Posted on July 10th, 2012
Posted on June 12th, 2012
I was a wee little one when neon clothing and accessories were all the rage in the 1980’s, but I still got on the trend bandwagon with OP (Ocean Pacific) jams and a paint-splattered tee. I though I was pretty cool, considering that my trendsetting Grandmother had the matching ensemble. The 90’s were not much better, giving us another regurgitation of neon, worn by ravers and club kids. Glow sticks, makeup, glitter and hair dye were doused with neon hues. It seemed the more the better.
Posted on March 31st, 2010
These days, boy-crazy preteens are sticking posters of Justin Bieber and Robert Pattinson up on their walls. Back when I was that age, I was absolutely crazy over NSYNC. Seriously – crazy to the point that I convinced all of my teachers to allow me to sign my name as Ashley Chasez (the last name of my fave member JC) on all of my papers. Luckily, I have taken back my proper last name in the years since, but I still get excited when I see my favorite boy band continuing to make it out there in the world. (Yes – I started watching America’s Best Dance Crew solely because JC is a judge). And what do you know— one of my teenybopper idols is breaking into the promotional products scene! That’s right – Justin Timberlake, perhaps you have heard of him, has become an investor as well as a designer for a line of bags (Ful, which sounds like Fuel) that are available in retail as well as within the promotional bag industry. Wanna know more about JT’s bags?
Posted on February 4th, 2010
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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Posted on January 21st, 2010
Reading 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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Posted on December 29th, 2009
In the Holiday Season, I found myself among the hundreds of other shoppers feeling the pressure of finishing up my holiday shopping for my friends and family members.
In the mall this past weekend I couldn’t help but notice all of the unique shopping bags draped on shoulders, stuffed into carts or piled onto ever-so-friendly husbands on the benches in the middle of the mall. I realized this weekend the amazing power of custom bags and the impact they carry when being toted around the mall.
Whether the bags promote holiday graphics, or the store name, or 50% OFF EVERYTHING, custom bags can become a walking billboard for your store or brand. It’s almost as if your customers are paying you to advertise.
Hmm – now there is an interesting concept.
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Posted on December 22nd, 2009
It’s the Holiday Season and we all need ideas for gifts! It is always so hard for me to come up with the PERFECT gift, so I take any help on suggestions I can get. One of my best friends sent me a “Holiday Good Guide” entitled “Doing Good this Holiday”. She works for a sustainable company that strives everyday to be completely “green.” One day they could only use 6 gallons of water for 12 hours! I did not realize how much water we use in a day, but believe me it is WAY over 6 gallons. This guide serves to show what we can do for our communities, our environment, and our society. I have really enjoyed going through the different suggestions, and would love to share some of the points made in the guide with you!
First, the guide lays out different charities that people can donate to this season. For example, Nothing but Nets is a campaign to raise awareness and funds to combat malaria. Just a $10 donation sends a net to people in need and hopefully saves a life! It might be a good idea to donate that $10 in someone’s name. There you go! 1 gift down, and it saves a life!
Next, the guide tells us about Eco-Friendly gifts for the Holidays! They suggest giving energy efficient bulbs, natural candles, recycled windshield wine glasses, and eco totes (which you can get from Pinnacle Promotions… where else would you go??).
Another suggestion they offer is going to your local farmer’s market, or shopping at a community supported agriculture cooperative to receive food from HERE not there! I LOVE great food, and the fruits, veggies and other goodies from these associations are bound to be fresh, healthy, and yummy. Hmm, I could get this service delivered to my mom and grandmother for Christmas. Three gifts down, and I feel good about giving these presents!
The last tip in the guides has 10 steps; “10 Ways to Go Green.” Number 10 is to bring your own bag. Pinnacle Promotions has you covered there! Check out our reusable totes in all different colors and sizes. Take your tote with you everywhere: the grocery store, the drug store, the local farmers market, shopping, and the list goes on! What a great way to go GREEN this holiday. This guide has helped me SO much with my Holiday List, and hopefully through my short summary, it will help you, too. It is great to know that I can give presents to my friends and family, and also give back to my community and society! Happy Holidays!
