Seen on the Street


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.


SoulCycle’s Got Style – Just Look At Its Promotional Merchandise

Want to see expert use of marketing with promotional merchandise? Check out SoulCycle’s latest hat creation.

SoulCycle, the rapidly growing cycling studio with a cult-like and celebrity following (Lady Gaga and Katie Holmes are die-hard fans), is flexing its PR and brand-building muscle with gorgeous, on-trend branded merchandise.

Started in 2006, SoulCycle now has 60 locations including New York, L.A., D.C., Greenwich, CT, and San Francisco in the U.S., and even as far as Dubai in the UAE.

custom baseball cap

While many buyers of promotional merchandise can do very well impressing their customers with standard merchandise embroidered with their logo, SoulCycle takes merchandise to another level – high fashion. (In this case for $48.) This is pure marketing nirvana.

Check out this creative hat I spotted while on, of all places, a whale-watching boat off the coast of Dana Point, California.

Here, SoulCycle creates a trendy hat that is a play on trucker/mesh-back caps – but with a fashion-forward makeover, from neon thread to a distressed look. The bright colors of the logo immediately caught my attention. It’s the perfect accessory for SoulCycle’s customers.

This is the kind of product that extends the brand as people can wear this hat to and from cycling classes and beyond. Hats are one of the easiest products to customize. The right hat can be worn over and over, whereas the wrong hat can just be a waste of marketing dollars.

People are proud of being SoulCyclers. They want to flaunt it. It’s becoming a lifestyle brand, and as such, clothing is a perfect brand extension. Like Lululemon, which became a billion-dollar company while changing how people dress, SoulCycle joins right in on the workout-clothes-are-everyday-clothes trend.

As we do with SoulCycle (some of its products are from ePromos), our Brand Consultants love helping our clients explore the possibility of extending their brand with custom branded apparel, hats and accessories. Many clients can create a small line of merchandise like you see in the mini gift shops at restaurants and coffee bars. Every business owes it to itself to see how to maximize the potential of the brand just like our friends at SoulCycle.



Knitty City Has Promo Products That Travel

A fundamental purpose of promo products is to get your logo seen – everywhere. One way to do this is to give your customers promotional items that are useful and relevant to their needs.

promotional tote bag

Knitty City, the Upper West Side yarn studio that offers classes, and knitting and crochet materials, is doing it exactly right with its promo items. It gives customers promotional tote bags, one of the most popular, most functional giveaways.

Everybody can use a great bag, and as a result, they get carried by customers. In fact, we spotted this bag all the way in Bedford, New York – almost 50 miles away from the shop itself. Because of the tote bags, Knitty City gets great brand exposure all over NYC and the surrounding areas.

Knitty City is smart to use promotional bags in its marketing – and not just because of the exposure. The bags serve a real purpose in the store. Shoppers are buying beautiful yarns, needle art books, interesting magazines and patterns, and the promo bags are a functional way to get their goods home.

Definitely not single-use bags, these reusable tote bags reflect the style and flair of the shop itself. They go where customers go, getting the Knitty City name seen all over New York.

Think like Knitty City to get your brand some major mileage. Promo products that travel are ones that are inherently useful to your customers.


Republic Records Does Promos Right

It’s always exciting to see great promos out in the world. Republic Records caught our attention recently with its cool promo items: custom beanies and custom golf bags.

The beanie is effortlessly cool with a waffle-knit design and the Republic Records logo as a bold patch on the front. Beanies, skull caps, knit caps – whatever you want to call them – are an instant way to punch up your style.

They’re a great fit for the brand, too. Republic Records, the flagship record label of Universal Music Group, focuses primarily on mainstream and urban music. It needs promo items that resonate with people who listen to these genres. Custom beanies are perfect.

So are the custom golf bags the brand also includes in its promotional gift lineup. Republic Records added its logo to Burton golf bags, associating its brand with a great name in golf.

The bags are lightweight and stylish, making them instant favorites among golfers. When they head to the links, the Republic Records logo gets seen.

These promos work so well because they’re true to the Republic Records brand. They fit seamlessly into people’s lifestyles – just like the music that the label represents.

See for yourself:

custom golf bag

custom beanie