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Category: Novelty

50 Ways to Leave Your Promotional Products Behind

ACT 50 Ways to Leave Your Promotional Products BehindSome songs become more than just songs; they become legends.¬† The other day I heard Paul Simon’s¬† ‚Äú50 Ways to Leave Your Lover‚ÄĚ on the radio.¬† It’s still as fresh and fun as it was when it topped the charts in 1976.¬† Simon’s catchy hit got stuck in my head for days and for good reason.¬† Although you might not think so, it actually has a lot to do with promotional products.¬† Allow me to explain:

Some people leave their lovers when they don’t love them anymore.¬† But leave a promotional product behind, and you’ll garner long-lasting love for your brand or your company.¬† Just like leaving “lovers”, there are at least¬† fifty ways to leave a promotional product behind.¬† That‚Äôs the whole point of promotional products, after all. If you keep them to yourself, they won‚Äôt do you any good. But the more you share them, find ways to give them away, and make it fun‚ÄĒfor you, and for your customers, employees, volunteers, and friends‚ÄĒthe more effective they are. Leaving your promotional products behind is actually the best thing you can do for them!

The music industry rewards musicians by tracking statistics–songs and albums sold.¬† Every time a sale is made, whether it be in a store or online,¬† it gets recorded. That recorded data determines the Billboard charts.¬† The promotional products industry also tracks results to determine its own gold and platinum products.

In 2009, Promotional Products Association International(PPAI) polled a group of more than one thousand consumers who remembered receiving a promotional product within the past two years.  Those who did not remember receiving anything within that time period were screened out of the sample, leaving 44% of the initial survey group.  Of this group, the results were astounding:

  • 94% of participants could recall a specific promotional product they had received in the past 24 months.
  • The majority of them‚ÄĒ89%‚ÄĒalso remembered the advertiser represented by the item.
  • 83% said they enjoyed getting promotional products.
  • 48% wish they received promotional products more often.
  • 69% typically keep the promotional products they receive.

And so, in honor of Paul Simon‚Äôs classic, here‚Äôs the latest hit from A Creative Touch. I call this masterpiece, ‚Äú50 Ways to Leave Your Promotional Product.‚ÄĚ But be careful‚ÄĒit‚Äôll be stuck in your head for days.

You just slip into a shirt, Bert.

Make a new decal, Sal.

You need a mint tin, Jim.

Just give it away for free.

Hop into these sandals, Randal.

You need a beer mug, Doug.

Just drop off the hat, Matt.

And give it away for free.

You grab a tote bag, Dag.

Get a neoprene sleeve, Steve.

You need a book light, Dwight.

Just give it away for free.

Use a hot pad, Chad.

You need a golf ball, Saul.

Just drop off the candy, Sandy.

You could use a nice pen, Sven.

Take a rubber duck, Chuck.

You need a server for pie, Ty.

Just give it away for free.

How about a dancing flower, Bowser?

You need a key chain, Blaine.

Just drop off the clock, Doc.

You just slip into pom poms, Tom.

Customize a pin, Tim.

You need tools for the grill, Phil.

Just give it away for free.

Hop into a pet bed, Ted.

You need some wind up teeth, Keith.

Just drop off dog toys, Roy.

You slip into boxer shorts, Court.

Make a bobble head, Fred.

You need a pillow case, Trace.

Just give it away for free.

Grab this umbrella, Fella.

You need a chip clip, Trip.

A drop of hand sanitizer spray, Gray?

You just slip them a nail file, Kyle.

Get a charging hub, Bub.

You need a power bank, Frank.

Plant these flower seeds, Reid.

You need a beer mug, Doug.

Just drop off the hat, Matt.

You slip into a necktie, Guy.

Get a corkscrew, Stew.

You need a pullover, Rover.

Just give it away for free.

Try out a coaster set, Chet.

You need a backpack, Jack.

This apron is great, Nate.

And give it away for free!

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Capture Perfect Selfies with Remote-Controlled Promotional Products

ACT Selfie ProductIf you follow A Creative Touch on Facebook, you’re probably used to seeing photos my friends and I doing fun and silly things. Whether we’re posting as Charlie’s Angels, going out to dinner, or snapping a photo with a celebrity (we recently ran into John Ratzenberger, better know as Cliff on Cheers!) sharing these moments is a natural part of life in the age of social media and smartphones.

Even though we all take them, these photos, best know as ‚Äúselfies,‚ÄĚ get a lot of flack. People have called the practice of photographing yourself and posting in on the Internet everything from narcissistic to a sign of the apocalypse. Google recently reported that all together, people are publishing 93 million selfies a day, which I‚Äôll admit does seem a bit like an epidemic.

