Tag Archives: Apparel

Using Promo Products to Target Hispanic American Consumers

Photo courtesy of http://shop.pepsiusa.com/.

“Yo Sumo.” The Spanish phrase, which in English translates to “I count,” forms the basis of PepsiCo’s current campaign addressing Hispanic Americans. The campaign hopes to spur Hispanic consumers not only to participate in the 2010 Census, but to make their citizenship “count” to the fullest extent. Instead of just filling out the form and being included in the census tally, “Yo Sumo” urges them to discuss their experiences and influence on the American nation via Pepsi’s interactive website, http://www.pepsiyosumo.com. Popular Hispanic actress Eva Longoria Parker is slated to collaborate with Pepsi to film a documentary based on anecdotes posted to the site. The “Yo Sumo” website has already caught on within America’s Hispanic community, and many fans of the initiative have purchased official “Yo Sumo” custom t-shirts (pictured above). Lots of “Yo Sumo” supporters proudly wear their logo apparel in profile pictures on social networking sites to communicate their excitement to friends and family!

As was the case with the last national census in 2000, experts expect Hispanic consumers to comprise a large portion of respondents, reminding marketers about their immense purchasing power. If you compete in an industry that targets largely Spanish-speaking market segments, there are lots of promotional products that you can customize in order to reach out to these consumers. You can, and should, take immediate action to diversify your marketing mix to appeal to Hispanic audiences. Consider ordering items like these calendars featuring Spanish text or imprinted pens that sound a cheery Spanish voice recording to end users when their heads are pressed down. In addition to items with predetermined stock messages in Spanish, don’t forget that you can tailor any promotional products to people of any native language by specifying your own custom content and graphics.

Team Lead – Social Media
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Rethinking a Marketing Strategy: Promotional Products and Social Media Synergy

A study of Internet usage released by The Nielsen Company shows that Americans nearly tripled the amount of time they spend on social media sites and blogs between August 2008 and that same month one year later. Over the course of that time, people developed and altered the way that they gain information. Not only are consumers turning to online news sources such as CNN.com or the New York Times online, but also people are garnering more of their news from sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This means that hard news stories- about the earthquake in Haiti or the latest status update on healthcare reform- are cluttered with personal status updates, such as what John Smith ate for dinner last night or the color of Jane Doe’s new hat. What’s more, consumers are hearing the news through secondary sources that cannot help but add their own personal bias.

Personal bias about online news also applies to brands. Social media sites provide an easy and uncensored outlet for shoppers to share their likes and dislikes about certain products, companies and customer service experiences. Thus, as consumers spend more and more time on these sites, effectively changing the way they share and acquire information, marketers are forced to shift their campaigns as well. And they are. The same Nielsen study reveals that while the time consumers spent on these sites tripled, the amount of money that businesses spent advertising online increased 119 percent during that same time span.
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Where Have You Spotted John Deere Promotional Products?

redjarHaving been born and bred in Georgia, I am no stranger to the distinctive green and yellow logo featured on John Deere promotional products. Okay, so I grew up in the metro Atlanta area, where farmland is sparse and suburban residents have no need for heavy duty John Deere agricultural equipment to manicure their manageable front yards… Nevertheless, I had peers who would not leave home without their trademark John Deere trucker hats. I always knew that the brand had a longstanding, loyal following in the Southeast, but during my teen years, I viewed it as more of a trend- wearing John Deere paraphernalia made people my age appear “rugged” and “outdoorsy”. Looking back, I wonder if even half of the John Deere-clad teenagers I knew had ever stood within 3 feet of an actual tractor!

An article on BrandFreak.com discusses John Deere’s current campaign, called “What Will You Create.” It features actual customers who have accomplished amazing agricultural feats using John Deere equipment. For example, take Larry Carlson, a New Yorker who transformed a 5 acre potato field into a Tuscan-inspired panorama of gardens and mazes using tractors made by- you guessed it- John Deere. Keep reading…

Get out the Spirit Accessories, It’s Time Again for the NCAA Basketball Tournament

The D34nWith the preliminary round of the 2010 NCAA Championships only two days away, school allegiances and rivalries are at an all-time high. Will the Jayhawks stay at number one in the Midwest? Will they square off against Duke in the semi-finals? I sure hope so. Both teams, who enter the tournament holding the top spots in their conferences, proudly hold three championship titles. But that is nothing compared to the University of Kentucky Wildcats, a team with a very respectable seven wins under their belt.

