Sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat – yes many of us know all too well the symptoms that correspond with acute viral rhinopharyngitis, or a “cold.” In fact, the common cold is indeed so common that it is the number one cause of lost work time (about 150 million workdays), followed closely by diarrhea – but that’s a remedy for another day. Of course there are several ways to avoid being stricken with the cold virus, and if you do happen to catch it, ways to make yourself better. And surprise – there’s a whole bunch of promotional products out there that can help you feel and get better too!
On November 5, 2007, the Writers Guild of America went on strike. The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) are labor unions which serve to protect the rights of film, television, and radio writers. The 100 day strike, which ended on February 10, 2008, was aimed at the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), and striking writers protested against inadequate compensation for their work when compared to the massive revenue earned by the production studios. Both parties reached a mutually agreeable settlement, and after months of subjecting the American public to re-runs, the writers returned to work.
The Late Show with David Letterman was one of the few shows to reach an “interim agreement” with the Writers Guild of America in December of 2007 prior to the end of the strike. This meant that despite otherwise limited television options, Dave’s jokes and banter were able to keep viewers laughing.
Just in case Dave’s writers should ever happen to go on strike, however, the Marketing Department here at Pinnacle is ready to come to his rescue with fresh comedic material! We have taken the liberty of coming up with a Top 5 List to take the place of his usual Top 10 List segment if he is ever in dire need of a script:
Top 5 Ways to Tell If You’ve Bought the Wrong Promotional Products
5) South Florida trade show attendees stare blankly at the promotional ice scrapers that you have given them, but have no idea what the items are or how they should be used.
4) Outraged hockey players throw the pink fashion tote bags that you have given them in the garbage.
3) Sneezing, sniffling, and allergic reactions ensue when you deliver scented hand lotion imprinted with your company logo to an allergy clinic.
2) Promotional picnic kits, complete with wine bottle openers and wine glasses, offend the audience at a meeting for recovering alcoholics.
1) A custom t-shirt in the wrong size and for the wrong gender may not be appreciated by all recipients…
ie for a Marketing Department comprised mostly of petite ladies, a 5XL Men’s t-shirt (that is actually large enough to accommodate 3 of us at once, as pictured above) is not a wise gift for one of the employees. (NOTE: this item was not given to us as an actual gift, and was merely found in our company showroom.)
In closing, I would just like to reiterate that while these examples are given because of their comedic value, there is an important lesson to be learned by recognizing the needs of your target audience. It is highly unlikely that a marketing manager would purchase such inappropriate gifts as women’s tote bags for a group of males, but there are plenty of minor oversights that can cause a brand to accidentally alienate, or even offend, its audience.
The experienced sales representatives at Pinnacle Promotions can provide a wealth of information if you are willing to reach out to them with your questions via phone, e-mail, or LiveChat. Also, Promotional Products – A Survival Guide is now available for purchase. This handy book is a compilation of background information, trends and advice related to the promotional products industry, and covers the ins and outs of the ordering process in great detail. There are numerous reliable sources to consult regarding promotional products, so make sure to take advantage of them to learn how to use these items in the most effective way possible!
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We all know California tends to be a bit on the progressive side compared to the rest of our nation – having been the first state to legalize gay marriage, the first to ban the distribution of plastic bags, and, perhaps a bit lesser known, the first to initiate a law requiring businesses to include warning labels on all products containing hazardous chemicals (a list of more than 700), as well as prohibit companies from discharging these substances into drinking water sources. This law, commonly termed Proposition 65, and formally titled the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, came about from growing public dissatisfaction in the 1980s regarding what they perceived as a lack of effort on the part of the state government to protect its citizens from exposure to certain toxics, in particular from those companies who knowingly produced products that included an unsafe amount of these chemicals.
While the Act has good intentions, seeking to protect consumers, it is important to note the use of many of the chemicals that it deems are hazardous to our health is not prohibited by national government agencies including the FDA. Additionally, though it cited that the chemicals listed are those that are “known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity,” in reality, many of those listed only have the potential to pose these risks under certain circumstances and based upon certain interpretations of scientific data. An example of this is one prominent case that occurred in 2006 when California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo sued Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, alleging it used lead-based paint on bottle labels imported from Mexico. In reality, the lead content present in those bottles was negligible. Dr. F. Jay Murray, a toxicologist and a founding member of the Proposition 65 Science Advisory Board even stated regarding the lead content in the Coca-Cola bottles, “In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says you could drink 10 times as much lead in drinking water and be safe. Many consumers in Los Angeles and around the state actually drink tap water with higher levels of lead than are in these beverages.”
