Seen on the Street


Promo Products: What Every Great Social Media Campaign Needs

Before you kick off your next social media campaign, make sure you have promo products. People love free stuff, and they’ll gladly like, share, retweet, repost, comment – you name it – for a chance to win cool swag.

Here’s a great example of how promo products can generate enthusiasm and hype in social media.

Manny the Frenchie, the two-year-old French bulldog with more than half a million fans around the world, took to Instagram with some Wellness Pet Food promos.

promotional products

For fans to win a “Wellness Package,” a kit filled with goodies from the all-natural pet food brand, they had to repost a photo of the swag plus the message “I want a #WellnessPackage.” They also had to tag a friend in the comments.

Each package contained a promotional dog bowl, custom tumbler, a dog-food sample and a $10 coupon. Considering that Manny’s fans are likely fellow dog owners, these promos are spot on. They’re items that are relevant to the audience – goodies for dogs and a little something for their owners, too.

The promo products hit the sweet spot for the target audience, and there were a lot of other things done right with this promotion:

It’s simple.

Manny gets right to the point with how to win the free stuff – repost with the designated hashtag and tag a friend. Successful social media campaigns are ones that don’t require too much effort. You don’t want to bog down fans with lengthy participation requirements or confusing details.

It’s social.

Wellness is using a hashtag in its campaign – #WellnessPackage – making it easy to monitor and promote the campaign. It’s specific to this particular promotion, and it’s easy to remember and use. Unique hashtags like this are perfect for short-term promos. When people use them, your promotion gets extended reach – no matter the social channel.

It encourages sharing.

The goal with any social media campaign is to get it to go viral. The only way that can happen is when it gets shared. Manny is doing it right by making it a requirement to repost the photo and tag a friend. This skyrockets the exposure of the campaign by getting it in front of new audiences. Don’t be afraid to ask your fans and followers to share your post – but make sure it’s worthwhile for them to do so.

Social media campaigns – especially ones that incorporate promo products – can spread your brand like wildfire. As of this blog post, Manny’s Instagram promotion generated 717 likes and 42 comments. It’s fun engagement for Manny’s fans, and it’s excellent exposure for Wellness Pet Food.

Let’s hear from you: Have you ever used promo products in a social media giveaway? What was the response?


Spotted: NBC Swag From The 2014 Winter Olympics

There’s certainly no shortage of swag for the Winter Games that kick off in Sochi, Russia, in February. Fans can collect memorabilia ranging from custom apparel and bags to promotional mugs and pins.

What better way than promotional products to capture a piece of the historic occasion? The Olympics are meant to be commemorated, and there’s plenty of swag to do it.

But the swag isn’t just for flag-waving fans cheering from afar – it’s also for those on the frontlines.

NBC and its networks, which are broadcasting the Olympics, are sending hundreds of employees to Sochi to work on the games this winter, according to Fox News, and these staffers will be equipped with all the right promotional gear.

promo products

We got an inside look at the swag they’re receiving: custom jackets, sweatshirts, and backpacks.

Considering that Sochi’s coldest months are January and February, with temperatures hovering at a brisk 40 degrees, the custom apparel is the perfect gift for NBC employees. And backpacks are perpetually useful – on the job site and then back at home.

All of the promos feature a custom patch spotlighting the NBC logo and the Sochi 2014 Olympics logo. NBC got it exactly right. The promos are useful to employees while they’re covering the Winter Games, and they’re also great memorabilia from the experience.

NBC employees are pumped about the promos, too. ePromos’ staffer, Kathryn Wilson, has a sister who’s heading to Russia in January to work the Olympics for NBC. She was thrilled to receive the package with all the gear.

“It reminded me how people really love branded merchandise,” says Wilson.

Let’s hear from you: Will you commemorate the 2014 Olympics with promo items?


The Secret To Great-Looking Custom Hoodies

custom hoodie

We’ve been seeing custom hoodies everywhere now that the weather has cooled off. They’re easily one of the best apparel items for the winter season – when they’re done right.

Here’s a promo know-how tip when it comes to imprinting hoodies: Start the imprint from the bottom so the hood doesn’t get in the way.

The last thing you want is for the top half of your logo to be hidden by the hood. The best way to keep your logo in full view – whether the wearer has the hood pulled up or not – is to keep your imprint low by starting from the bottom and working your way up.

Here’s a great example. We spotted this custom hoodie commemorating a Bar Mitzvah. Check out the date and the initials (probably the initials of the Bar Mitzvah boy himself). Now notice the placement of the imprint. See how low it is? And see how the hoodie isn’t covering up any of it?

This is the secret to custom hoodies: Keep the imprint low to get the whole thing seen.


One Simple Way To Turn Custom Water Bottles Into A Powerful Promotion

Custom water bottles aren’t just great giveaways – they’re vessels for full-fledged marketing promotions. The reason? All that space on the inside. You can insert coupons, business cards, invitations, contest details – anything you want to promote. You can even insert smaller promo items such as lip balm, pens or keychains.

By making use of a water bottle’s ability to hold something, you’re elevating it from a basic giveaway to a potentially amazing promotion.

At ePromos, we love calling attention to businesses that creatively use promotional products. Hickory & Tweed is a great example. The premier ski and cycle shop in Armonk, New York, handed out promotional water bottles at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show Road Race last month.