I’ll be watching to see if the Wildcats come out on top again this year but even if you aren’t a basketball fan or your team just didn’t make it this year (Ohio State’s 69-68 victory last week over Michigan in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Big Ten Conference Tournament was heartbreaking to many in the Midwest), there are plenty of other reasons to tune into the NCAA basketball tournament. The tournament- more commonly referred to as the Final Four or March Madness- isn’t just about basketball.

Continue reading about advertisements, spirit accessories, and why you need to watch the Final Four

Bandanas, Yawns and Logo Apparel: Athletes’ Pre-Game Rituals

The Olympics ended Sunday, but for avid speed skating fans a few questions still remain to be answered. For one, why did Apolo Anton Ohno keep yawning before races? Was the most decorated American Winter Olympian in history tired? Bored?

No. After watching a post-race interview with Ohno, I can confidently say the American short track speed skater was neither tired nor bored. The yawns relax his facial muscles and help him prepare for competition, Ohno explained. Also helping him prepare for his outstanding performances were his music, headphones and signature bandanas, which he wore fervently for each event. As most sports fanatics know, Ohno is certainly not alone in his pre-game rituals. The question remains as to whether or not these superstitions actually influence an athlete’s performance.

“It’s very helpful for players to have consistent rituals, both for pregame preparation and during competition,” said Mary Fry, an associate professor at University of Kansas, Lawrence in the Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences. “Rituals help athletes maximize their performance under pressure. Without rituals many athletes have a tendency to speed up or slow down their regular play, making them more susceptible to making errors.”*

As Fry explains, rituals help athletes to get into their zone. And this theory doesn’t just apply to Olympic-level or professional athletes. Despite my lack of coordination, I have been playing in an adult dodgeball league for the past two months. Every Saturday at 1 o’clock, my teammates and I faithfully arrive at the local gym, ready to dodge, duck, dip, dive and…. Dodge. This weekend, we took third place in the championships and I think our success was due in part to the logo apparel we wore routinely for every game. Our pink shirts, imprinted with the league name and company sponsors, helped the team look unified, feel more confident and thus perform better.

We might not be ready for the Olympics, but we’ll take logo apparel and a bronze medal any day!


Marketing Coordinator

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*as quoted in an article by Nicolas Roesler in the Daily Kansan

From the Runway, to Your Promotional Products… Spring Fashion Report

For some, fashion is a hobby. For others, a sport. Twice a year, in February and September, fashion lovers of all income brackets, styles, and ages unite to take in something I like to equate to “The Superbowls of Fashion,” New York Fashion Weeks. Men glued to their tvs screaming as their favorite football team fights for yardage does not begin to compare to the intensity with which many women follow the coverage of Spring and Fall Fashion Weeks. We live vicariously through bloggers and press coverage, keeping a mental, or for some fashionistas who are even more obsessed with couture than I am, a physical, checklist of all the trends we want to incorporate into our seasonal wardrobes.

Spring/Summer trends were defined at 2009’s Fall Fashion Week (confusing, I know), and I have already spotted some of the key trends permeating the dreary Winter attire demanded by Atlanta’s current climate. It isn’t too late to design custom apparel items for clients and employees that will put them at the pinnacle (pun intended!) of fashion in their professional and personal lives this Spring.

Neutral tones: One of my current favorite promotional products is Leed’s Laminated Non-Woven Large Shopper Tote, which can be found in our Tradeshow Bags & Totes category. This eco-friendly carrying bag is offered with a grass stock background, keeping it in line with the neutral theme that dominated Spring runway shows. A former roommate’s 7 year old sister once asked her why everything in my closet was “dirt-colored,” so clearly I was far ahead of the times with this trend!

Preppy stripes: Many people are not wasting any time at all interspersing chunky stripes and nautical accessories into their Winter wardrobes, and this craze is expected to grow exponentially as temperatures heat up. Our playful Large Striped Canvas Tote is one item to help your female constituents capitalize on the nautical theme, and even men can get onboard (again, pun intended- that one was just way too easy!) with polo shirts featuring subtle stripes.


Nylon anoraks and color blocking: A quick search for the term “color block” on our website turns up hundreds of results, from color block drinkware to tote bags. Appropriately, some of the search results were nylon color block jackets for men, women, and youth from popular promotional apparel brand Port Authority®. I don’t think I could have found a better example of either of these trends than these particular lightweight jackets- perfect for crisp, clear Spring mornings, Port Authority® takes nylon outerwear from functional to fashionable with ease in these statement pieces.

