Promotional Products win in a Landslide

The results are in and there’s a clear winner!

With an average cost per impression of just $.005, custom promotional products (or advertising specialties) deliver a more favorable return on investment than nearly any other popular advertising media.

Promotional Products: $.005 cost per impression, compared to Radio Advertising: $.058 cost per impression. Newspaper Advertising: $.029 cost per impression. Prime Time Television: $.018 cost per impression.

Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric. Make sure your next marketing campaign includes the winning formula of promotional products. Call 1-877-776-6680 and one of our experienced promotions consultants will help you maximize the power of promotional products today!

Research provided by the Advertising Specialty Institute, ©2010. All rights reserved.

Deck the Halls & Boost Your Brand

The holidays are the perfect time to connect your brand with something bright, merry and memorable. During the busy season, why not give your customer something that not only keeps your brand front and center, but also embraces the joy of the season.

Personalized greeting cards are inexpensive ways to show that you care.
People still love an old-fashioned greeting card. And when you add your brand or custom message to a traditional holiday greeting, you’ll be sure to cut through the “digital clutter” and be remembered.

Fun & festive giveaways bring out the child in everyone.
Help them relieve their favorite childhood memories. Reach out to children and adults alike with coloring books, novelties and edible treats that will associate your brand with some of their favorite things.

Everyone needs (and will use) imprinted winter necessities.
For most, the holidays also mean the onset of wintry weather. Why not connect your brand with ice scrapers, embroidered hats and lip balms... all the tools they’ll need and use throughout the upcoming winter months.

Not sure how to leverage the holiday season in with your marketing plan? Call 1-877-776-6680 for a free consultation and we’ll help you find something that fits your budget and grows your brand.

Flu Fighting = Brand Building

As fall turns to winter, your customers and prospects will begin focusing on ways to stay healthy during cold & flu season. That’s why, combining your brand with a “flu-fighting” promotion is a great way to increase awareness and keep your company name top of mind. Consider these ideas as you begin building your 4th quarter promotional campaigns:

Branded back packs will get used every day.
Convenient, portable hand sanitizers get used every day. Talk about repeat impressions! Adding your logo to a travel-sized sprayer or flip-top bottle will keep your brand on the front line against germ control. Affordable and timely, our selection of sanitizers offer a great way to stay connected with you customers.

Educational guides & materials arm customers with important info, as well as your brand.
Branded pocket sliders, magnets and quick tip materials are perfect for schools, hospitals, day cares, corporate offices and more. Loaded with information recipients will want to read, they deliver maximum brand exposure.

Antibacterial products demonstrate your commitment to promoting healthy living.
In many ways, a promotional product is an extension of your brand. Why not demonstrate your commitment to the well being of your community by adding your logo to pens, mouse pads and more that feature antibacterial and antimicrobial agents.

Looking for more innovative promotional ideas for the upcoming fall and holiday seasons? Call 1-877-776-6680 for a free consultation with one of our promotions reps

Healthy Living Made Easy

Promoting healthy lifestyles should always be a top priority. Check out these easy and affordable ways you can deliver a live healthy message to your patients, colleagues & staff.

  Distribute quick-read, educational materials.
Portable pocket sliders and quick tip refrigerator magnets deliver important information on everything from proper sun safety to controlling cholesterol. They’re easy, convenient and affordable!

  Promote a ‘healthy living can be fun’ mentality.
Give every member of your staff a pedometer and have a contest to see who accumulates the most steps. Engage patients and visitors with a fun talking stress reliever that delivers a healthy living message.

  Help them avoid the midday vending machine trip.
Reusable water bottles encourage healthy habits and prevent the consumption of empty calories. Custom water bottles, cooler bags and food containers are all great ways to promote healthy living.

Launching a wellness program within your department or facility is a great way to communicate a “live healthy” message. Need more innovative promotional ideas to help you promote healthy living? Call 1-877-776-6680 for a free consultation with one of our promotions reps.

Prevent a Summer Slowdown

Your promotional efforts can never take a vacation. But your customers & prospects do, so how will you keep your brand top of mind as your target audience plans their summer getaways?

  Participate in a local community event.
Local events, like concerts, community days & fairs, are ideal venues for you to reinforce your local corporate identity. Add your logo to our Flexible Flyer or Beach Ball and your brand will be the talk of the event.

  Infuse some “summer” into your next direct mail promotion.
Lift response rates by coupling a summertime creative theme with a similarly themed giveaway. Branded magnets, keytags and business cards make the perfect direct mail package insert.

  Give them something to take with them on vacation.
Totes, cooler bags, water bottles and luggage tags are great ways to keep your brand visible during a summer vacation. Just add your logo and give your customers and prospects a practical promotion they’ll use during their time off.