Regardless, the law has made a big impact on business, including within the realms of the promotional products industry, and beyond just within the borders of the State of California. Companies throughout the country that manufacture promotional products are either being met with high costs of reformulating products or repackaging them to include the proper warning labels, and those that do not contain the proper warning labels have the potential to receive penalties as high as $2,500 per violation per day, or facing serious threats to the future public perception of their company in the midst of media-frenzied lawsuits – hundreds of which, like the Coca-Cola suit, have been brought about by private consumers throughout the past two decades. Due to a combination of fear of these possible consequences, a lack of monetary funding needed to make the necessary changes to products, and concern that customers outside the state of California who are not aware of the details of Proposition 65 will be led to believe that their products are truly unsafe based upon the warning labels, many promotional products companies have decided to stop distributing their products to California altogether.
At Pinnacle Promotions, we offer many custom printed promotional items that are Proposition 65 compliant, such as our promotional BPA-free bottles. If you are a company in California, or a company that will be distributing any of your purchases to the state of California, simply let your Account Manager know and they will make sure the products you choose adhere to all Proposition 65 guidelines.
For more information about Proposition 65, and to see the entire list of prohibited chemicals, you can visit the State of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment website at http://www.oehha.org/prop65.html.
Team Lead – Multimedia
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I just started watching Mad Men this season, after I caught a few episodes on a Delta flight and got hooked. (I have no idea what twist of fate dropped this gem in my lap and spared me several hours of Two and a Half Men or Jon and Kate Plus Eight, except that I have a history of fortunate flying, and have been seated next to more than my fair share of wildly attractive strangers. Don’t worry; I’ll get what’s coming to me.)
Everything I had heard about Mad Men is true: The episodes progress as slowly and meticulously as chapters in a Dostoevsky novel, Don Draper is an unequivocal womanizer, and the dresses are real pretty! Wardrobe aside, I enjoy the slow pace and rich shots because I watch television very closely and can’t stomach the shaky cameras of reality shows. After following the show for only a short time, the characters have become fixtures in my life, and when I clicked over to the Emmys directly after an episode last month and spotted Betty Draper standing on stage, she looked as still and deathly serene as she always does, and I couldn’t get it through my head that she is an actor, not a housewife.
As Mad Men received the Emmy for Best Drama that night, on another channel at the same time the show was throwing a bomb at its unsuspecting viewers.
The episode was more boring than most. For 45 minutes it had waded through corporate meetings, reorganization flowcharts, quiet conversation after quiet conversation, and was about to arrive at a long-awaited conclusion during an office going-away party for Joan, replete with birthday cake and bounties of booze, per usual at Sterling Cooper Ad Agency. Peggy and Joan were talking about something boring, a few people in the background were playing around on a lawnmower on loan from John Deere, and then — then, the totally unbelievable happened:
Warning: If you get offended or nauseated easily, do not watch this video. If you are a good parent, do not let your child watch this video.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you invest in promotional first aid kits.
Creative Writing Intern
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Since its creation in 1994,
Pinnacle Promotions has been a promotional company that offers more.
Providing customized solutions for any marketing or branding need,
With all exclusive services designed around one overriding goal – speed.
From processing orders with our service of 24-Hour Rocketship Express,
To saving you time with custom IdeaKits that are sure to impress.
Let our dedicated Account Teams help you find unique products of quality,
And know that your order will arrive on time, and as approved, with our Platinum Guarantee!
From apparel, to drinkware, to stress balls galore,
Check out everything we have to offer in our online store!
We have journals, pens, backpacks, candles, candy jars and toys,
We have magnets, spa kits, golf balls, lanyards, and shirts for girls and boys!
We have accessories for travel and fitness, for your computer, your cell phone, and your car,
We have gifts that tell time, display photos, play games, and even stock your bar!
Whether for man or woman, young or old, business or pleasure, or all,
We have thousands of products for everyone in our virtual product mall!
Too many products to choose one on your own?
Just e-mail us, live chat or pick up the phone.