And that wraps up my summary of Spring trends; I can’t wait to summarize next week’s events for you, as I’m sure I will have plenty of ideas about how Pinnacle Promotions can help you bring Fall 2010 trends from the runway to YOUR way with unique promotional products.

Team Lead – Social Media
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Mood-Sensing Promotional Products: What Will They Think of Next?

Leopard PrintReading Acree’s blog yesterday did make me a bit nostalgic about college life. My sadness did not last long, however, as a late afternoon brainstorming session with my coworkers left me giddy with excitement about all of the creative ideas that we hope to bring to fruition. Today, as I write this blog, I am slightly overwhelmed by the blank document on my computer screen, but I am hopeful that after jotting down my thoughts and organizing them in a logical progression, anyone who stumbles upon this post will be left feeling satisfied and intrigued.

The sheer number of emotions that we experience on an hourly, and even minute-by-minute, basis is mind-boggling. One of the downright coolest websites I have seen in a long time (other than Pinnacle Promotions, of course!) is Trendhunter.com, recommended to me by Pinnacle’s Relationship Manager, Natasha. Trend Hunter garners over 9 million monthly views and claims to be “the world’s largest, most popular trend community”. With over 61,000 posted trends, this site is an incredible resource for anyone interested in innovative gadgets, concepts, and campaigns.

But enough about Trend Hunter and onto the real inspiration behind today’s ramblings. My first paragraph with distinctive feelings bolded and underlined relates to a Trend Hunter slideshow called “34 Emotion-Based Innovations.” While I am not sure whether inventions like the TouchMan cellphone, which allows for visual sharing of emotions during phone conversations, will be met with widespread acceptance, there are some products on the list that may take the world by storm.

The LadyBag, designed by Canadian researchers, uses RFID technology to detect the contents of the purse- if it detects an absence of a certain item, a visual icon representing the missing item appears on the external LED display. When every RFID-tagged item specified by the user is detected, a smiley face graphic shows up on the outside display. The LadyBag also determines the user’s emotional state via physical sensors, and visually depicts the emotions on the outside display as well. I’m not sure how I feel about literally wearing my emotions, but the RFID detection technology would be useful, to say the least!

The mood pen, created by electronics powerhouse Philips, features sensors in its shaft to monitor the user’s heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and pressure. The inks and shape of the writing tip adapt to the emotions detected, so written words will appear different depending on whether the writer is happy or sad. The emotion-sensing technology could be turned off if the user decides not to put his or her feelings on display. My question is, if users are going to turn off that special feature, why wouldn’t they just opt for regular promotional pens?

The general public may not be ready for some of these innovations just yet, but it is fascinating to think about how emotion-detecting technology will affect communication channels and marketing. Someday in the future, will marketers be able to capture and analyze consumers’ emotional reactions to billboards, television commercials, and point of purchase displays? The examples in the slideshow seem to point to “yes,” but it will be exciting to observe the developments as they infiltrate mainstream outlets.
Team Lead – Social Media
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Even The Jersey Shore Needs Promo Products

untouchables_finalThe following story takes place on the sparkling clean beaches of the Jersey Shore:

One day Danny told all of the kids working his T-shirt shop to come downstairs for a meeting. “We are going to be having a little competition from now on,” he explained. “Except I am going to make it really hard on about half of you. All of the awesome people are going to be on one team, and the rest of you who only lay around on the beach are going to be stuck on the other. I think you know who you are.”

As Snookie, Vinny, and Sweetheart Sammy looked at each other, they knew they were the latter team. “What should we call ourselves?” Snookie wondered. A light popped up above Sweetheart Sammy’s head for the first time in her life, and she blurted “We are like so Badass! We should name our team that!” The threesome grinned, honestly believing that they came up with the most original, coolest name ever conceived in the history of the Jersey Shore.

The rest of the Jersey Shore-eans rolled their eyes at their friends’ horribly lame attempt to bring something to the table. The Situation, Pauly, and Ronnie headed off to the gym to work on their A-game. As they were pumping iron to prepare for some serious fist-pumping later on that evening, they were discussing their Italian heritage. “We are so mafia,” grunted The Situation between reps. “We should call ourselves The Untouchables. Team Jackass has nothing on us!”

The three boys got back from the gym to find that their Italian flag bearing laptops had been hacked and now proclaimed “Team Badass Rocks!” Pauly was heated and wanted to start a fight, but JWow convinced him to wait. “You were working out hard at the gym and this was what they wasted their time on,” she explained. “Did you ever hear that story about the grasshopper and the ant? They are just playing games while we are preparing for the real challenge.” Pauly looked confused, Why is she talking about bugs? , but he decided not to start a fist fight with his roommate anyway.

