Why Use Promotional Products?
Here are a few case studies
Nintendo of America
Strategy & Execution: The most unique aspect of the new Wii game system is the hand-held remote that allows players to interact wirelessly with the game screen. Capitalizing on this point of differentiation among its competitors, Nintendo designed a key chain flashlight replica of the remote. Even better, the lighted element of the keychain was a blue light, similar to the blue LED light on the real remote. The keychain was promoted on Nintendo websites as a free gift for new subscribers of Nintendo Power Magazine. The “gotta have it” appeal of the keychain quickly made it a hot topic on Nintendo blogs and on gaming bulletin boards. The keychain may even earn a “bonus life” as there has been significant interest from retail stores to offer the item for re-sale.
Results: Immediately following the promotion, there was a distinct and significant spike in subscriptions to Nintendo Power Magazine. To date, more than 130,000 Wii Lighted Remote Keychains have shipped with even more purchase orders submitted.
Strategy & Execution: Every fast-food chain distributes paper coupons in the mail or as Sunday paper inserts. But how many of those coupons are actually in the car when the consumer is ready to make a purchase? The Arby’s Discount Key Card offers a permanent discount to anyone holding the card, and, as a key tag, it’s always with the diner. Better still, every time the diner takes their keys out of their pocket, they’re always, “Thinking Arby’s.” This is a no limit, non-expiring coupon that has actually increased the average ticket by twenty cents. Initially targeting college students in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, area, the card became an enormous success and is being strongly considered for roll-out as a nation-wide item. Arby’s is the first in its industry to offer a loyalty key tag program; apparently, “Thinking Arby’s” means “thinking smart!”
Results: One store in the target area reported a 25% sales increase due to use of the card. Another store reports that 25% of its guests are card users. With this brilliant, but simple idea, Arby’s has broken through the “coupon clutter.”
Strategy & Execution: During the construction of the Aqua Condominium Resort, extreme hurricane activity in the area threatened to discourage owners who had signed pre-construction contracts. To keep enthusiasm high among potential owners, developers employed an ongoing promotional product campaign to build brand awareness and loyalty. A collection of premium gifts was selected and branded with the Aqua logo. Throughout the two years of construction, owners regularly received luxury beach towels, tote bags, cheese sets, chef’s aprons, bath robes and other items, all designed to paint a picture of what the relaxing, carefree lifestyle would be like, once the condominiums were complete. The campaign was supported by quarterly newsletters, personal letters from the developer and “road show” owner parties in various cities where pockets of owners lived…truly a multi-faceted, cohesive marketing campaign. The final touch was an acrylic Aqua logoed wine bucket and a bottle of wine welcoming owners to their new condominium.
Results: Upon completion of the property, every pre-construction contract converted to a closed unit. Furthermore, due to heightened brand awareness and buzz, the 212 units condominium tower can boast
100-percent closed status.
Ciba Specialty Chemicals
Strategy & Execution: With the creation of the “Road 2 Zero” campaign, Ciba Specialty Chemical challenged its plant managers to reach one million man-hours worked with zero hours lost time due to on-the-job injury. The “Road 2 Zero” brand was posted throughout the plant on kiosks and billboards and with special banners and flags. At a kick-off fish-fry, each employee received a “Road 2 Zero” baseball cap with a tire tread bill. A safety task force comprised of the different department managers held a series of safety seminars with each task force member wearing a bright read, “Road 2 Zero” t-shirt. Employees attending the seminars were rewarded with a variety of promotional items…items that increased in value depending on the type of seminar and the number of seminars attended. Carabiner flashlights, soft-sided lunch coolers and multi-function tools led to high attendance numbers. In addition, Safety Task Force leaders were awarded premium items such as laser engraved fleece jackets based on the attendance of employees from their product line. When the plant announced, on the one-year anniversary of the program and the achievement of the “zero” goal, every employee received a 13-quart Rubbermaid Cooler…presented at a celebratory steak dinner!
Results: Not only did the plant achieve its primary “zero lost hours” goal, Ciba has enjoyed residual decreased injuries due to heightened safety awareness. On-site accidents have dropped 59 percent since the launch of the program.
Essex Insurance Company
Strategy & Execution: Essex Insurance Company enjoys a unique relationship with its agents in the field, one built on mutual respect and on the ability to keep things lively and fun. That culture made this delightfully creative campaign possible. Throughout 2005, agents received bobblehead characters depicting the Essex management team. he campaign continued with a contest that asked the question, “Where in the world have your bobbleheads been lately?” Agents submitted photographs of the bobbleheads posed in various locations and situations. The contest culminated in a full-color, custom calendar for 2006 showcasing the twelve best photographs. Finally, in December 2006, agents received a custom deck of playing cards featuring the thirteen management team bobblehead characters.
Results: The campaign has generated considerable familiarity and unity between the management team and the agent base. Virtually every agent now recognizes members of the management team on sight, creating invaluable corporate camaraderie.
American Marketing Association
Strategy & Execution: Using a marketing program to connect with savvy, senior-level marketing professionals is a daunting task. This is an audience not easily won over by average campaigns or unoriginal ideas. Still, the AMA rose to the challenge, opting to keep it traditional by designing a pen, but adding a modern twist to this classic promotional item. Presented at the 2006 “M.planet” industry conference, the handsome, vivid orange pen doubled as a USB flash drive. The drive came pre-loaded with all conference materials: PowerPoint presentations, articles, speaker support, literature and seminar materials. The large capacity of the drives still allowed for plenty of personal storage space. One end of the pen could also be used as a stylus for PDAs, making this “old school” item a thoroughly modern device for the electronic age. Of course, presentation is everything, and the AMA made sure the pen was delivered in a dramatic, black and silver alloy case–totally cool and stylish.
Results: The pens were an immediate hit, but when conference attendees realized they’d be taking home all of the conference materials and presentations on the pen’s flash drive, the buzz surrounding the pens spread even more quickly. AMA continues to get calls from marketing professionals asking about the pen.
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