If you saw someone taking a swig from a bottle of hot sauce, you’d look again. That’s what makes this promotion for a New York bike shop so brilliant.
Gage+DeSoto, a store that specializes in all things road cycling, used custom water bottles to spice up its brand. The water bottles are designed to look like the iconic Sriracha hot chili sauce—the notoriously fiery hot sauce that brings eaters to their knees.
Affectionately dubbed “rooster sauce” after the bold rooster logo on each bottle, Sriracha skyrocketed to popularity in 1980 when founder David Tran immigrated to Los Angeles from Vietnam. Craving a spicy kick for his food, Tran concocted his own potent elixir to bring the heat and began selling the sauce out of the back of his van.
“I made this sauce for the Asian community,” Tran said in a New York Times article, “but I wanted something I could sell to more than just the Vietnamese.”
He succeeded. Wildly.
Today, more than 10 million bottles of Sriracha are sold every year. It’s a key ingredient in everything from street food to epicurean fare, and it’s truly a multicultural brand. Even the ingredient list on the back of the bottle is printed in Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Vietnamese. Serving ideas include everything from pizza to pâté.
Everybody knows this hot stuff in a squeeze bottle, which is what made Gage+DeSoto’s promotion so intriguing. The blazing-red bottles perfectly mirror the traditional Sriracha packaging—from the Chinese markings to the rooster logo. Only these custom water bottles boast Gage+DeSoto’s name, address and website.
This promotion is creative, attention-getting, and it fits seamlessly into the store’s culture. Cyclists can use these promotional water bottles while on a ride, quenching their thirst and getting big-time buzz for the bike shop.
It was a clever way to kick up their marketing. Well, while it lasted, anyway. The custom water bottles are now sold out and discontinued. Perhaps Gage+DeSoto got a little too close for comfort when it comes to the Sriracha brand. To keep your company out of legal hot water, follow these 10 commandments of branding.
Promo know-how tip: When selecting promotional items, make sure they tie into your brand. There should be consistency in the promotional products you choose and what your company represents.