The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Thanks, Jackie of Painting Unlimited!


Another day, another happy customer. Here’s Jackie’s success story with a recent purchase from AnyPromo.com.


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by Fausto Mendez

    Jackie Fromdahl had a very successful presence at her company’s latest industry event. With a box of hand sanitizers and and staple removers in hand, she entered the show floor with a confident step.

"I absolutely love the products that I ordered from AnyPromo! The art department was very easy to work with and left me with zero headache. The staple remover and hand sanitizers turned out just how I imagined them. The communication that was involved in this whole process was very timely and thorough! In the future, I will definitely call on AnyPromo…"

    We’re happy to serve another great business. Keep up the hustle, Jackie!


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Kmart’s First 2013 Xmas Ad Goes Balls Out


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile Kmart’s first TV commercial for the 2013 Holiday Season.


by Fausto Mendez

    Kmart proudly toutes the Joe Boxer brand and a set of talented male models in its latest TV ad for this year’s Holiday Season. It’s a funny and memorable video that is conveniently slipping into the sharing streams of web surfers around the world, so it is, of course, making its way across the Web as the marketing industry’s latest viral sensation.

    Like the best TV ads of the modern era, its lifespan stretches across several screens - from HDTV to smartphones - making it the epitome of a successful TV ad in 2013 and effectively multiplying its ROI again and again. 


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Advertisers Beware: 2013 Is the Worst Year in Traditional TV’s History


The past 12 months have made up the worst year in traditional TV’s history. Advertisers need to be wary of TV as a primary marketing channel, and may need to invest in other marketing channels to reach younger crowds.


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by Fausto Mendez / graph & data by The Atlantic, Quartz (Ritchie King), Moffett Research, Netflix

    If you’re a young person in America, the likelihood that you’ll ever sign up (or continue paying) for a traditional TV subscription, such as Cable, is at an all-time low since TV blew up as a staple in American culture. The total number of cable subscriptions continue to free fall off the charts, and satellite and telecom service providers can’t attract new customers fast enough to counter Cable’s fall. It looks like the trends will only get stronger over time, but your TV shows aren’t in peril.

    Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and iTunes will take care of your shows (and even produce new shows and/or episodes) as TV producers, directors, writers and actors take to the Web as a primary, first-rate broadcasting channel. Actually, it’s the TV networks that have a lot to worry about. Their cash cow, the TV commercial, is losing value fast, and other marketing channels are eating up all the left-over profit.

   Suddenly, companies with innovative and incredibly sophisticated targeting techniques, like Google and AdRoll, are moving in on TV’s territory while historically stable marketing channels, like promotional giveaways, trade shows, direct mail/email, and billboards, remain strong.

    Furthermore, mainstream social networks tout massive audiences that dwarf those of even the biggest TV networks, and it’s easier than ever to accurately target your audience on these networks, ensuring that you don’t pay for irrelevant impressions or clicks. Topical blog sites also do a great job of attracting smaller niche audiences of the Web, and many of those sites employ creative advertising teams that partner with businesses to build and serve relevant ads to their audiences.

Ditching Traditional TV in My 20s 

    In my own experience of 27 years on this planet, I ditched cable on my way to college. I was an avid TV fan growing up in my parents’ home with Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost, The X-Files and much more. Sadly, I would often construct my daily schedule around my favorite shows and not the other way around. Clearly, that’s not how life should be. TV should adjust to my schedule. 

     As a college student with robust university-grade Wi-Fi, I discovered a beautiful truth. The Web and a-la-carte methods, such as Netflix DVD subscriptions, are more liberating and satisfying ways of watching TV. The best part is that it costs much less than cable or satellite.

    No, scratch that. The best part is I’m no longer forced to sit through long stretches of ads in between cliffhangers of my favorite shows. 

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind the occasional commercial as long as it’s relevant to me, but I can’t stand a long stream of irrelevant commercials every seven to ten minutes. Neither can my peers.

    For example, if I was ever in the mood for Saturday morning cartoons during a weekend study session, Cable would force me to sit through tons of relentless ads for too-sugary cereals, poorly-designed action figures, and make-your-own jewelry kits. As a 19-year-old male, these ads would be wasted on me, but no matter what I watch on the Web, the shows either come ad free or only slightly interrupted with very relevant ads.