The two teams conversed on how to get more people walking the boardwalk to come in and buy T-shirts. They only had one week left until they had to present their ideas to Danny. Team Badass continued to pull stupid pranks, like put photos of ugly donkeys up in their rooms and write on the Shore blog that the other team sucked. The Untouchables, however, were not fazed. They knew that they were, after all, untouchable. There was really nothing to worry about. The Untouchable team did a group fist pump, and prepared for a night of clubbing down at the Jersey Shore.

Account Coordinator
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A Look Back at the Evolution of Our Promotional Products Blog…

The People’s Choice Awards last night inspired me to take a slightly different approach to today’s blog. Rather than writing a completely original post, I thought to myself, why not reflect on the musings thus far of my fellow Pinnacle bloggers? There have been some amazing topics raised since the inception of our blog last May so here are MY choices for the most fitting blog posts in a variety of categories:

1. Funniest: “What Not to Wear: Pinnacle Promotions Edition” (by me and Jaime)

The spoof we co-wrote based on television’s “What Not to Wear” was actually suggested by several of our coworkers, and we all laughed for days about this one! Brent was a trooper, although I’m sure he won’t be thrilled about me rehashing the details of our original post. ☺ This may be one blog idea that we have to recycle in the future- Pinnacle employees, make sure not to break any fashion rules, or the “Fashion Police Officers” may write about you next!

2. Spookiest: “6 mildly scary films about promotional products that never made it past storyboarding” (by Acree)

Acree’s clever take on classic scary movies sent shivers through my bones! Her suggested parody “The Hills Have Ice” gave me nightmares- deranged ice scrapers attacking an unsuspecting family of tourists? No, thank you! If Acree ever decides to produce any of these films, I may need to get away from the promotional products industry, as our office showroom would be an intimidating haunt after dark…

3. Most Delicious: “Promotional Products: Recipes for Successful Marketing Campaigns” (by Sarah) and “Toasting and Roasting: What to Do Post Pumpkin Carving” (by Kim)

Well, I can’t say that I have actually made Sarah’s zucchini bread recipe myself, but I have tasted it and can say that it is even more delicious than it looks in the photo! I highly suggest printing out a copy of the entire post and cooking up your own loaf of zucchini bread. And how could I forget Kim’s post featuring a recipe for toasted pumpkin seeds? I don’t think pumpkins are in season anymore, but this recipe is definitely one to keep in your kitchen to whip up this Fall!

4. Most Likely to Inspire Readers to Get Up and Sing: “Presenting Pinnacle’s Lyrics Lounge: Promotional Products Inspired by Music” (by Jaime)

Jaime’s series of “Pinnacle’s Lyrics Lounge” entries was certainly a well-loved one around our office. It was hard to pick just one post, as other great songs were referenced as well, but I thought the original should win the award, as it did start the series off with a bang. Hopefully 2010 will bring more “Pinnacle’s Lyrics Lounge” originality from Jaime!

5. Most Likely to Cause Readers to “Shake Their Groove Thangs”: “Pink Gloves Dance: Can You Spot the Promotional Products?” (by Guest Contributor, Eliza)

Eliza’s creative integration of the YouTube hit “Pink Gloves Dance” video into her guest blog post in December made me want to grab the nearest promotional product and bust a move. Nurses bopping their heads while wearing hot pink sunglasses should be inspiration enough for readers to introduce some fun and excitement into their next promotional giveaway campaign… or even to hold an impromptu dance party in their cubicles!

6. Best Seasonal Post: “Hittin’ The Pool” (by Heather)

Re-reading this post from last June brought a wistful smile to my face, as I would much rather replace the snow in Atlanta today with warm rays of sunshine and pool-worthy temperatures. Her description of spending a leisurely weekend working on a tan makes me look forward to Summer already!

7. Best Business Advice: “Building Business Relationships with Promotional Products” (by Kim)

In my final category, I selected Kim’s heartfelt post about the importance of fostering lasting relationships with your customers. Her observations and recommendations rang true in my mind, especially upon a second reading. The suggestions that she shares about sending inexpensive giveaways and promotional products to clients are timeless and universal- there is no time like the present to begin making your customers feel appreciated and valued!

With the number of posts made to our blog nearing 200, it was tough for me to narrow down my selections- if you have a favorite post, leave a comment and let us know. And, of course, you can expect many more inventive entries from Pinnacle’s Marketing team and our awesome guest bloggers in 2010!

Team Lead – Social Media
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