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...sharing IDEAS - from the members of IdeaCafe!

What was the most interesting, enjoyable, or memorable way you have ever seen Promotional Merchandise being used?
Submited by
Jesse Fauth

I once was "lured" in to a sales event at a small local business with a fishing equipment sale. I saw a dollar bill (unknowingly attached to a fishing line and pole) and went to pick it up, and eventually it led me to a sign taped to the ground indicating a tackle sale. It was embarrasing yet memorable.

Submited by
Jessica Mcdonald

Thus far, the best I've seen...diaper bag tag.  As an inspiring professional photographer, I always get complemented on my son't diaper bag label.  It has his newborn picture and on the back has the business contact information.   I can see the same idea used for luggage tags, kid's backpacks, etc.  Totally useful and discretely promoting your company.  One of the things I hate that most companies do are the pens and sticky pads with thier logo plastered all over it.  Instead I find that if you catch the consumer eye with a picture/design and then include your business information, it is more tasteful and can reach more people.  Jessica

Submited by
Patricia Standard

By my dentist.  She has a basket of "dental floss cards"   at her check in/out counter.  The floss cards are her business cards.  They are the exact size of regular business cards, made of aluminum, with all of her business information printed on them (just like regular business cards), and they dispense dental floss!  Perfect for your purse, wallet, car...

Submited by
Susan Priebe

I purchased a completely bio-degradable watch recently and the company included information on the product, the battery, the packaging (how it could be recycled or composted at the end of its life) and also included a seed pad that could water which would become grass.  Since I am always looking for sustainable ways to purchase goods this type of promotion was a wonderful way to grab me as a customer and helped me make the purchase initially.  I would probably  not have purchase the watch with out all of this promotonal information that was included.

Submited by
Erin Kozak

While attending a local festival, I came across a booth for an insurance company.  They had a camera set up and were taking souvenir pictures.  The picture was free and each person in the picture received a lanyard with the company's name on it, which had a tag connected to it.  The tag listed a code that when entered on the company's website would lead you to your picture that you could save and/or print.  I thought that this was a very creative way of distributing a lanyard, which is a common promotional item.  Instead of just distributing a lanyard, that people may just throw away, it forced people to keep the lanyard so they had the online access code for their picture.  Then, when people went to get their picture online, they had to go through the company's website, which provided them with even more advertisement.

Submited by
Kevin Mackell

I own a solo Sports Massage business.  I invested in standard business card magnets and went to all the triathlons and 5K road races in my area and would place them just above the driver's side door handle, knowing that when the driver returned they would 100% be exposed to my logo.  To this day I still have new clients come in and comment that they still have my magnet hanging on their refridgerator, even after all this time.

Submited by
Paula Sacca

The best way I have seen promotional items being used was by a company called Autism Toys who sells sensory types of items for children with disabilities.  At an autism speaks walk the company had sensory light up balls with the company name flashing that was included in the goodie bag for children. An object like this would be great for any child, but for a child with autism it is brilliant.  If parents did not know the what that company sold or what that company can do for their child, thousand upon thousands after the many walks that autism speaks held that year were sure to know now.

Submited by
Jenny Downer-tse

The most interesting way I've see promotional merchandise being used is Bruegger's Bagels when they sell the bottomless coffee mug. It has their logo on it, it is a promotional material that they actually sell, but give unlimited refills of coffee and tea when people bring the commemorative mug to the store. It's a great way to encourage customers to use their promotional merchandise!

Submited by
Cally Apicella

My father was in food service his whole life.  He went to numerous trade shows over the years and was given many samples and promotional items.  My favorite was the company the gave him a can of dehydrated water.  I believe the company made dehydrated potatoes, onions, and other foods.  The empty can of dehydrated water was comical and I will alway remember it.  It was a simple idea that was funny, that's what made me remember it.

Submited by
Molly Fisher

My family owes a small accessibility shop and one day an elderly customer came in for grab bars for her bathroom. Once purchased, I asked her to sign her receipt.  She looked up and said she wouldn't be able to and hasn't signed in years due to severe arthritis. I placed one of our promotional triangular grippers onto the pen and asked her if that would help. She slowly signed her name, looked down and began softly weeping. She was so proud to see her signature again ,which quickly brought a tear to my eye as well.  I immediately filled her hand with the promotional grippers for all of her pens at home and we hugged. The best money I've ever spent on advertising to this day.

Submited by
Sandra Suisse

    I live in Michigan surounded by 2 of the Great Lakes.  There is always something to do on the water. Boat. fish,jetski and last summer turned into a week end scavenger hunt when we found a beachball floating in the water near an island where many people swim and meet. When i picked it up i realized it was a coupon for 20% off of a meal at a local restaurant that we could get to by boat. Upon redemtion we were told that 20 balls were realeased every week-end in our local waterways. it became an evevt in itself to search them out!

Submited by
Toby Lorenc

When I was in publishing, we had an author/music artist with a CD called "Sunsets and Sushi" and we paired it with our newest book, which had similar design.  For the launch party, we gave all participats actual chinese food to-go boxes with the CD and book, along with some other freebies.

Submited by
Spencer E.

It was at a parade where the item was a pizza cutter.  These were being presented by a local bi-products company.  What made this the most memorable and enjoyable was the way they did its Several children dressed up as clowns and other characters were dancing around and handing out the pizza cutters and candy while the parade went by.  My kids just loved it and it was so much fun.

Submited by
Jen P.

There was a restaurant that gave away free burritos for life to whomever would get a tattoo of the company logo. The promotion was good enough for a New York Times write-up!

Submited by
Myrna W.

I have to say the best I've seen yet was a friend of mine had a cook-out and all of the paper products she used advertised her daycare business and from that cook-out she had more applicants then she was allowed and actually had to turn people away.

Submited by
Jen G.

A giagantic oversized T-shirt xxxxxxl to promote a new gigantic 81" printing press. Also - someone threw custom printed golf balls off the fairway so when you went hunting for your ball you found a ton of his saying what he did and his phone number.  He was a golf instructor.  the balls said 'If you found this ball....then you need to call me" was hilarious!  And i called him for a lesson!!!!  

Submited by
Jennifer M.

The most memorable way i've seen Promotional Merchandise being used was in a flash mob every single person wore a shirt with the company logo, phone number and website on it. During the event they passed out other promotional items as well.

Submited by
Jacqueline V.

In the Fashion show. The model use the promotional merchandise on the hair.

Submited by
Amanda H.

Promotional merchandise is most effective when it's useful. When I was a kid, there was a jar opener in my kitchen -- a simple piece of flat, thin, round rubber -- with an image of a local politician running for office. It's strange that after all of these years I still remember exactly what it looks like and where in the kitchen it was stored. Needless to say, the promotion stayed in our kitchen drawer long after the election. Not many people will go out of their way to purchase a jar opener, but it's still a useful item to have around the house. That is what made it particularly effective. It sent a subtle message of practicality, reliability, and resourcefulness -- characteristics that an electorate often seeks in a political candidate. 

Submited by
Deborah S.

We are the Jungle Gym, a Rehabiliation Center for Children.  During a community health fair we gave out jump ropes to all children with the Jungle Gym info along with a handout containing jump rope games and ideas.  Our theme was to fight childhood obesity and encourage involvement in physical activities.  The kids loved it...


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