examples I chose for the legal field:

For the courtroom:
Leed’s Manchester Zippered Padfolio with a writing pad, multiple filing pockets, and a zippered closure to make sure no important legal documents get lost.

For the office:
A Desk Pad Calendar with vinyl corners to keep track of court dates and important meetings.

And for the client:
Perhaps a Policeman Stress Reliever to remind them to stay out of trouble!

Creative Writing Intern
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Magic Answer Ball Says…

greeblie-instrument-of-evilI never thought I would have one. I had friends that bought them. I remember passing by rows of different colored ones in my local department store. But I never saw anything special about the little magic toys.
That is until about a week ago, when my entire outlook on the little round liquid filled balls forever changed. Of course I’m talking about the classic Magic Answer Ball!

Until I received one in the mail a few days ago, I never realized how much I would enjoy having the little fellow accompany me on my desk every day! Sent to me from a prominent industry company to announce a future conference, the little answer ball now sits in front of me directly beneath my computer screen. While I don’t actually believe it can predict the future, it’s a great stress reliever! I find myself asking it questions repeatedly throughout the day. Typically asking the same question an average of about four times until I get the answer I want!

The Magic Answer Ball did its job beautifully! It announced an upcoming event in a fun and memorable way. I have no idea what I did with the included literature, but all I have to do is ask it one question and I’m reminded of the date, location and theme of their conference.

Fun toys and games make excellent promotional giveaways. When a client gets something unexpected and fun, they’re more likely to hang on to it. Puzzles, decision makers, yo-yos, even darts, all make excellent promotional gifts.

Give it a try. Branch out from the norm and take a fun approach to your next promotion.

Marketing Coordinator
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Grandma Knows Best!

As my grandmother has always told me, “Never trust a skinny cook!”

I know firsthand after working here at Pinnacle Promotions, there are a few things that never get old. One of those things is selling promotional products that make our lives in the kitchen just a bit easier.

Industry research suggests that promotional products that end up in our kitchens often have a longer shelf life & generate more overall marketing impressions to the consumer than most others. A few favorites that have had staying power in my kitchen include the Supreme Pizza Cut-It. A consistent top seller, this item is great for your favorite frozen pizza or even as a playdough slicer for the little ones. (Don’’t worry. The plastic blade is awesome for cutting pizza, but safe for developing fingers!)

What blog would be complete without mentioning the glory that is ice cream?  How could we possibly survive without the little guys that make ice cream possible?  The Ice Cream Scoop-It keeps your logo in plain sight while making the ice cream easy to scoop out.  It is perfect for birthdays or any company event.

With these functional kitchen utensils, I am sure I have made my grandmother proud and probably hungry.

Account Coordinator
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What Not to Wear: Pinnacle Promotions Edition

davidsonscott15TLC created an entire show based on it. Glamour magazine has a monthly column dedicated to it. Now, Pinnacle Promotions is entering the scene: fashion rule-breakers beware! Celebrities are often criticized because of unsightly wardrobe faux pas, but the press is becoming more and more mindful of crimes of fashion committed by ordinary people. Pinnacle employees are typically trendy, well-groomed young professionals, but sometimes (and I mean VERY rarely!), one of us will slip up and fall prey to a capital offense.

This fashion victim, who shall remain nameless, should have thought more carefully about leaving his house on the weekend in this outfit. If only he had taken advantage of the stylish apparel offered by his own employer! Here is a brief breakdown of this offender’s criminal actions:

GUILTY: Cutoff Jean Shorts. I mean, this look may have been en vogue in the early ‘90s… but it is now 2009! Yes, the heat in Atlanta tends to be unbearable, but I cannot think of any occasion that would justify a twenty-something year old male in an urban setting rocking this style in public (except maybe Halloween!). There are an enormous variety of alternatives that could provide equal or greater comfort while keeping this individual out of the limelight because of outdated clothing decisions. For example, why not turn to lightweight and sport tek® mesh shorts as lounge-wear? A daytime look that alludes to athleticism is a great way to clue nearby members of the opposite sex into the fact that you enjoy working out and flexing your muscles!

Fashion Police Officer: Dana

GUILTY: Styrofoam Cup. I may have let this one slide if he happened to be sporting the “look you can’t tell if what I am drinking contains alcohol or not because it is in a concealed red plastic cup” college-style solo cup; however, he has chosen to indulge in his liquid concoction in a non-biodegradable, earth-polluting polystyrene foam container! As anyone who has been paying attention to the latest trends in “green” fashion knows, there are plenty of fashionable eco-friendly alternatives to such environmentally harmful products, as can be found on Pinnacle Promotions website under the category of recycled promotional products. For example, Mr. Fashion Victim, should have traded in his disposable cup for a biodegradable, reusable and recyclable Stadium Cup made from recycled materials. As they say: “Green” is the new black!