Launching a summertime promotional effort can be an effective way to grow your brand and help you achieve your marketing objectives. Need more innovative promotional ideas? Call 1-877-776-6680 for a free consultation with one of our promotions reps.

Earth Day Promotional Items Encourage Eco-Friendly Habits

Earth Day is this Sunday, and it’s an important time to remind clients that small changes can have a big impact on the environment. Use these Earth Day Promotional Items to drive home this important message:

Smushy Flexible Water Bottle – 20 oz
The average American office worker uses about 500 disposable cups every year, according to, an online resource about the recycling industry for consumers. Because plastic water bottles are shielded from sunlight in landfills, they will not decompose for thousands of years. Encourage your customers to reduce waste by making an Earth Day pledge to re-use drinkware at the office. Give out quality drinkware such as this Smushy Flexible Water Bottle to those who complete the pledge. The 20-ounce water bottle features an innovative design that starts out as a flat pouch and then expands into a standing water bottle when filled with cold liquids. It’s super easy to carry in a purse, suitcase or lunch tote. Plus, the water bottle is BPA-free and freezer friendly. The water bottle comes in four vibrant colors: blue, red, lime green and clear. Your logo fits in a spacious 3-inch by 3-inch imprint area.

Recycled Cotton Canvas Roll-Up Tote
Americans use 1 billion shopping bags per year, creating 300,000 tons of landfill waste, according to the Clean Air Council. And this has a profound impact on the environment and our health. Small particles from degrading plastic bags get into the water and are ingested by filter feeding marine animals. Biotoxins like PCBs that are in the particles are then passed up the food chain, including up to humans. Americans can reduce this troubling outcome by using reusable totes while grocery shopping and running errands. Our Recycled Cotton Canvas Roll-Up Tote is durable and stylish. The tote is made with 100 percent raw cotton canvas, and it rolls up for easy storage. Your logo fits on a 5-inch by 5-inch imprint area, making it a great Earth Day promotional item for grocery chains, retail outlets and healthcare organizations.

EcoDrive USB Drive
The average American uses about the equivalent of one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Storing and sharing information electronically dramatically reduces waste. Our EcoDrive USB Drive stores 1 GB of information and can be used on both PC and Mac computers. Made with 100 percent recycled ABS plastic, the USB drive is a convenient way for customers to store files, data, presentations and photos. Because of their practicality, USB drives are among the most popular and longest-lasting promotional item for recipients. They’re a great Earth Day promotional item for any organization engaging in B2B marketing or catering to industry decision makers and tech-savvy professionals.

Looking for more Earth Day promotional items? View our full selection here.

Promotional Products: What Customers Really Want

Whether you're giving your best friend a birthday gift or passing out freebies at a trade show, gift givers almost always are left with a void: Does the recipient like the gift? Will it sit in the closet unused - or worse, will recipients simply throw the gift away?

The key to a successful promotional products campaign is to understand what consumers really want. In a recent study, the Advertising Specialty Institute found some pretty surprising discrepancies between companies' and consumers' attitudes about promotional products. That means many companies are giving out promotional products consumers don't want, or they're wasting money on unnecessary product upgrades that customers don't value. Here's a summary of the findings:

Name brand items are overrated. Does it matter if your logoed t-shirt is Fruit of the Loom? Apparently not. Seventy-six percent of companies thought name brand giveaways were important to consumers. Only 32.3 percent of consumers, however, felt name brands were important. Thus, companies may be spending too much money on product labels. Because of this, distributors should emphasize product quality over brand name. For instance, consumers may not care that a pen is manufactured by BIC, but they'll want to know that the pen offers smoother writing and won't leak in their pocket.

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. The study also uncovered that men and women have significantly different views about promotional products. Males consistently rate the quality of promotional products higher than women. In addition, men are more likely to wear logoed t-shirts and caps while out running errands, whereas women are more likely to wear these items around the house or while doing yard work. Females, however, are bigger fans of promotional tote bags than males. Women own more totes than men and are more likely to use them while running errands and going to and from work then men. Thus, keep your promotional goals in mind when targeting men vs. women. If you prefer that women tout your brand all over town, consider totes. If, however, you'd prefer that they use your items around the house, go for the t-shirt.

Prestige brands command higher quality promo products. Consumers expect premium brands to advertise on exceptional promotional products, according to the study. Nearly two-thirds (62.6%) of all consumers rated the quality of promotional products higher if they were distributed by prestige brands such as BMW or Absolut. The figure is higher for males, nearly three-quarters of which rated shirt quality higher if the logo came from a prestige brand. The takeaway? The promotional product should add value to the brand and never detract from it.