With account managers who know the industry like the back of their hand,
Their insight and knowledge can help find the perfect item for your brand.
What about custom artwork and logo designs?
Our graphics team can produce amazing samples that go beyond basic lines.
Let us help you along each step of your promotional products decision,
And help us enhance your overall marketing vision!
Team Lead – Multimedia
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Yesterday was a day that many Pinnacle employees had been dreading for several weeks (including Deidre, pictured here). The occasion can be summed up in a mere seven letters: FLU SHOT. We all knew it was in our best interest to suffer the brief pain associated with the shot; nevertheless, grumbling and complaining pervaded the office during the few hours prior to our scheduled visit from a certified healthcare professional. Several people opted for the painless flu mist, but the majority of staff members walked out of the make-shift flu shot station with that telling symbol of bravery adhering to our arms: a bandage.
As much as I hate shots, I have to admit that I always enjoyed going to the pediatrician and being able to choose my own bandage. Minnie Mouse was a favorite, but the Care Bears were a close second. Bandages, despite their short lifespans, are valuable promotional tools to advertise any brand, even a personal brand, as demonstrated by rap superstar Nelly in 2001 and basketball player Dwyane Wade in February of this year. Why not customize a bandage or bandage dispenser to communicate a unique message? Create a cohesive campaign based on the sentiment that your company can fix any “boo boo.” The originality you can employ when utilizing promotional bandages is unlimited- from font colors and styles, to patterned bandage containers, to catchy taglines, a bandage is an ideal blank canvas to feature your custom content.
While writing this blog post, I began to wonder about the history of designer bandages. As a product of the digital age, my first instinct was to turn to Google for answers. Here a few of the results I stumbled across, and I’ll let you pass your own judgments about whether these examples are fashion forward or just plain weird. What do you think about designer bandages? Leave a comment below with your opinion.
Team Lead – Social Media
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The H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as the Swine Flu Virus, is expected to infect between 30 and 50% of the American population this fall and winter. The resurgence of the Swine Flu virus may begin as early as September because of the start of the new school year, and experts predict cases to peak in mid-October. The H1N1 vaccine is not going to be readily available until mid-October at the earliest, and furthermore, vaccinated individuals won’t develop immunity for several weeks after they actually receive the vaccine. Particular groups that are more susceptible to infection include pregnant women, health care workers, the elderly, parents or guardians of infants younger than 6 months, and adults under 65 with an underlying health condition.
The H1N1 virus is highly contagious, but there are some ways to protect yourself and those around you from falling victim to this illness. The CDC recommends several basic steps, which most people normally follow anyway, to minimize the spread of germs.
1. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, particularly after coughing or sneezing. Promotional hand sanitizers are also effective tools for warding off infection.
2. Shield your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Make sure to dispose of the tissue properly after use.
3. Try to avoid touching your face with your hands, as this is a common way to disseminate germs.
4. If possible, keep your distance from people already infected with H1N1. People mainly contract influenza as a result of being exposed to the coughing or sneezing of infected people.
Should you happen to catch H1N1, stay home from work or school to minimize the risk of passing the virus to others.
Keep your employees, clients, and loved ones healthy by distributing inexpensive, yet highly effective, promotional hand sanitizers to encourage clean hands. Pinnacle Promotions sells many types of promotional hand sanitizers in a variety of forms and styles. Consider the impact that antibacterial spray or antibacterial gel imprinted with your company’s name and marketing message could have on your target audience. Any recipients of practical promotional products from our Hand Sanitizer collection are guaranteed to appreciate the items during flu season, and they will be reminded of your company’s concern for their well-being every time they take action to ward off germs!
And lastly, although the Swine Flu is a serious subject, this video posted on YouTube puts a humorous spin on the virus’ name. It made me laugh out loud, and hopefully it will brighten your day, as well.
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Within the social structure of the United States, and any other developed nation really, there is a preoccupation with symbols of status – consumer products being one of them – used to denote one’s position within society. Though the nature of any correlation between these notions is highly subjective, it is hard to deny that those consumer products with brand names or designer labels are regarded as ones denoting wealth and prestige, and generally lie within the realms of the upper class. While many of these so-called designer items do rightfully align themselves with the rich and wealthy, owing to the quality of their goods, the true determination of their value is merely a social construct, initially developed from marketing schemes and sustained by consumer perceptions. More than just name recognition and the benefits of that familiarity, along with a brand name comes an identity of quality and excellence.
