Category: News

New products from Vegas, baby, Vegas

The Gorilla Marketing office was rather quiet last week, running on a skeleton crew while most of our sales and customer service team was in glamorous Las Vegas. Was this a group vacation? Not quite. The team was attending our industry’s largest trade show, the Promotional Products Association International Expo.

This event brings together ad specialty manufacturers and distributors and is an annual resource for networking and professional development. As we learn more and strengthen our connections with suppliers, we can do a better and better job meeting our customers’ needs. We took our largest contingent ever this year, enhancing the expertise we can offer our clients.

There was some fun to be had in Vegas, but the team worked hard to cover the gigantic trade show floor and get the lowdown on promising new promo products. Here are some of their favorites.

"Stain imaging" decoration on a t-shirt

The new “stain imaging” decoration method on a t-shirt

Danielle: A new garment decoration method called “stain imaging.” It’s an all-over decoration process where the design is actually dyed right into the fabric. It’s available on t-shirts and polos, and it’s great for colleges and universities. The minimum is only 144 pieces!

Chris A.: A 3D mask that’s easy to see through. It could be part of a really fun promotion with a celebrity’s face or a mascot or cartoon character.

Tiffany: A cool gadget that plugs into a car’s cigarette lighter and allows you to charge two devices at once. It includes lots of adapters and has a big imprint area for a company’s logo. Anyone who drives a lot would appreciate it as a corporate gift.

Karlyne: I liked a lot of new things. One was the Bling Coolie, a koozie can-holder with tiny rhinestones or studs in stock or custom designs. I also liked the Letter Light, which is a flashlight that’s thin and light enough to be mailed in a standard envelope.

Chris R.: I tested a stylus/pen combo for the iPad and iPhone. It was really accurate on the touch screen, and there are lots of new styles.

Bernadette: A high-quality backpack with lots of pockets for laptops, tablets, and other devices — plus, a battery-powered charger built right in. That would be really convenient for business travelers.


BodyBeadz are like temporary tattoos, with unique sparkle and texture

Kaselle: A shiny, sparkly alternative to temporary tattoos and stickers called BodyBeadz. They’re full color and covered with tiny clear beads for a unique effect. Plus, they’re packaged with a custom insert that can highlight events and promotions or even include a coupon.

For information and pricing on any of these products,contact us and we’ll fill you in on the juicy details. When it comes to the PPAI Expo, what happens in Vegas definitely does not stay in Vegas!

Gorillas at the Expo: We’re headed to PPAI!

Gorilla Marketing will start 2012 off with a bang at the PPAI Expo, the nation’s largest promotional products industry trade show. The Expo gives us an opportunity to connect with manufacturers, attend professional development sessions, and see the latest and greatest products that can help our clients market themselves effectively.

One exciting thing about the 2012 Expo: We’re bringing our biggest team ever, with 14 sales & support team members hitting the show floor. The hands-on experiences at the Expo are the best industry education anybody could ask for, and we’ll all come back a little smarter and a little sharper.

Interested in seeing what we see? Check back during the first week of January for pictures, videos, and more. It’s the best way to check out what’s new in promotional products for 2012.

Study lists the MVPs, or Most Valued Promos

Here at Gorilla Marketing, we’re always thinking about our customers. The thing is, that also means we have to think about their customers – the people who will actually receive the nifty swag we’re making. So we were super excited to see this new study from the Advertising Specialty Institute, a promo product trade organization that does research on industry trends.

The study was chock full of valuable information about what kinds of swag people like and how they use that swag as they go about their daily lives. Some highlights include:

  • 84{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} said canvas is their favorite material for tote bags.
  • End-users prefer embroidery (33{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f}) over screen printing (18{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f}).
  • Black, blue, and white are the most popular apparel colors among adults, while kids and teens prefer brighter shades.
  • End-users will jump through hoops to get coveted swag: Over 80{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} said they’d fill out a survey to get it, about 70{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} said they’d visit a trade show booth, and 42{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} would engage on a social network.
  • Three-fourths of people wear promotional t-shirts while running errands outside the home, increasing the number of eyeballs on the logo.
  • When people receive a promotional item from a high-end brand, they expect that the swag will be high-quality.
  • Women are more likely to keep and use a promotional tote bag than men, and 70{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} of women use promo totes when shopping.
  • 5{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} of male end-users have ever thrown a promotional mug or glass. We recommend choosing sturdy items.
  • Half of those surveyed never play with squeezable stress toys or other executive doodads.

Some of this pleasantly surprised us, and we’ll be keeping it in mind when suggesting products to our clients. After all, with promotional products, it’s all about the end-user’s reaction. You get the maximum return on investment when the items you give are appreciated, kept, and frequently used. Click here to contact us about your next promo project.

Graphic tees for good: Nonprofit fundraising idea

Threadless is one of our favorite graphic tee retailers, and we often look to them for inspiration on promo tee projects. They’ve definitely inspired us with their “Good Shirts” initiative, which takes an innovative twist on fundraising.

In their campaign to fight famine in the Horn of Africa, UNICEF put specific price tags on some of the ways they help. For example, deworming tablets cost $36.10, mosquito netting costs $18.57, and theraputic food costs $73.13. Then they created t-shirts for each of these items, with a simple graphic design showing the form of assistance. The deworming tablet t-shirt depicts a cartoonish worm (dead, of course), the mosquito netting t-shirt has a picture of the nasty disease-spreading bug, and so on. In partnership with Threadless, they are selling these shirts — each one priced according to the cost of the item printed on the shirt. And 100{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} of the price goes to fight hunger in Africa. When you buy the mosquito netting shirt for $18.57, you know that UNICEF can buy mosquito netting for someone who needs it. The range of shirts goes all the way up to the “cargo drop” t-shirt, featuring an airplane, which costs $300,000. It may be the most expensive t-shirt of all time, but anyone who buys it knows how much good they’ve accomplished.

We think this has great potential for all kinds of fundraising. With a little creativity, any nonprofit can start a project like this. What can you do with $10, $20, $50, even $100? What are the costs of the services you provide? Brainstorm, and then come up with graphic representations of the concrete good your organization can do with different amounts of money. Create a line of t-shirts for donors. The shirts will remind people of the work your organization is doing, keeping them engaged and increasing repeat contributions. We can’t think of a better way to reach t-shirt loving milennials!

For conversations about branding, face-to-face is where it’s at

With social media’s rise, there’s been a lot of talk about “the conversation.” How many e-mail blasts have you gotten that invite you to follow a company on Facebook or Twitter so you can “join the conversation”? Probably quite a few. That’s because, as much as marketers and advertisers talk to consumers, they know that what really counts is how much consumers talk about their brand and branding. But are these conversations happening on social media sites?

A new study suggests that some are — but many, many more conversations about brands are taking place the old-fashioned way: face to face. Eighty-four percent of people have face-to-face conversations about brands, while just 35{2204c5d06a2333403476cf9e3e7e547d79f3545ee5a4cb715bc6c3341feceb9f} talk about brands on social media. Social media marketing author Jackie Huba says the lesson is “have an integrated approach to your marketing efforts.” In other words, don’t just rely on the latest social media trend.

We may be a teensy bit biased, but we think promotional products are a fantastic way to get people talking face-to-face about brands. An attractive, unique t-shirt can be a conversation starter, and someone may ask a friend where they got that blinged-out mug, unique custom flash drive, or luxurious messenger bag. Digital is great (heck, we love Facebook andTwitter), but for real-world conversations, real-world items can’t be beat.