The truth, however, is more complicated than that. Selfies have actually been around for centuries. Before technology gave us smartphones, these images were captured the old-fashioned way ‚Äď with oil paints and canvas. After all, ‚Äúselfie‚ÄĚ is short for ‚Äúself-portrait,‚ÄĚ and self-portraits are some of the most beautiful and lasting pieces of artwork we have. I say if it‚Äôs good enough for Van Gogh, it‚Äôs good enough for me!

Selfies also play an important role in our modern lives, where we‚Äôre practically chained to our computers and constantly plugged in to social media. Personally, I think all those selfies are great, and that they actually make the long days at our desks go by a little faster. Think about it ‚Äď how often do you scroll through your Facebook feed and pause to smile at an old friend looking back at you? How precious is a grandchild‚Äôs selfie, texted straight to your phone? People are going to share photos no matter what. Would you rather look at what your loved ones had for dinner? The 15th sunset of the day? Or their smiling faces? For me, food is for eating and I can see the sunset from my own window. When it comes to photographs, I‚Äôd much rather see those smiles.

Like any art form, selfies have come a long way. As camera phones get more high tech and new filters are invented every day, it’s getting easier to take a great photo, worthy of dozens of likes and retweets. At A Creative Touch, we understand the desire to put your best selfie forward, which is why we’re now carrying some hot new devices to help you get the perfect shot.

Self Made (SR01)
One of the trademarks of a selfie is your own oversized arm, stretched out and taking up a good third of the photo as you try to get a flattering angle. With this wireless selfie clicker, you can keep your arm out of the shot, leaving more room for your lovely face. Just mount your camera up to 30 feet away from you and hit the clicker in your hand. Thanks to the power of Bluetooth, your selfie will be captured instantly.

Selfie Remote (SR02)
Like the Self Made, this remote allows you take photos without asking for assistance. It’s slim and lightweight, which makes it great for travel. Want to get your photo with Mount Rushmore in the background? Need a vacation shot that actually shows the white sand beach behind you? If so, then this is the remote for you!

The Groupie (SR03)
Remember last year’s Oscars, when Ellen DeGeneres took a star-studded selfie with a bunch of A-list celebrities? It was so popular that Samsung reportedly offered to buy the photo for almost $1 billion dollars. While your group shots might not be worth that much to the rest of the world, capturing a great photo of your loved ones is priceless in its own way. This remote lets you get those shots without leaving anyone out. And since the remote hooks to your keychain, it’s always within reach.

What are you waiting for? Order one of these great promotional products and join the selfie revolution today!



Find Fun At Work This Month

act-chattering-teethDid you know that today, January 28th, ¬†is “National Fun at Work” Day? This holiday is a fantastic opportunity to have some fun with promotional products!¬† But even if you missed out on this very important ‘holiday’, ¬†truth is, your¬†clients and volunteers will love these silly products anytime of year!¬† Here are just a few selections from our database of over 500 toys, many of which can be inscribed with your corporate logo or a special message:

Have hilarious workplace fun with our Wind-up Chomping Teeth Toy! This toy jaw with chomping teeth and googly eyes can be powered by winding up the knob. We have many other wind-up toys for you to choose from at A Creative Touch, too. Wind up footballs, tennis balls, apples, and other cute toys. They’ll wind up your offices’ atmosphere in no time!

act-dancing-flowerNeed a little flower power? Choose our Solar-powered Dancing Flower to brighten up everyone’s day! In several color combinations, it can be customized with your company’s logo on the flower’s base. Using only sunshine power, it will dance for you!

How about some bubbles? With our safe, non-toxic bubble blends, you can create your own fun label. Every workplace needs some bubbly adventure, right?

Feeling a little nostalgic for the toys of your childhood? Have some retro fun with our Nutty Putty and Spring Things! Unlike Silly Putty and Slinkies, these classic-style toys can be customized with your company’s logo!

Looking for ways to have more fun with your promotional products? Celebrate Fun Day with a little sundae! Throw an ice cream party, for example, to reward your volunteers for their hard work all year long. National Fun Day is the perfect opportunity to get in touch with your inner child with games and candy. Whatever your promotional product needs, contact us at A Creative Touch to make January 28th (and every work day) as fun as possible!

What’s On My Holiday Wish List?

act-woolen-mittensWhat do you dream of this holiday season? In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews sings about a few of her favorite things: “raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens,” “brown paper packages tied up with strings”, “bright copper kettles”¬†and even “warm-woolen mittens.” You’ve probably already heard the song on your local holiday radio¬†station this year: since the movie came out in 1965, “My Favorite Things” has become a classic holiday song, recorded by everyone from Andy Williams to The Carpenters.