Promo products are effective incentives. The study found consumers are willing to take many actions to get a freebie. The vast majority (82.5%) said they would complete a survey to get a free product. Seventy percent of consumers would stop by a trade show booth to get a giveaway, and 41 percent would "like" the company on Facebook or post a tweet on Twitter for a promotional product. In addition, 33 percent said they would buy a gift with purchase. Not surprisingly, the more time consuming an activity, the less likely people will do it for a freebie. Only 24 percent of consumers said they'd watch a webinar for a free product, and only 17 percent said they would meet with a sales rep. The study reveals that companies should go beyond trade shows and use promotional products to enhance their social media communities, promote gifts with purchase and gather consumer information via surveys. When using promotional products as incentives, companies should deemphasize meeting with sales reps.

Tips for Sending Custom Promotional Greeting Cards

‘Tis the season for making valuable connections with customers, clients and employees. Especially in today's digital world, there's perhaps no better way to thank clients for their busines and employees for their service than custom promotional greeting cards.

Here are a few tips for making sure your greeting cards send the right message:

1. Sign each card personally. Think of the message you'll send to individual recipients if you can't spare the time to sign their card? Sure, it may take a couple hours and you may get a wicked case of

2. Order early. Your schedule is bound to get hectic in December, so save yourself an extra headache by ordering your custom promotional greeting cards in November - or earlier - especially if you intend to personalize the card with branding or a custom design. That way, you won't have to rush through hand-signing each one and you can mail them before clients leave for their holiday vacations.

3. Use tasteful branding. It's appropriate to personalize the card with your business name, URL, small logo or company colors. Resist the temptation, however, to plaster your logo all over the front of the card. Remember, holiday cards are about relationship building, not advertising.

4. Order extra cards. Order slightly more than the quantity you think you'll need to send. This will save you from placing a second order if you forgot anyone and allows you to reciprocate to unexpected clients and colleagues who sent you a card.

5. Check your ABC's. This one sounds like a no brainer, but it's the tip that most easily goes ignored. Make sure all names and addresses are correct. You'll also want to double check that you're using correct titles, such as Dr., Ms., and Mr., when addressing the cards. You're investing the time and money in sending custom promotional greeting cards. A misspelled name will not only undo your hard work during the holidays, but possibly over the course of time you've known the client.

To make a splash this holiday season, check out ADVANCE's unique selection of custom promotional greeting cards.

Holiday season is here!

And soon you’ll be contemplating how you will recognize your staff, celebrate year-end accomplishments and thank key clients and associates.

Let ADVANCE Custom Promotions do all the work for you! Our customizable products will…

  • reward your staff with products for staffs from 12 to 1,200
  • thank key clients or business partners with products that fit any-sized budget 
  • celebrate the season with unique holiday novelties and promotions.

Plus, our customization options are endless. You can add your personal message, imprint your facility logo or select from our library of exclusive holiday designs. Our team of dedicated consultants will walk you through the custom ordering process, making sure your products deliver a unique recognition or celebratory message.


Top 5 Most Popular Promotional Products For Fall

The kids are back to school. Tradeshow season is in full swing. And Breast Cancer Awareness month is here. If you're overwhelmed, you're not alone. September and October are among the busiest promotional months for marketers.

With everyone grabbing for consumers' attention, you'll need promotional products that will stand out from the competition and keep your brand top of mind. Here's a list of our top 5 most popular promotional products for fall 2011. The list contains surprisingly low tech, tried-and-true giveaways. Thus, the takeaway message is clear: Practicality rules this year's giveaways. To win customers' hearts and minds this fall, look for portable, reusable and easy-to-store promotional products.

Silicone Awareness Bracelet

Consumers consider a brand's image when choosing products of similar quality, which is why cause marketing is so effective for helping brands reinforce their values. Two major awareness events this year include National Mammography Day (Oct. 21) and Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 22-30), the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. Our silicone awareness bracelets are a fashionable way to raise funds for either of these causes. They come in 10 colors, including glow in the dark and pink, and logos are embossed or debossed on the bracelet. Silicone awareness bracelets are perfect if you're marketing to students, parents, women and athletic organizations.

Stadium Cup (12 oz.)

Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). What's more , customers keep drinkware for 6.6 months on average, according to the survey. Making our top-seller list are these 12 oz. stadium cups. They come in six colors, including granite and white. You can upload your logo and artwork directly online or browse our design library for unique graphics. Sporty drinkware is perfect for sports bars, restaurants and companies hosting picnics and athletic events.

Neon Tri-Twist Pen/Pencil/Highlighter

What's more, people keep pens for nearly five months and use them about 18 times a month, according to ASI. Pens also are popular with women. Our Neon Tri-Twist pen is four writing instruments in one. Twist once for a blue ballpoint, twice for a red ballpoint and thre times for a pencil. Unlock the cap at the opposite end to uncover a highlighter. Your logo fits in the barrel's 1 ¾ inch by 3/8 inch imprint area. Pass out these multitasking pens if you're targeting females, business professionals, students, banking clients and tradeshow attendees.