Your company can benefit from these marketing efforts of already recognizable labels by using their promotional products, and ultimately pairing your name with their reputation. At Pinnacle Promotions, we carry brand name promotional items such as promotional pens by Bic®, tools and watches by Swiss Army®, and office accessories by Alicia Klein®, just to name a few. Promotional products with brand names will be sure to impress clients and employees, and recipients will be even more likely to keep these products that they recognize to be of a certain value. You can see our entire collection of brand name promotional items by clicking here.
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Atlanta was lucky enough to be one of two cities selected to host this year’s annual Red Bull Soapbox Race. Red Bull closed off 10th street in Midtown Atlanta and created a curvy track that tested the skills of each driver and the agility of each handcrafted soapbox car.
Fifty teams entered the human-powered race to compete for the coveted title of first place and a weekend NASCAR experience in Charlotte, NC. Each team was judged on their speed, creativity and showmanship. With each team being encouraged to perform a skit, dance or some form of entertainment prior to their race down the track, there was no shortage of leprechauns, lederhosen, togas and other various “characters” walking the streets of Midtown.
The race was loads of fun and I was incredibly appreciative of the fact that admission to such a fun and popular event was free. And being such a nut about cool advertising techniques, I couldn’t help but notice the promotional products and amazing branding that Red Bull does for this once-a-year event.
As we walked from the train station towards the race, we followed the banners (not to mention crowds of people!) to the designated entrance. An imprinted hand fan was the first item we received as we walked the path to the Pit to see the soapbox cars before the race. Then we received an icy-cold free Red Bull. FREE. Yay! That almost never happens anymore. With the free drink and an invitation to their outdoor lounge area, I actually felt like a VIP for a minute! After we found the perfect place to watch the race, the Red Bull crew (wearing Red Bull tanks) distributed imprinted bells to those lining the track. While that was the extent of the giveaways I actually witnessed (although I did see several Red Bull custom shaped coolers in passing), I would bet that near the finish line and judges’ station (we were at the starting line) many other items were offered as well.
Take a tip from Red Bull when planning your events. Getting your name out into the public is a great way to generate knowledge and demand for your products or services. Need to create buzz about your event? Promotional banners are a great way to market an upcoming event. Post them in areas surrounding the location of the event. They’ll help promote beforehand and add to the excitement the day of. Hosting an outdoor event? Offer guests imprinted hand fans to help them cool off. There’s nothing worse than a cranky crowd of thousands of sweaty people! And make sure to set up drink stations where people can take a quick break from the festivities and grab a water, or in this case, possibly a Red Bull.
While you may not have a tangible free sample of your product to offer or the financial backing to organize such a large-scale event, you can still use some of the demonstrated tips and tricks used by Red Bull to promote and generate excitement about your company. Remember to have fun with your marketing. Entertaining guests and attendants and giving them a promotional product to take home is a great way to increase your corporate branding.
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Did you know that August happens to be Foot Health Month? The month isn’t over yet, so you can still purchase promotional products to help customers and/or employees pamper their feet in time to observe this unique and obscure awareness month… And I can assure you, none of the end users of your “Foot Health” related giveaways will complain if you sneak some of these products into your promotions next month or any other time of year!
Well-groomed toes and feet are especially important during sandal season, so ladies and men alike will appreciate a gift like the Small Foot Care Kit. This set contains all the essentials to get feet in great condition. With the economy still hurting, people have had to cut back on luxuries like regular pedicures, and this product can help women rejuvenate and rehydrate dry, cracked skin on their heels and the soles of their feet. Even men can enjoy this gender-neutral spa kit, although many males will probably claim to want a pouch for their wives or daughters. No matter whose hands (or more appropriately, feet!) the item actually touches, the recipient will be grateful for the indulgent lotions and spa tools to recondition dried-out digits. There is no time like the present to start taking better care of your feet- they support you all day long, so why not show them some love right back?
Spa items are guaranteed to be a hit with your target audience, and the bliss provided by any personal care tools will foster a positive relationship between your brand and the products’ user. Check out our “Pamper Yourself” category for perfect holiday gifts for overworked executives or associates- you can even use these items as inspiration for a companywide “Spa Day” to keep workers motivated.
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