You call them case studies. We call them all in a day’s work.

Brandulation has a long list of clients who’ve discovered the power of a well-planned promotion.  Here are a few examples of successful campaign ideas:

Tech-Support Company Goes Plum Crazy with Promos

“People just go wild for the color purple,” says Michael Phelan, executive director of marketing for PlumChoice, a provider of remote tech support. “There’s something about the color.” Whatever the attraction, PlumChoice has taken full advantage of it in their marketing efforts, using plum-colored promo products, decking out their trade show booth in the same shade and even laying out a “purple-brick road” from their booth to a post-show Plumtini (cocktail) reception.

For the huge Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas earlier this year, PlumChoice decided to take a different approach from previous years. In the past, they had felt their booth was too far away from the action, and they didn’t have the budget for a prime booth. This time they didn’t even get a booth. “We had an executive-level suite where we had partner meetings off the main show floor,” Phelan says. “Then we created experiential marketing programs on the streets in Las Vegas.”

Using a medical theme, brand ambassadors portrayed doctors and nurses who offered to “cure” the crowds of their computer ills. The team handed out syringe-shaped pens holding purple liquid and prescription bottles of plum-colored M&Ms.

The show was a huge success for them. “We got tremendous buzz,” Phelan says. “Even some of the media photographed our experiential marketing crew.”

BIZ TIP:  3 Ways to get the most from trade shows

  1. Brand with a striking color. “People seem to gravitate toward purple,” says Michael Phelan, executive director of marketing for PlumChoice.
  2. Get prospects engaged. Conduct games at your booth, or stage an act that illustrates how your product or service works.
  3. Send out a street team. If your booth is off the beaten trail, brand ambassadors can direct traffic your way.


Search for Waldo Shirts Ends with World Record

Where in the world do you find a supplier for 650 shirts based on the attire of the cartoon character Waldo? And why in the world would you want them?

In short, an insurance company, Acuity, envisioned a “Book of World Records” theme for their annual report. They figured the ultimate touch would be to include their own record, so they resolved to break one. Consulting Guinness World Records, they set sights on the “Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Waldo.” The existing record was 128. The timeframe – just 2½ weeks – was critical, because a rep and photographer from Guinness were flying in to document the event.

There were problems at every step – from the PMS number not matching when wet-screened, to carriers losing track of packages during the fabric’s trip to the cut-and-sew facility and again when the finished product shipped. Then the 650 shirts needed to be screen-printed, folded, and shipped to the client, all on the same day.

(This demonstrates how critical it is to have a trusted promotional marketing specialist at your side to handle all this for your organization.)

The record was shattered with 577 Waldos – and they loved the shirts.

BIZ TIP: Private labeling extends branding so your client can really own the garment.


Promotional Products Add Pop to New Beverage Launch

John Bello made his small beverage brand SoBe so viable that PepsiCo saw fit to snap it up for about $370 million. How did he do it? Among the many tricks Bello used to build a grassroots following for the brand was a heavy dose of branded promotional products featuring SoBe’s now iconic lizard logo.

Now, a decade after Pepsi acquired his beloved brand, Bello is at it again with a new brand: Adina Holistics. To get his line of herbal elixirs noticed, he is going back to his old tricks – namely giving away plenty of branded products. This time around, he is leveraging his monkey logo and sayings like “Drink no evil!”

“At SoBe we gave away 400,000 T-shirts via our in-store offers over five years,” says Bello. Why do it again? “Simple logic: This is a consumer reward and continuity device.” Adina Holistics consumers can collect three under-the-cap “herbalisms for life” to get a free “Show me the monkey” or “Got herb?” T-shirt.

The offer is “one point-of-sale piece that always gets put up because it is something that the store owner or manager is doing for the consumer; something for nothing complements the store and the consumer gets a T-shirt as a bonus,” says Bello. “Most companies are too small or too big to make this happen. At Adina, it is job number one, all day, every day.”

As of press time, more than 5,000 shirts had been requested. “They are already being offered on eBay,” says Bello. “With slippage, that’s about 10,000 cases out the door just for redemption and a huge number of ‘Drink no evil’ advertising impressions.”

Part of the trick is having cool giveaways and a cooler logo, says Adina Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Burke. “We have an icon that appeals to young and old. It goes beyond just the beverage and lends itself to promotional products. People have asked for the file so they can screen their own T-shirts. Another woman wanted it tattooed on her back. We know we have a very nice symbol for years to come.”

BIZ TIP: Make the products functional

As Adina Holistics continues to build its business, it relies on promotional products for a variety of purposes:

To communicate the beverage company’s goal of selling a million cases in 2010, Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Burke sent out long-sleeve T-shirts, vests, jackets and hats to key beverage distributors and business partners. They read: “The million case march starts now.” Adina uses branded items to “create some enthusiasm for what we are doing,” Burke says.

For people who are influencers, Burke selects higher-priced shirts bearing slogans like “Got herb?” If he’s looking to blanket an event, he may choose a less-expensive shirt.

At the same time, “lanyards and memory sticks are great too. You want the thing to be something they use so they think of you and your brand,” Burke says. No matter what the product, he plans to leverage his company’s logo to the hilt. “We can have fun with the monkey.”