But the shop didn’t settle for simply adding its logo and handing out the bottles. It printed a coupon with an expiration date to place inside the water bottles. Hickory & Tweed used the opposite side of the coupon for general branding and a congratulatory note to runners.

When recipients open the bottle, they have no choice but to take out the coupon. Hickory & Tweed offered a 10% discount on all bike-related items. Whether your offer is a percent-off discount or a freebie (free appetizer, free upgrade – whatever works for your business), your audience comes in direct contact with it. There’s no chance of the marketing offer not being seen.

No wonder the shop has been so well-known in the Westchester and Fairfield counties and the New York City metro area for more than 50 years. It gets how to maximize promo giveaways.

Many marketers just give out promotional items and don’t take time to think about how to turn them into a promo success. With water bottles, it’s simple: Fill them up.

custom water bottle

It’s a double gift: a water bottle and a discount


custom logo water bottle

Hickory & Tweed offered a note of congratulations on the flip side of the coupon


promotional water bottle

A crisp, clean imprint along with the shop’s phone number



Snapshot Of A Great Community Event: Armonk Outdoor Art Show

A community event is a great way to generate local, targeted awareness for a championed cause. It brings people together in a fun, relaxed environment, and it allows the organizer to accomplish two main objectives: raise awareness and raise money.

One example of a community event done right is the Armonk Outdoor Art Show benefitting the North Castle Public Library. The 52nd annual show held last month included 185 juried artists and attracted approximately 8,000 visitors from the tri-state area.

The show is continually ranked as one of the top fine art and design shows in the New York metro area – and for good reason. The event featured guided tours, kid-friendly activities, great music and food, and even personal shoppers to help visitors select the art that best suits their taste.

Co-Chair Stacy Wilder says the show is always striving to make improvements. “We listen carefully to our visitors and artists, and take their comments to heart,” she says. “It’s important to evolve and keep things interesting.”

More than 200 volunteers came together for the event, working closely with the town’s merchants and municipal workers. The show is sponsored by the Friends of the North Castle Public Library, with net proceeds going to the town’s two libraries.

“Everyone is working toward the same goal and benefitting from the libraries’ facility upgrades, performances and programs,” says Wilder. “Synergy is the key.”

Wilder ensured volunteers were visible and stood out from the crowd by giving them promotional hats. Considering the timing of the show, the hats were welcome promotional items.

“Since the weather is always questionable at the end of September and our show is outside, the hats help keep the sun off our faces or hide a bad hair day when it’s humid,” Wilder says.

Promotional products were plentiful at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show Road Race, a 5K run/walk that was held the weekend before the art show and drew 450 participants across three races.

Sponsors doled out a variety of custom logo merchandise to get their name out there – from water bottles and stress balls to rulers and awareness bracelets. 5K participants received promotional t-shirts printed with sponsors’ logos on the back.

The Armonk Outdoor Art Show and 5K run/walk are examples of impressive community events. They brought community members of all ages together for a weekend of art and activities, and they allowed sponsors to bond with current customers and meet new ones.

Do you have a community event on your radar? Check out these tips from event-planning pros.

The Armonk Outdoor Art Show Road Race brought together community members of all ages


Note the consistent branding here: black table cover, bags and t-shirt


Awareness bracelets were a popular giveaway at the Road Race


We love the attractive presentation of promo stress balls in a wire basket


Promotional water bottles are always great giveaways at a 5K


Sponsors got exposure on the marathon must-have: promotional t-shirts



At Massage Envy, Spin To Win Some Awesome Promotional Products

Massage Envy, a leader in the massage and spa services industry with more than 900 U.S. locations, puts a fun spin (literally) on its promotional products. It created a custom prize wheel with slots for all kinds of cool swag such as water bottles, lip balm, and hand sanitizer.

custom prize wheel

We spotted this prize wheel at the Bedford Hills, New York, location, and we’ve also seen it at community events. What a fantastic way to engage people. Massage Envy isn’t just handing out promo items – it’s giving people a chance to win.

That changes the whole feel of the giveaway. You’re not just getting something; you’re winning something. It’s exciting when you have the chance to win – whether it’s a brand-new car (said it in Bob Barker’s voice) or a really cool water bottle. Everybody likes free stuff. And any kind of freebie is enough to draw people over.

Plus, custom prize wheels are automatic attention getters. People naturally want to know what they can win. It’s like being on “Wheel of Fortune.” That’s why prize wheels are perfect for tradeshows, fairs, festivals – any place you want to draw foot traffic to your table or booth.

promo items

We like how Massage Envy also has its prize wheel displayed in its clinic. When you invest in a prize wheel, keep it visible – don’t tuck it away for special events. Invite customers to give it a spin. It’s a great way to enhance their overall experience, and it pumps up the fun of receiving promotional products.

Massage Envy doesn’t miss a chance to give away useful promo items – it makes sure new members receive a promotional pen and custom lip balm when they sign up. Anytime customers have paperwork to fill out, pens are a great choice. And for a brand focused on wellness, lip balm makes perfect sense.

The promo lesson here is that when you give out promotional products, make it exciting. Hype it. Make people want to come over and see what you have going on. Massage Envy is prodding in all the right places with its marketing. The prize wheel is awesomely fun, and its promotional products are right in line with its brand.