Deciding how to decorate an item can take as much effort as forming the message itself. When you have an abundance of options, virtual models that show different design methods can help souse out the extraordinary from the blase. This week's Print This, Not That exemplifies how useful a virtual proof can be. While "debossed leather" might sound fancier than a "polyurethane dome", for these Sonic Promos High Sierra backpacks, the plastic sure struck gold.
This One Time... at Brand Camp
Last weekend I enjoyed a lovely lunch with my parents and boyfriend at Clyde's restaurant. The Clyde's Restaurant Group owns 13 restaurants throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area, and if you're in the neighborhood I highly recommend the Tower Oaks Lodge location in Rockville, MD. The building's design resembles the log and stone "Great Camps" of the Adirondacks, and multiple fireplaces and cozy booths make for a special meal.
I don't work for Clyde's.
The main reason we chose Clyde's for lunch was to spend a gift card that had been burning a hole in my dad's pocket. When our server dropped the check, I was surprised to see my dad place a heavy, gold coin on the table. We all took turns excitedly examining the coin's details, and since we had only spent half of the gift's value we mused about how our change would be returned. My boyfriend joked, "Watch them bring back a silver coin or something."
To our surprise, they did! They have three coin options: $100, $50 and $25.
I think these coins are an excellent promotional item. The novelty of the coin generates positive buzz- here I am three days later, still talking/writing about it- and the overall concept provides a smart solution to anti-gift card purchasing behavior.
Personally, I think gift cards make a wonderful present, but I know many people who avoid giving them. Many argue that gift cards:
A. are impersonal.
B. look "easy".
C. are uncreative.
D. look unimpressive.
E. are un-wrap-able.
Clyde's gift coins present an excellent solution to a few of these purchasing deterrents. Their hefty coins come packaged in a small, wrap-able gift box and the overall presentation offers a greater perceived value than your standard plastic card.
All in all, gift coins are a great idea for restaurants or retail stores looking for a more upscale alternative to the plastic gift card.
... and prepares for their television debut!
Sonic Promos received four Peake Awards at the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA) awards ceremony Tuesday, January 20 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Three of the Peake Awards were for "Excellence in Promotions", an award given for the most creative, efficient and successful promotional campaigns. Seth Weiner, MAS, President of Sonic Promos, spearheaded the Best Promotion Under $5 with a health awareness program for Southern Management Corporation.
The Best Promotion Under $15 featured an outreach project by Lindsay Hixson. She worked with Professional Accounting Solutions on a series of mailings over the course of several months.
Jamie Cohen, CAS, claimed the Best Promotion Under $25 for his work with the Washington Freedom in their effort to attract potential sponsors.
In several categories that honor individuals or companies for an overall distinction in service, nominees are submitted by CPPA members and winners are selected through a general vote.
Amanda Abbott's pleasant manner, resourceful vision and warm demeanor earned her the well-deserved title of Customer Service Rep of the Year.
In addition, we were pleased to be nominated in two other "overall" categories: Seth received a nomination for Sales Rep of the Year and Sonic Promos was nominated for Distributor of the Year.
Our industry's recognition of our collaborative efforts give us the opportunity to say something very important:
Thank you for allowing us to partner in your work. You, our clients, inspire our creativity (sometimes requiring us to push the envelopes of budget, time and space) and encourage us to bring something new to the table with each and every project.
Speaking of something new...
Sonic Promos' fearless leader, Seth Weiner, MAS, will take the stage for his first-ever television appearance tonight at 6:30 p.m. on We Mean Business!
Seth and hosts Steve Dorfman and Tony Marciante will discuss the hot-button topic "Innovative Marketing: How to Capture the Attention of Today's Customer".
Local friends can invite Seth into the living room via Comcast or Verizon MMC TV Channel 16 (also showing on Wednesday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m.) and everyone can check it out online at: http://wemeanbiz.tv/.
Interested in having Seth or a member of the Sonic Promos team speak to your organization or at an upcoming event? Give us a call at 301-869-7800 or email email@example.com.
Working in the promotional marketing field, I view most corporate promotions through a very skeptical, critical lens. For a company’s outreach effort to actually inspire me to participate, keep me engaged and cause me to care about an outcome – well, that earns my respect. Promotions that maintain an ongoing level of excitement, that feel credible and that actually succeed in building relationships don’t come along every day.
Recently, I came across a contest hosted by HealthPlan Headquarters, a Baltimore firm that provides guidance and information to anyone trying to navigate the confusing (understatement) world of medical, dental, vision, life and disability or property and casualty insurance coverage. With an email blast and media (social and traditional) blitz, HPHQ announced the launch of their corporate website and a chance to win an iPad.
I liked this contest. The iPad, a sexy prize, got my attention. The contest, a well-laid out website scavenger hunt, kept it. As I went through the website, it became clear to me that these folks know their stuff, and their services offer real benefits to insurance consumers (i.e. everyone). I had to email my contest entry in, and I got a quick, friendly, personal feeling response. And, when I didn't win, I was asked for feedback in such a way that I found myself eager to respond.
One of the most impactful portions of the promotion occurred on the day of the contest winner announcement.Throughout that day, HPHQ updated their Facebook status with contest teasers, links to some noteworthy publicity, hiring announcements and actual useful information about their area of expertise. I had to pay attention to every update, hoping I would see my name as the iPad winner, and must say that I learned more about this company than I intended to.
Anybody can run a promotion by giving away a cool prize. The marketing challenge arises not in giving away the best free stuff, but in building ongoing relationships with participants. Helping our clients make that jump in understanding offers one of the most satisfying aspects of our work. Usually, I am part of the team on the back end, putting the promotion into action. It is a rare treat – fun, pure and simple - to be the recipient of that type of effort, put forth by someone who does it well.
Want to know a secret? Screen-printing pricing is based on the number of colors in your art, not the size of your design. Furthermore, half-tones are not counted as an additional color, and using them lends more depth and interest to your design. Both of these T-shirts would cost the same amount. Which one do you prefer?
Here's how the real shirt turned out...
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