GUILTY: Trendy Sneakers Gone Wrong. Lately we’ve been seeing celebrities like Justin Timberlake conveying a ton of attitude by dressing down an Armani black suit with plain white sneakers on the red carpet. Sneakers seem to be running off the courts and onto the social scenes around the country, but the secret to pulling off this look is how you wear them. You may think that sneakers are the one fashion trend that doesn’t warrant much thought and consideration, but it is clean, crisp white sneakers that complement any outfit. Our fashion victim should have used a shoe polish kit to keep his footwear out of a fashion victim blog!

Fashion Police Officer: Jaime

And finally, one trend that this mysterious walking fashion disaster is guilty of actually following: flashing a peace sign… Supporting the goal of world peace is always, without question a fashion DO! He definitely redeems himself in part because of this stylish hand gesture!

*Please note: the opinions stated in the above column are in no way representative of Pinnacle Promotions or its employees as a whole (just most of us!). The fashion victim selected for the purposes of this blog consented in advance to its creation and knows that this post is all in good fun. ☺

A Creative Spin on the Classics – Part 1

Year after year, there’s a core group of promotional products that continually rank near the top in consumer popularity. Many of them, like the basic, custom t-shirt or a pad of promotional Post-It notes, consistently sell simply because they’re useful & offer a high number of marketing impressions throughout their lifespan. While these products are proven classics, creative variations do exist that can inject a new spin on these time-tested winners. Below are a few of our most popular suggestions.

The basic tee: A compressed t-shirt offers high impact delivery of your brand. Available in hundreds of stock shapes or custom designed, this unique way to package a t-shirt is sure to impress.

The Sticky Notebook: Also available in a variety of stock & custom shapes is the Sticky Notebook. With 25-100 sheets offered per pad, this product is sure to distinguish your brand from standard 3 x 4 notepads.

The Chip Clip: A common staple you’d find in every American kitchen today is the chip clip. A new twist on this now-classic item is the Cut-It Clip™. The Cut-It Clip™ includes a safe cutting blade to make opening chip bags a cinch.

The next time you’re looking for a new spark in your promotional products mix, start by looking for creative spins on the classic products that we all enjoy & use on a regular basis.

VP of Sales
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Who Says Promotional Products Can’t Be Sweet?!

promotional food and drink productOn the outside, today appears just like any other day. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that today is the perfect day to let loose, forget your diet, and indulge in your favorite guilty pleasure. Why? Because today is National Junk Food Day!

Now you may ask, what qualifies a food as “junk food?” Scientifically speaking, junk food is anything that contains little or no nutritional value. Foods that are high in “empty calories,” fats, sugars and sodium are considered junk food. Don’t want to take the time to read the label? It’s safe to say, if Mom wouldn’t let you eat it, it’s probably junk food!

Whether your high-calorie treat of choice includes candy, potato chips, sugary soda, cake or cookies, take a break from your daily dietary routine and indulge a little! Now I’m not saying you should overdo it. In my personal experience, moderation is always best. You don’t want to end up with a nasty stomachache! But if you want an excuse to have that extra scoop of ice cream, just say it’s in the spirit of the day!

Fun and frivolous days like today can be great ways to promote your company. Break your target audience out of the monotony of the daily grind with an unexpected promotion. Distribute imprinted jellybean packets to your employees and customers. Or send a gourmet cookie tower to your best clients. They’ll “eat up” the promotion! And really, who doesn’t enjoy a sweet treat every now and then?

Marketing Coordinator
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A Night at the Movies

Hitchster-Fortuna-Movie-TheatreSo it’s that time of year again. Time for the release of those much-anticipated blockbuster movies. I personally cannot wait to see The Ugly Truth and the newest installment of one of my all-time favorite series, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince!

While people across the country are still cutting back on their spending, moviegoers everywhere are still enjoying their buttery popcorn and giant soda-fountain beverages everywhere!

As the movie season begins, it brings back a flood of memories from my teenage and college years. Movies have always been such a great escape from the daily grind. I especially LOVE to go to movie premiers!

First you get in FREE! I know. What could possibly be better than a free movie?! How about FREE giveaways! With fun contests to get the audience pumped up for each screening, promoters give away t-shirts, caps, tote bags – I even won a complete season of the Simpson’s television show one time!

What better way to promote your movie. Give fans imprinted products before they see your movie. They’ll be more excited about seeing the show (who isn’t happy after winning a prize!) and they’ll wear/carry your product after the screening – giving you tons of almost-free advertising.

So even if you aren’t a movie or television producer, use their logic to promote your own business. Draw them in and get them pumped about your product or business. Not only will they look more favorably on you because of your kind gesture, but they’ll likely spread the word about you –whether by word-of-mouth or through the display of your logo on their person.

Enjoy the movies!

Marketing Coordinator
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Daily musings on promotional products in our world and media.