Archive | advertising

SWAG

Gadget Grips® DOT™



A simple Google search will tell us that swag is “An ornamental festoon of flowers, fruit, and greenery.” For those of us in the industry, we’ve heard SWAG to stand for a few different things:

“Stuff We All Get”

“Souvenirs, Wearables, Awards and Gifts”

“Stuff We Acquired Gratis”

No matter what variation of words you use to define it, SWAG does wonders for promoting business. A small, free promotional item can draw potential customers to your booth at a trade show, serve as a “thank you” to a valuable client, or make your company top-of-mind when a business considers securing a new vendor.

Ultimately, promotional products can help differentiate your company, generate demand, and raise awareness of what your company can offer… but does it work?

“The Surprising Power of Promotional Products,” a New York Times article by MP Mueller, suggests that it does.

“American businesses spend $20 billion a year giving away stuff with logos,” Mueller cites. He even suggests there is deep psychological connection involved in promotional products… humans are hardwired to believe that if you give, you should receive, and vice versa.

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So, you’ve decided to use the power of promo products, but which products? Lanyards and imprinted cups are tried and true. But if you want to think outside the box-set of pens, we have some ideas that will leave a lasting impression.

  1. i-Accessories. Reach into your pocket or your purse, and you’ll likely find your cell phone, if it’s not already in your hand. Nearly everyone carries a phone or a tablet around on their daily activities, which offers ample opportunity for your company logo to be just as visible and accessible. There are a range of products available, from tablet cases and stands to chargers and stylus pens. One of the newest and most attention-grabbing products is called “Gadget Grips® DOT™,” which is a logo that adheres to the home button of a smart phone or tablet. It’s great for universities, alumni organizations, and restaurants, as you can offer incentives, like a discount for customers having a DOT™ on their device.

  2. Customizable sports schedules. If you work at a local business that concentrates on nearby customers, consider printing a magnet or calendar that highlights upcoming local sports teams’ games and features your logo. It’ll start conversation when you give them out, and people can keep to refer to throughout the season.

  3. Golf equipment. Since many decisions are made between shots on the golf course, your company’s name should be where the action takes place. Items such as poker chip ball markers, golf umbrellas or divot tools can all be customized to fit your needs.

  4. It’s all in a name. Consider creating smaller quantities of promo items with your customers name on it. This may not be a practical route for a trade show environment, but is a viable and unique choice for other situations in which SWAG arises.


The SWAG we’re talking about today isn’t the type of “flowers and fruit,” that Google defines, but it certainly could bring your business some more green.

Seven Ways Your Company Can Use QR Codes

Phone/QR Code

QR codes are gaining popularity quickly; according to a recent study by Baltimore advertising agency MGH, about 72% of smart phone users say they would be likely to recall an advertisement that contained a QR code.

A variety of businesses are taking advantage of this edgy technology… we’ve seen QR codes on Macy’s television commercials, Disney’s billboards, and a university’s admissions materials, just to name a few. We recently came across a unique example of QR usage in the healthcare industry. Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN launched a campaign with QR codes in the corner of their print advertisements. The code invited people to “experience” the hospitals new facilities and led them to a video of the new TV campaign. See the ad for yourself here.

We brainstormed a list of some other specific ways QR codes can be used in your industry:



  1. Place QR codes at different locations in the building that guide visitors around the campus with a web-based map.

  2. Print codes on laminated lobby cards and link them to an online customer satisfaction survey.

  3. Host redirected URL’s posted on different publication ads to measure which ads get the highest response rates.

  4. Print codes on brochures with links to “how to” videos or instructions.

  5. Put QR codes on “dated” pieces so customers can stay up-to-date about info that changes frequently.

  6. Include QR codes on your business cards and link them to your LinkedIn account, or your company’s “about us” website page.

  7. Use a personalized QR code, or a PURL, to track a fundraising mailing or survey responses.


Personalize Messaging with Variable Print

Hey, you! When’s the last time a generic greeting caught your attention more than hearing your own name? We can’t think of one either. Whether you’re walking down the street or planning a marketing campaign – people like personalization.

Why not tailor your communication techniques so they’re unique for each of your customers? Variable printing is more effective at prompting your reader to take action and can be printed on coupons, brochures, direct mail and more! Instead of sending out 1,000 identical mailings to your customer contact list, (we’ve heard it called “spraying and praying,”) send one mailing inviting James or Jennifer by name to check out your new inventory, or ask a customer if they need your services in their home at 14 Front Street.

You can customize prints with a variety of different things, but the most common ones businesses request are customers’ names, purchase history, demographics, and geography. You could even include a customized map that shows your customer exactly how to get to your business from their home – these direct mail pieces have been shown to generate a 40% higher response. Here are some examples of variable printing pieces:

Variable Print Examples


Another way to create a customized experience for your customer is to include a pURL, or a personalized page that’s a part of your website. pURLS have some of the same fun, interactive elementthat we talked about with QR Codes in an earlier blog post. Directing a respondent to a pURL makes it possible to track responses, giving you a way to measure the response rate and success of a mailing.


There are many ways variable printing and/or a personalized URL can be integrated into your next marketing campaign. Contact us today for ideas on how to take your campaign to the next level.

Super Bowl Commercial Success

This past Sunday, Go Daddy, the domain registrar company known just as well for its suggestive celebrity spokeswomen as its innovative services, went down in history as the first to use a QR code in a Super Bowl commercial. In our last blog post, we talked about the many opportunities made possible by using QR codes to reach the 111.3 million captive viewers that tuned into the big game… so, did this “mobile marketing experiment” live up to the hype?

On one hand, yes. Go Daddy’s campaign saw tremendous success… on-screen QR codes led to videos featuring their spokesmodels and coupons for one of their services, created a buzz about the company, and set an all-time sales record for the mobile site during the game. See the whole video here.

On the other hand, some QR codes used by advertisers in the Super Bowl’s official game program left consumers unimpressed. While users did scan the codes, many complained that they were led to boring and impersonalized online content that wasn’t optimized for viewing on a mobile phone.

The take-away from this “experiment” is that misusing a QR code is like spending all of your time creating fancy invitations for an exclusive party, but forgetting to book a venue for the big day. When your customers show up to something you invited them to, shouldn’t you make their stay worthwhile?

To capture the power of QR codes like Go Daddy did, focus on how you can personalize content or collect results about the customers’ preference to tailor your material to them next time. pURLS and customer surveys give your customer another reason to care what’s on the other end of the QR code.