While Andrews’ character, Maria, likes simple natural things, other famous Christmas wish lists are considerably more glamorous and luxurious. Think of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” lists or the gorgeous Neiman Marcus fantasy catalogs that are much-awaited parts of every holiday season at my house. I confess that my own holiday favorites are considerably less plain and nun-like than sweet Julie Andrews!

My holiday wish list sounds more like Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby.”¬†¬† That’s why I look forward to the Oprah and Neiman Marcus holiday lists every year-it’s amazing to see all the interesting and creative gifts that it is possible to buy your loved ones and yourself.¬†¬† From a souped up sleigh (a 2013 McLaren 12C Spider priced at $354,000) to a walk-on role in a Broadway muscial ($30,000) to his and her watches by Van Cleef & Arpels¬†($1,090,000–the hefty price tag includes a trip to Paris and Geneva, but still!) it’s fun to dream big.¬† My fantasy Christmas gift?¬† A set of heirloom family silver.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to give fantastic¬†gifts with more modest price tags¬† to your employees, volunteers, or clients, ¬†A Creative Touch is here to help.¬† We’ll find quality, creative promotional products that are guaranteed to become some of their favorite things!

Rudolph the Red-Billed

We’ve all heard the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, who helped Santa save Christmas one year. But you may have missed the story of that other Rudolph from the North Pole, Rudolph the Reinduck!

Our Rudolph is a jolly little fellow–with a shiny red beak–who helps Santa with duck-friendly presents that are a little too damp for Santa and his reindeer. It’s Rudolph the Red-Billed Reinduck’s job assist the elves with waterskis, rain boots, and any other holiday matters that require a little splash!

Here in coastal Wilmington, NC, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reinduck also assists with our annual Holiday Flotilla, helping decorate boats with millions of glittery twinkle lights and displays. So, if your organization or company wants to make its own splash this holiday season, choose some of our Rudolphs to give away your next holiday event:

act-rubber-duck-rudolphHere are some of ¬†Rudolph’s pals¬†all decked out in their¬†favorite winter scarves! Christmas rubber ducky promotional products¬†are a fabulous choice for your next fundraiser, especially if you want to host a holiday-themed rubber duck race. It’s a great way to make that next event fun for the whole family.

¬†If you haven’t been to a rubber ducky regatta, they are the highlight of many events! Rudolph tells me that many duck races, derbies, and regattas benefit local charities this season, so you could request a donation from your event’s attendees who would like Rudolph or one of his many ducky cousins to race on theiract-jingle-duck behalf, for your organization. You could¬†even organize a duck derby with multiple local organizations to add to the festivities. Rudolph will be happy to volunteer!

We also have rubber duck Rudolphs accessorized with holiday bells and Santa hats! All Rudolph rubber ducks can be customized with your organization’s logo.¬† Call us here at A Creative Touch and we will be happy to assist you with your next holiday fundraiser or event.

Elephant and Donkey Promotional Products Want Your Vote!

act-elephants-and-donkeysYou don’t have to be a nature enthusiast to wonder why unusual animals symbolize America’s two major political parties. Over the years, the donkey and the elephant have become the accepted symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties. Some Democrats might joke about the elephant being slow and conservative, but the Republicans think it is dignified and intelligent. On the other hand, some Republicans might regard the donkey as ungainly and ornery, but the Democrats claim it is humble and courageous.

According to the Washington Post, it was famed 1870s newspaper cartoonist Thomas Nast¬†-the man also responsible for sketching Santa Claus with a generous stomach- who associated each party with its respective animal.¬† Although the Democrats have never officially adopted the donkey as a party symbol, they have used various donkey designs on publications and promotional products over the years. The Republicans have actually adopted the elephant as their official symbol.¬† They use the design widely in promotional products. To honor the role of each animal in its party’s history, here are some promotional products for your next political shindig:

act-plush-bank-elephantHere’s an adorable elephant, perfect for the kid in your life, or the “big kids” helping out¬†with your campaign.¬† It¬†doubles as a bank, making it the perfect ‘thank you’ for campaign contributions. ¬†We have an array of family-friendly promotional products for this election cycle. Why not giveaway a stuffed animal at your next political fundraiser?

Looking for a promotional product that is a tad more traditional? At ACT, we can customize donkey or elephant shaped-signs and placards for your next candidate fundraiser or rally.

act-democrat-party-packWill you be on the edge of your seat on election night? Try our donkey and elephant-shaped stress toys! These cute little squeezables are sure to brighten your mood and can be customized, too.  Throwing a large party? Go for a complete party pack like this one:

Did you know that A Creative Touch¬†has more than 500 elephant and donkey-themed promotional products to choose from and that we can customize many of our items to your exact specifications? If you’re looking to celebrate this election cycle, contact us for your promotional product needs!