Web Store Manager
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Posted on December 16th, 2009
Its no secret that college football players often get special treatment. Many colleges treat their star players like royalty, allowing them to miss class occasionally (some schools are more lenient about this policy than others!) to prep for upcoming games, and even the opportunity to register before their peers for next semester’s classes. Fans clamor to get their autographs, take pictures with them, and just shake their hands. Yes, their athletic abilities are admirable, but is this extent of recognition truly warranted?
In my humble opinion, absolutely. These young men have worked hard to reach their goals, many times battling to overcome injuries, balancing their studies and football commitments, and dedicating countless hours, days, and months to learning plays and honing their athletic prowess. Their payment comes in the form of scholarship money and respect from their fans, but unlike professional athletes, there is no true monetary compensation for college athletes’ hard work. They do not get summer or winter holidays off like most college students, and rigorous practice schedules force them to spend much of their time away from their friends and families.
For college football teams that extend their seasons because of coveted invitations to bowl games, there are some additional perks involved. I just learned that the NCAA allows college bowls to give each player up to $500 worth of gifts at the site of the bowl. The bowls can either offer players the gifts or allow them to select their own gifts through a shopping spree or gift suite. According to an article by David Fox on rivals.com, at least half of the 34 bowls this year are opting to present players with shopping sprees, hosting a gift suite or letting players choose gift items from a catalog. Here are just a few of the awesome gifts that college bowl football players will be presented with this year:
Poinsettia (Utah vs. California, Dec. 23, San Diego):
Flo TV personal television and one year of service
Best Buy gift card
Sports Tek hoodie
Meineke Car Care (Pittsburgh vs. North Carolina, Dec. 26, Charlotte, N.C.):
Option of Bose Quiet Comfort headphones set or Bose Sound Dock or iPod Touch, iLive speakers and $20 gift card
OGIO duffle bag
Rose (Oregon vs. Ohio State, Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.):
19-inch Sharp television combo
For a list of even more bowl game giveaways, check out the article by David Fox at rivals.com, and rest assured that even if your favorite team is defeated in a bowl game this season, the players will not be going home empty-handed. Promotional electronics, apparel, and jewelry awaiting them in their hotel rooms should help to soften the blow of a demoralizing loss.
Team Lead – Social Media
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Posted on November 17th, 2009
One of my favorite things to do in Atlanta is attend the festivals and shows that come to town in the spring and summer. From art events, such as the Inman Park Festival, to music festivals, like Corndogorama where up-and-coming bands can be showcased (and of course – a corn dog eating contest!), I love getting out of the house and walking through these festivals. Regardless of the event, I enjoy the good food, great music, artistic talent and festivities that come along with these festivals.
Secretly, I also love checking out the promo items companies are giving away!
My friends tease me when I look at the bottom of a mug or the tag in a bag and recognize the product, but I also enjoy seeing what products people go crazy over. Whether recipients appreciate the brand – a popular beer or alcohol drink, an insurance company, or a small publication or radio station – or the item itself, it’s fun to see the products in action and to see people’s response to the items first hand.
I’ve seen everything from cardboard speakers to coconut shot glasses and retro slap-bracelets to full-size custom camping tents and sleeping bags (those were incredibly hot with everyone trying to win the items!) Recently, I attended a festival and actually stood in line to win a promotional item an airline was giving away; the item was so timely that I just couldn’t resist. It was a rainy day and a company was distributing nylon, water-resistant cowboy hats – perfect for people that forgot an umbrella.
I’m actually working on a project for a customer now where I’ve attended the event for the last three years. I have seen the items this customer gives away, as well as items from the other sponsors of the event. I am able to put my experience to good use while brainstorming unique items that I know people attending the event will love.
I think it’s official: I’m a promo-junkie and I love it.
Avett Brothers enjoying Corndogorama in Atlanta:
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Posted on November 6th, 2009
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!
Team Lead – Social Media
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