We talk a lot around here about the ubiquity of promotional products. Inevitably when someone outside work asks me what I do, I am able to point to some object in my hand or theirs — a coffee cup, branded pen, or t-shirt — and say, “I market those.” They are everywhere, including — as I discovered last night — in my podcasts.
Now comes the part where I make a plug for something I truly love and want to share with everyone I meet: This American Life’s podcast. I listen to the weekly, free, hour-long episode during my commute, mouth often agape and hands clutching the steering wheel in rapt attention. I laugh. I cry. I gasp audibly. To use every cliche in the book, I cannot recommend the podcast enough.
Last week’s episode, “The House on Loon Lake,” was a real-life mystery about an abandoned house in a New Hampshire tourist town, discovered by three meddling young boys one summer in the 1970s. The house appeared to have been left in a hurry. The boys found a jar of chocolate syrup on the kitchen counter, a man’s wallet, and a newspaper — announcing German invasion and dated 1939.
The matchbook, pictures link below, led Adam Beckman (lead boy) to track down the family 20 years later. I won’t give away the rest because I want you to listen to the story yourself. But I love the idea of promotional giveaway as historical artifact. (More photos from the story here.)
Perhaps one day some Hardy Boy will discover your company pens and delight in their ancient intrigue.