Tradeshow Trick-or-Treaters

act-halloweenEvery tradeshow has them: trick-or-treaters!  We may think of trick-or-treaters as little kids seeking candy on Halloween, but if your company exhibits regularly at trade shows, public events, or expos, there are plenty of people ringing your doorbell year-round.

Not all of them are interested in your business. Instead, some visitors to your booth at tradeshows and events are potentially just looking for their version of Halloween candy-your promotional products! So, how can you tell the genuine business prospect from the customer in costume?

Here are ACT’s tips for dealing with trick-or-treaters and ensuring that you don’t leave your next trade show feeling like a friendly ghost instead of a frightened one:


1. Don’t Leave All Your Candy in That Bucket On the Porch: Resist the urge to set up a table or swag display that makes it easier for trick-or-treaters to ‚Äėring the bell’ and flee without showing interest in your business.
2. Learn to say ‚ÄėBoooo!': Teach your employees and booth operators to discern between actual interest and swag hunting trick-or-treaters.
3. Ask Them to Say Please Before You Hand Out That Candy Corn:¬†¬†Kids aren’t the only ones who¬†sometimes need reminders to be polite. Get potential trick-or-treaters to sign up for your email lists, listen to service presentations, or fill out data surveys before you give away those promotional products.¬† Remember, truly interested customers will be happy to find out more about your business.
4. Go For The Haunted House Approach: Make receiving your promotional products part of a larger journey with the rewards at the end. Ask your customers to complete a task before mailing a customized promotional product, for example. According to a recent article in ASICentral, interactive promotions are a great way of gauging actual customer interest. Barb Barchum described her experience: “Last year, we sent out 1,200 seed packages and said ‘return this empty seed packet to receive one free set-up on your next order,’ Oh my goodness, did we receive empty seed packets – I would imagine we gave away 100 or more set-ups. I would say that self-promotion worked!” Like a Haunted House operator, you might have a smaller, but ultimately more devoted, group of participants with promotions like these.

Whatever your promotional needs, A Creative Touch¬†is here to help you survive the spooky world of trick-or-treat! And, we’re sending you best witches this Halloween!

Promotional Product Nightmares

act-grim-reaperWe’ve all shivered, screamed, and hidden our eyes at scary Halloween movies, but promoting your business or organization shouldn’t be a scary.¬† What if your promotional product company turns out to be a real-life Halloween horror story?¬† Beware of ghosts, ghouls, and goblins out for your promotional gold! There are countless stories of promotional products gone awry, so you need to consider these spooktacularly bad scenarios before you place an order:

“Ghostly” Orders: There’s nothing worse than receiving a promotional product after you need it for a trade show or special event. Or never receiving it at all! You don’t want to be the empty house that everyone avoids….while your promotional products go bump in the night. Don’t fall prey to a company that will leave you hanging like out-of-season decorations at your next tradeshow or expo.¬† As for A Creative Touch, we’ve been in business for more than a decade, and we’ve never missed a deadline!

Terrifying Typos: Customization problems with products are an avoidable, but all-too-common error. The famous blog Cake Wrecks, for example, is devoted to bakery nightmares that will make you want to hum the “Monster Mash.” Errors like those can make your promotional products as scary as Frankenstein!¬† You can count on us to check, double check, and triple check your order.

Night of the Living Dead: You’ve received a stack of promotional products with frightening errors. Or you’re still waiting…so, you call the company and the line rings and rings. Is anyone home? Or will you be stuck with zombie-like customer service?¬† At A Creative Touch, you always speak to one of our team members, live and in real time!

Transylvania Style: There’s nothing worse than out-of-date merchandise that looks like it came from the last century. Beware of commercial retailers whose style and product advice is more Count Dracula than cutting edge, lest your promotional products end up in the graveyard.¬† We attend subscribe to multiple publications and personally attend several¬†industry events per year and stay on top of promotional product trends.

To be safe from the undead, call us at A Creative Touch¬†to help you with your promotional product needs! Don’t risk turning your dreams of success into a Nightmare on Elm Street.

