Retro Promos


Vintage Needle Giveaways

Here’s something you don’t see anymore: sewing needle giveaways from grocery stores. I’m not sure when these are from, but I guess it was back when people might actually sew stuff. The Owl supermarket promo apparently had about 40 needles, which is probably a lifetime supply for an entire city these days. Of course, in a couple years, perhaps the needle kit will make a comeback, along with vegetable seed packets and other survival promos.

super-valu-vintage-sewing k

owl-vintage-sewing kit


Tech That: AIM Lava Lamp

Nothing says retro like a lava lamp, except maybe AOL. The corollary is that this AIM-branded lava lamp is kind of double retro cool. Does that make it uncool? I’m not even sure. aim-lava lamp


Starbucks Goes Back in Time to Find Its Personality

Since I’m on the topic of building a community and personality around a brand, I think it’s worth mentioning this recent Starbucks campaign. After a wildly successful run of bringing cool coffee culture to the masses, Starbucks basically lost any sense of personality or distinctiveness. In an attempt to recapture some of that, founder Howard Schultz returned as CEO and they launched a campaign taking them back to their roots in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. One component of the campaign is a return to the original (and kinda much awesomer) logo on their disposable cups and promotional coffee mugs. It seems to be a step in the right direction for the company image, but it remains to be seen if they’re really able to recapture some of their feisty personality, while trying to provide a consistent experience to customers around the world.

starbucks-retro mugs


Bear Market: Hand Sanitizer

Promotional hand sanitizer and other personal care products have been really popular lately, with good reason. These items are useful, especially if you’re traveling to a trade show or event. They have a broad appeal and are relatively inexpensive. Many of these items, from chapstick to sunscreen, are also available with full color label options. But remember, while hand sanitizer will kill germs, it can’t wash away the taint of risky mortgages from your highly-leveraged investment vehicles. bear-stearns-hand sanitizer


Bear Market: Bear Bull

This is probably one of the cutest items of Bear Stearns memorabilia we’ve seen, it’s actually a double-sided hand puppet with a bull on one side and a bear on the other (the bear photos was too blurry to post). It is like the yin and yang of the market, in perfect balance, and furry. bear-stearns-bull puppet


Bear Market: ARM Note Holder

This promotional memo holder features information about their adjustable rate mortgage offering. Unlike the ARM, the memo holder will not change after a couple years and send you into bankruptcy. bear-stearns-arm noteholder