Full-Color Cord Card

Promotional products capitalizing on the popularity of the Apple iPod and iPhone are all the rage this fall. This cord card keeps ear buds tangle free. Your logo and artwork are imprinted in full color across the credit card-sized promotional product. Because it's lightweight and easy to store, the cord card is perfect for tradeshows, store openings, and direct mail campaigns.

Antibacterial Pocket Hand Sanitizer Spray

Flu season starts as early as October and continues through April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pocket hand sanitizers such as this are a practical keepsake your clients will reuse throughout flu season. These are great for crowded conferences that draw a lot of business travelers. Hand sanitizers also are popular across the germaphobic Northeast, according to ASI. This citrus-scented hand sanitizer is packaged in a convenient spray containing ethyl alcohol, aloe vera and carbomer. The sanitizer comes in nine vibrant colors to match your corporate branding.

The Printed Advertising Calendar is Still King

In an ever-increasing technological age, it’s important to know that the printed advertising calendar is still very relevant, very wanted.

Birthdays, holidays, special days, any days. From the momentous to the mundane, the dates we can’t forget are recorded on our calendars. But, in a world dominated by digital everything, does the printed version of our record keeping still have a place?

According to PPAI studies Calendar Usage In The Workplace and Calendar Usage In U.S. Households, the answer is absolutely.

A 1981 study conducted by the Calendar Advertising Council showed that printed calendars were a mainstay in the home and office. Fast forward three decades and not much has changed.

1981 - 98% of homes had a printed calendar and nearly every business had one

2011 - 79% of homes and 78% of businesses still have a printed calendar—that’s only a 19% drop in 30 years and major advancements in technology

1981 - 70% of calendars at home and 80% at a business were advertising calendars

2011 - 61.4% of calendars at home and 76% at a business are still promotional vehicles

1981 - There were nearly 4 calendars in the home and 2.5 at a business

2011 - 3 calendars in the home and 2 at a business

Co-sponsored by The Calendar Advertising Council © 2011 Promotional Products Association International. All rights reserved.

Using QR Codes on Promotional Products is a Snap!

They're the hottest trend in mobile advertising, and retailers from the Gap to Home Depot are latching onto "quick response codes" - or QRs - like kids in a candy store.

They look like an abstract expressionist interpretation of TV static, and you can find them on hamburger wrappers, magazine ads and business cards. Consumers simply aim their smartphone cameras at the codes to get discounts, videos and website links on their screens. QR codes can be printed in black and white or color.

The technology was developed in Japan in the mid-1990s, but U.S. retailers have only recently begun incorporating them into their marketing strategies. Microsoft, which makes free tags for marketers, reported earlier this year that more than 8 billion QRs have been printed since they launched them in January 2009.

The promotional products industry is catching on, and tags are making their way onto giveaways at tradeshows and job fairs. If you're thinking of using QR codes on promotional gifts, here are a few tips to ensure a more effective tag campaign.

Check the imprint size. QRs must be displayed in roughly a one-inch by one-inch space. (Our promotional consultants can give you the exact specs.) That means pens are not effective for displaying QR codes. Note pads, mugs, tote bags and gifts cards, on the other hand, will perfectly showcase QR codes.

Give users an enhanced experience. If you're going to ask consumers to take time out of their busy lives to snap a funny-looking code, the experience better be worth it. Your sales team may want you to showcase an ad or direct customers to your online purchase form. However, your goal should be to entertain, engage, educate and reward consumers for snapping the code. Oprah fans can scan a tag in her magazine to win a free trip to her annual lifestyle seminar (hello cross promotion!) Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson uses tags to ramp up support for its new recycling program.

You can use QRs on promotional products to give customers discount codes and links or your social media. Or, place a QR code on a stress ball and connect users to a quick video on your site with tips for unwinding. Job fair attendees can snap the code on recruitment giveaways to get a list of your company's open positions or human resources contact information. The possibilities are endless.

Make QR codes as easy as possible to use. Consumer awareness of QRs is still growing. Include instructions near the QR about how customers can access your QR content. You may want to include a brief message about how they can download free code reader apps (emphasize the word FREE) and which smartphones are compatible with the technology. Make online content easy to view and navigate on a smartphone screen. Finally, be sure to clearly explain to consumers why they should take advantage of this technology. Will they get a discount or exclusive information about a product, place or event? You don't have to reveal your entire campaign. (Unlocking secret content is part of the fun of snapping the code!) But be sure to lure them in with some enticing ad copy.

Using QR codes is a snap, so jump on the trend while it's on an upward swing!

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