Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Power of Promotional Products II

Want more proof of the power of promotional products? Last football season, the Tennessee Titans were one of the top teams in the NFL. In the 2nd to last game of the regular season, the Titans beat their arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers handily to run their record to 13-2 and clinch the best record in their conference.

Several Titan players celebrated by unceremoniously stomping on a couple of the Steelers' famed 'Terrible Towels'.

Recently I posted about the Minnesota Twins Homer Hankie. The Terrible Towel actually predates the Hankie. It was the symbol of the Steelers' Steel Curtain Dynasty of the 1970's -- and like the Hankie, is still going strong even today. In fact the Towel is as synonymous with the Steelers as Mean Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw and the black and gold uniforms.

Needless to say the proud Steeler fans weren't too pleased with that little stunt.

Well, what do you think has happened since?

The Steelers recovered, and tapping in to the karma of a now sufficiently motivated Terrible Towel came together as a team and went on to win the Super Bowl. As for the Titans....they haven't won a game since!

Tennessee lost their last regular season game, got upset in their only playoff game and have started the current football season 0-6, with the exclamation point being their recent 59-0 drubbing at the hands of the New England Patriots.

Yet another illustration of the unique power of promotional products!


Monday, October 19, 2009

A Few Tips on Calendar Advertising....

Following up on my last post, here are some ways you can maximize the promotional value that you receive from calendar advertising:

1. Distribution is Key

This is the one aspect of calendar advertising that most often gets overlooked and unfortunately it's the most important. Those calendars you bought won't do you any good if they don't leave the box. In fact, you shouldn't even commit to a calendar advertising program unless you've determined what kind of distribution plan will go along with it.

Will you mail them? Deliver them in person? Send them out with your drivers? Have people pick them up in your store? Some savvy marketers will go so far as to hang the calender in their client's office themselves (with their client's permission of course). What better way to guarantee proper placement of your ad?

2. Who's going to receive them?

Clients...prospects....high traffic places like your local convenience store or the post office? Think about where you're going to get the most eyeballs of people who will spend money with you or the most eyeballs in general if that's more appropriate.

3. Think about WHERE you want people to see your message.

This certainly ties into calendar selection. Where do your clients or prospective clients make their buying decisions? In the kitchen? If so consider a food themed appointment calendar. At their desk? Commercial or Year at A Glance calendars are prefect for this purpose, as is the much smaller desk calendar.

4. Remember it's not necessarily about which calendar YOU like......

It's which calendar best appeals to your target audience -- and most importantly which one is most likely to get hung on a wall. You may hate muscle cars and like Norman Rockwell, but if your client base is mechanics, which calendar is more likely to actually get used?

5. Think about the message you're sending about your company.

If you're a Mercedes dealer, chances are your customer base isn't going to be too eager to hang up your $1.30 wall calendar. By the same token if your plumbing company serves a working class area and you're handing out $10 calendars personalized with your customers names, some customers may decide that you'd be better served giving out a less expensive calendar and lowering your prices.

6. Don't order them too late in the year.

Ideally you want to get the calendars in your clients hands at some point in December, so don't wait until mid November to order them. As we move into November, production backs up and inventories of the more popular calendars can disappear. Remembering that distribution is key, handing out calendars in January is generally too late. So get them ordered early enough in the fall to allow plenty of time for proper distribution.

These are just some of the concepts that will help maximize the effectiveness of a calendar program. If you'd like to discuss these a little more in depth, just drop me an email at


Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Value of Calendar Advertising

Calendars are one of the most cost effective - and underrated - advertising vehicles out there. To touch on the old 'we practice what we preach' theme for a moment, I have used calendars for each of the 19 years that I've been in business, and if I were forced to only choose one promotional item to market my own business, I would pick calendars.

They are the oldest promotional product in our industry and with good reason - calendars are the way we mark time -- both its passage and to see what lies ahead. They're standard equipment in any office and necessary in all homes.

Some think that technology has rendered them obsolete. To that I say - nonsense! If you're in business, try operating without a wall calendar. You need to be able to see the current month, the next one and the previous one...which is the basic information that your typical Commercial Calendar (see above) provides. At home it's the same thing, only for aesthetic purposes and due to the generally limited wall space available, the smaller Appointment Calendar is usually the product of choice.

And if you want to promote your business, there is no more cost effective way to do it than to place your company's name on an advertising calendar.

Think about it. Statistics show that the average person working in an office looks at a calendar 12 times a day. Multiply that by 5 business days a week and then by 50 weeks a year. That's 3000 ad impressions a year!

What would it be worth to have your company's sales message viewed by a client or prospect 3000 times over the course of a year?

In the home, maybe that 12 times a day figure drops to 5 or 6, but also figure 7 days a week and all 365 days of the year. What's that type of ad space worth to you? The answer is a whole lot more than the nominal cost of purchasing the calendars.

But here are a couple of other numbers to consider: Statistics by the Calendar Marketing Association show that 83% of customers purchase products or services from the company that gave them their calendar. And 94% of calendar recipients can recall the advertising message on their calendar.

Finally, think of the waste involved with newspaper, magazine or direct mail advertising. You're paying for lots of impressions that lots of non-customers and prospects will see. Calendars allow you to control distribution and thus cost -- the only people getting them are people who you want to get them.

A calendar marketing program offers great value to any business, especially those with limited advertising dollars. The reason being that they provide lots of ad impressions each day at a very nominal price.

Of course, there are also some tricks for maximizing the value of the dollars you allocate to such a program. I'll cover those in my next post. Until then however if I can answer any questions about calendar advertising, please contact me at


Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Power of Promotional Products

More proof of the power of promotional of the most famous promo items in recent history, the Minnesota Twins Homer Hankie....which became famous during the Twins march to the World Series title in 1987....has made a reappearance.

It's being credited with the karma that's resulted in the Twins improbable 16-4 late season run that enabled them to tie the Detroit Tigers for first place in American League Central Division. The two teams will settle things Tuesday in a winner take all one game playoff in Minnesota's Metrodome with 50,000 Hankie wielding Twins fans trying to will their team to victory.

Can the Twins pull it off? With the Homer Hankies involved, why wouldn't they?