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Combine a Promotional Gift with Your Marketing and Sales Campaign


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Step # 2 Towards a Perfect Promotional Gift: Combine a Promotional Gift with Your Marketing and Sales Campaign or Your Existing Product or Service

Sometimes in a business meeting or a gathering one is plucked from a supporting role in the corner to be suddenly in the spotlight in the middle of the stage. The same can happen with a promotional gift with a logo: in a well-thought-out marketing campaign, based on a smart promotional gift with a logo, the gift itself becomes the main actor, instead of being an extra. In this article, we take a look at some of the gift ideas where an advertising gift, originally intended as a supporting component, became the core or the key element of a marketing campaign. Get inspiration for your advertising gifts with logo and your other marketing activities!

Hipster ChristmasChristmas Gifts

An advertising agency, Gray London, created a very different gift for Christmas 2014. They sent to their customers and partners Christmas decorations which can be hung on beards. The idea came from hipster beards, widespread and popular at the time, and from the mustache-month "Movember" tradition, dedicated to men's health. This business gift caused so much excitement that the public began to search where to buy those unique Christmas decorations.

Soon, a deal was struck with an Australian charity to channel the proceeds from the sale of these beard accessories to testicular cancer research. The crazy idea turned out to be so popular that with zero communication budget, this 23-pound gift reached major news channels such as ABC News, Good Morning America, Buzzfeed, Fast Company, The NY Times, CNBC, GQ, The Huffington Post, MailOnline, Mashable, and others. The original batch quickly sold out, but this promotional item, first intended just as an additional humorous option, then became the core of an entire social campaign to raise awareness of the risks of testicular cancer. Thanks to this emotional gift with the logo, millions of pairs of eyes were reached all over the world.


custom shopping bagSometimes even an empty bag can stand out

A popular way to increase your brand visibility is to use branded reusable bags. It is an environmentally friendly approach and provides an opportunity to display your message in a long-term and cost-effective way, being visible even to those who do not use the bag themselves.

For example, the recipe portal Allrecipes.com wanted to increase the number of paying members. To this end, a strategy was chosen where all people who ordered the paid package during a certain period received a free gift from the portal. It was decided to use the help of existing members to choose a good promotional gift - a questionnaire was sent to them to find out which gift would motivate them to switch to a paid package. Surprisingly, the motivating gift turned out to be a simple reusable shopping bag made of recycled material.

As many as 70% of new subscribers to paid packages ordered a two-year membership, and 18% a one-year membership. Also, as the durable shopping bag was a conspicuous orange colour, the same as a road worker's safety vest, and had the Allrecipes.com logo on it, an additional benefit was that the campaign participants automatically became an advertising channel for the portal. At the same time, every bag owner was able to publicly demonstrate her/his environmental awareness by preferring a reusable as well as biodegradable product to environmentally damaging plastic bags.

 nintendo console - key chainHow a mock console became a collector’s item

To support the launch of the new Wii game console, Nintendo launched an LED flashlight-keychain that resembles the console's remote control. It was originally advertised as a free gift to all new subscribers to Nintendo Power Magazine. In addition to creating a surge in magazine subscriptions, this free advertising gift became a popular item that people wanted to buy separately. To date, Nintendo has sold 130,000+ console-shaped keychains to gaming enthusiasts.


sunglassesSunglasses for tweets

A web analytics start-up company Spinnakr used their promotional giveaways to stimulate social media interaction with their fans and for raising brand awareness. Instead of just receiving the gifts, fans had to tweet on Spinnakr's Twitter page and ask for free sunglasses. Spinnakr then tweeted back and asked the person to send their postal address in a private message for delivery of the sunglasses. This was a win-win situation, because in order to send a private message, a person has to become a brand follower on Twitter, thus becoming a kind of brand ambassador for her/his friends and acquaintances.

In addition, Spinnakr asked that upon receiving the sunglasses, people send a photo of themselves wearing the sunglasses. Many of those photos reached the hall of fame on company's website. Thanks to this campaign, Spinnakr also earned mentions in the tweets of many celebrities (for example, from two ex-mayors of Washington) and it significantly increased the company's fan base and fame.

t-shirts - logo shirtsOne’s shirt is always closest to one’s own skin

 A content marketing company Single Grain decided to do all their marketing using only branded T-   shirts. They claim that it has already earned them more than half a million dollars. An   interestingly designed T-shirt is an item of clothing that people like to wear. This means that suddenly   you have a huge number of advertising "billboards" walking around in the city.

Even if people do not delve into the background of the company whose T-shirt they are wearing, they find it much easier to consider using the company's services if they have seen the company’s name and logo somewhere before. Word-of-mouth marketing played a major role here in raising brand awareness. The company is certainly very satisfied with its marketing through advertising gifts and does not plan to change its strategy any time soon.

Business and promotional gifts are very effective platforms and can increase the awareness of your company many times more than an expensive advertising campaign.

The most important thing is to gather ideas, then plan and come up with a solution which you can express in words or with a product in such a way that it fits your sales and marketing messages and your product and service itself.

Summary of recommendations of how to increase the impact of corporate and promotional gifts:

  • Social campaigns: linking promotional gifts with raising public awareness
  • Practicality: gifts that are durable and usable daily
  • Involving the target group: asking clients for advice on choosing an attractive gift, involving them in conversations on social media
  • Word-of-mouth marketing: when a brand’s clever marketing solutions reach into people’s conversations, then the message itself is guaranteed to arrive
  • Personalised gifts: involving employees, customers, or partners in creating gifts with their name and face, ensures that the gift will be shown at least in their own circles of acquaintances.

Written by Mari-Liis Vaher

Blog post is based on the book “10 sammu ideaalse kingituseni” (10 Steps Towards an Ideal Gift), authors M-L. Kallismaa, R. Vaher, 2017)

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