Puppy-Inspired Promotional Products

America loves puppies!¬†¬†With¬†46 million dog owners, pet products are a great promotional products idea.¬† At A Creative Touch, we have hundreds of fun, customizable pet products in a range of styles and colors.¬† Give your clients, employees or volunteers one of these great items for their pampered pooches, and they’ll be sure to howl with delight:

act-pet-collar-led1. LED Collars: As Dorothy once said, there’s no place like home!¬† Ensure that your Toto doesn’t get lost with these cheerful LED collars! Choose from several Technicolor shades that light up with the touch of button and can be customized with a company logo. Combined with a fun puppy-themed print, these collars with keep your pet on the Yellow Brick Road to home.

act-scoop-it-bowl2. The Scoop-It Bowl: The contemporary style and utility of our Scoop-It bowl is perfect for your next trip to see the Wizard. Ideal for small dogs and cats, this Scoop-It Bowl is perfect for pet travel, performing double duty as both a food bowl and a scoop.  Made of a light, shatterproof material, it is available in a wide variety of  colors.

act-pet-bed3. The Snuggle Pet Bed: This luxe bed is perfect for small dogs who like to sleep in total comfort. Designed as a cozy nook for your pet, the base and top are lined in a soft, snuggly material. With it’s whimsical, rainbow design, it looks like it came straight of Munckinland! ¬†And this pet bed is¬†lightweight, so you can take it with you anywhere. Your Toto will want to ditch that old basket forever!

act-pet-dog-tag4. Modern Aluminum ID Tag: Pair these contemporary anodized aluminum ID tags with our LED collar for stylish pet security and peace of mind. Unlike traditional pet ID tags, these have a sleek modern shape and are available in an array of sophisticated colors like copper, purple, and silver. They can be inscribed with your pet’s name, your address, or phone number, up to 500 characters.

act-pet-stuffing-free-dog-toy5. Crazy Critters: These stuffing free toys are perfect for pet owners tired of indoor “snow.” No more toy stuffing strung all over your living room!

Let A Creative Touch help you find pet toys and fun products that are sure to send your dog over the rainbow!

The “Dirty” Secret Behind Promotional Products

Printer | Antique Design IllustrationsIn recent blog posts, I’ve talked about one of the hottest promotional products on the market today, reusable tote bags.¬† But did you know that the “American father of promotional products” launched today’s multi-billion dollar industry with a reusable tote bag?¬†

In 1886, a newspaper owner in Coshocton, Ohio named Jasper Freemont Meek observed a young schoolboy as he dropped his books in the dirt on Main Street.¬† This sparked an idea.¬† Mr. Meek approached a fellow business owner and friend, Mr. Cantwell of Cantwell Shoes.¬† Meek pitched the idea of imprinting a burlap book bag with a simple, but direct advertising message:¬† “Buy Cantwell Shoes.”¬† Cantwell would give every child who came into his shoe store a free bag. The children would carry the bag as they walked to and from school so Cantwell’s name would be seen all over town. ¬†¬†Meek explained that this simple advertising promotion would build store traffic, increase name recognition and spike sales in Cantwell’s store.

Mr. Meek manufactured the book bag, imprinted the advertising slogan on his printing press, and the rest, as they say, is history.  Those dirty schoolbooks sparked the birth of the promotional products industry as we know it today.

After launching another successful promotional product (imprinted horse blankets, seen on virtually every horse in town), Meek realized that he could easily supplement his newspaper revenues by using his printing press to print a variety of promotional products in between weekly newspaper editions.  Meek officially started his own successful promotional products company, the Tuscarora Advertising Co., organizing a sales force that sold promotional items with practically no competition until 1889.

A rival local newspaperman became Meek’s first competitor.¬† Henry D. Beach followed Meek’s lead and soon the two were in stiff competition to be the first to create new promotional products by printing advertisements on anything that could be run through a printing press: cloth caps, aprons, hats for horses, Cobb pipes, marble bags, fly swatters, buggy whips, card cases, wooden rulers, calendars and fans, all imprinted with the messages of local merchants.¬† Both men then turned to printing on metal signs, opening up a new product line for metal advertising trays (like the now iconic collector’s items created for Coca-Cola and beer companies).¬† Soon the two companies would become world leaders in promotional products, attracting artists and skilled workers the U.S. and from Europe, all traveling to Coshocton, Ohio to gain work in illustration and other advertising mediums.

So what are the “dirty” little secrets Mr. Jasper Freemont Meek ¬†and his competitor Henry Beach taught us?¬†¬† The most effective advertising messages are the ones printed on useful, everyday items.¬†It’s easiest to capture your customers’ attention with promotional giveaways and novelty items.¬† And it’s smart to incorporate promotional products that correlate to your company’s core business-painter’s caps for a paint store, marble bags for a toy store, and reusable tote bags for a shoe store that makes its best profits selling a new pair of shoes to growing schoolchildren each year!

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