5 Promotional Products We’ll Never Forget

promotional products for small businesses

Promotional products can play a big part in your small business marketing strategy. These branded “gimmies” — think pens, calendars, magnets, t-shirts and tote bags — are a great way to give your potential customers that fuzzy “something-for-nothing” buzz.

And since these items are widely available in bulk and easily customizable, you can hand them out with impunity without breaking the bank.

But some innovative businesses have gone a step beyond branded beach balls and cleverly designed business cards, upping the promotional products bar for everyone. Here are some of our favorites to help get your creative juices flowing.

Hitch a Ride in the Pool with Colonel Sanders

KFC is no stranger to publicity stunts. From chicken-scented bath bombs (yes, really) to recipes for boozy gravy (again, really), the company knows how to have fun with its audience. So it was really no surprise that the prize for a 2018 giveaway was a life-size Colonel Sanders pool float, complete with a drink holder on one side and a place to store your bucket of chicken on the other.

Drink Your Welch’s Grape Juice From a Welch’s Jelly Jar Glass

Visit any flea market, roadside antique shop or your own grandma’s cupboard, and you’re likely to find drinking glasses adorned with cartoon characters of old — Howdy Doody, The Flintstones, the Peanuts gang and many more. But they’re not really drinking glasses. They began life as Welch’s jelly jars, and kids couldn’t get enough of them!

As far as promotional products go, it was a brilliant strategy. Welch’s wasn’t spending money giving away a standalone product; instead, it was turning its existing product packaging into the promotional item itself!

Get “Handsy” With Brussels Airlines

Brussels had a pickpocketing problem, and like any good organization, Brussels Airlines wanted to warn their patrons, lest they get their pockets picked. Did they make signs? No. Increase security? Nah. Assign a roving employee to make a rousing PSA as each flight landed? Uh-uh.

Instead, they ran around placing rubber hands into unattended bags. The hands bore the message “This hand just slipped into your bag. Beware of pickpockets.” Creepy? A bit. But you can bet the recipients of those hands got the message loud and clear!

The Simpsons Help You Settle in for a Big Marathon

Visitors to the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con left with a little extra swag in their bags, courtesy of The Simpsons and FXX. In preparation for a Simpsons marathon, attendees were given a branded doughnut (no, not the kind you eat) to prevent any “rectal tenderness” (associated with sitting in one place for an extended period of time) from ruining the fun.

How … thoughtful?

How Strong Is Your Dog?

If you happen to be in Australia and see a Fido or Fluffy running past you with what appears to be a 10-kilogram barbell weight in its mouth, don’t be alarmed — it’s just a brilliant promotional stunt by pet food brand IAMS.

These weights (which are actually Frisbees) are imprinted with the words “Strong Dogs” and the IAMS logo. They were handed out in dog parks to spread brand awareness and sweet, sweet puppy cheer.

Take Your Promotional Products to the Next Level!

Any Tom, Dick or Harriet can slap their logo on a pen and call it a day. And if that’s all your small business can afford to offer, it’s OK! But if you have a bit more wiggle room in your promotional budget, springing for some memorable swag might make your small business the talk of the town — or better yet, your customer base.

You have marketing questions. We have marketing answers. Let’s team up! Mischa Communications can help take your business to the next level. What can we do for you?