    As a result, TV’s fatal flaw is that it can’t segments audiences very well, and TV networks are way too greedy, steadily and stealthily increasing total ad-broadcasting time throughout the history of TV. Marketers, be careful of your strategy on TV; depending on your audience, the marketing channel could turn into a huge waste of money for your business. If your goal is to reach folks under 40, your best bet is probably not TV.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Print Ads for Toothpaste


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile a recent print/street campaign for Signal Sensitive Toothpaste.


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by Fausto Mendez / photo by agency Lowe

    Signal’s advertising team is on fire with these fascinating print/street ads. If you’ve ever felt the merciless tooth pain from biting into too-cold cold ice cream, the above ad will certainly speak to you. But I’m sure the brand’s target audience has had much more traumatic experiences with their own tooth pain, hence the hilarious contraptions in the ads.

    The ads pull the oldest trick in the book. They force the viewer to relive an unforgettable emotional experience in their lives, which makes the ads much harder to forget. Emotional experiences themselves are hard to forget, so if you can call up a strong emotional experience as the viewer watches your ad, you have a pretty effective campaign on your hands.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

(Source: ibelieveinadv.com)

How to do Better Business: Stellar Graphic Design Caused Massive Boost in Sales of Classic Novel Pride & Prejudice


In marketing, stellar design and great presentation are critical if your goal is to maximize brand awareness and sales, and this point is clearly illustrated with the sales spike in 2009 of the classic, heart-wrenching novel Pride & Prejudice


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by Fausto Mendez / photo by New York

    Design and presentation are often overlooked by too many small businesses because it can be costly (if you don’t know how to manage a graphic designer), and many hard-core, data-driven, business managers don’t believe that good design is worth their time and money. Personal opinions aside, it’s hard to argue with hard data, such as sales numbers. 

    In the above graphic, New York magazine put together an insightful bar graph of total sales of Pride & Prejudice at different points in time. For each point in time, Pride features a unique cover design. As you can see, less-exciting covers, such as the 1993’s text-book-looking Pride failed miserably. 

    However, the recent success of the Twilight novel series prompted Pride’s marketing team to design a cover that features a similar attitude as Twilight's cover. Clearly, Twilight's cover designer has a much better understanding of what moves the genre's target audience. The result was a massive spike in sales after the cover launched in 2009.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Pepsi on Halloween


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile Pepsi’s Halloween ad.


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by Fausto Mendez / ad by Buzz in a Box

    Pepsi dresses up as Coca-Cola for Halloween in the soda brand’s clever jab at its main competitor, sending the message that Coca-Cola is not the “real” cola. Coca-Cola is the fictional option.

    Sometimes I wonder if the two companies secretly work together to ensure that each company gets about 50% of the market share. If they only mention each other in their ads, consumers would, over time, become “brainwashed” that those are really the only two suitable options in the market. It would be a brilliant marketing strategy, but I don’t have any hard evidence to back up those claims.

   In any case, it seems like a no brainer. If I directed marketing for their companies, it’s exactly what’d I’d do.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Download this Free Font: The Hand-Drawn Set


Finding the best free #fonts isn’t easy (except when we post them here), but it’s always good for business to have some extra out-of-the-box typefaces within arm’s reach. That’s why we’re always searching the Web for its best-kept-secret fonts.


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By Fausto Mendez

    Your advertising materials, event supplies and promotional giveaways are only as good as your typefaces (and perhaps the graphic designer on your payroll). With or without a stellar graphic designer, the right fonts can make a huge difference, and these hand-drawn fonts should fit into any project that aims for a rough-ish, not-so-polished feel. Get the fonts at the links below (list courtesy of Uber Chic for Cheap).

Fonts:

Dingbats (symbols):

    Our goal is to help our customers find the right fonts for their advertising materials, promotional giveaways and event supplies, so if you’re in the mood to go font hunting, search for the #fonts tag on this blog. If you’re in the mood to add a logo, some custom artwork, or a fontified message to apparel or other promotional giveaways, check out the massive selection of over 40,000 products at AnyPromo.com.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Stanford Business: How to Spot Liars at Work - #MarketingMonday


A famous and respected business coach lectures enthusiastic Stanford students on how to spot liars at work. If you spend any time in any office, you should find this quite useful and utterly fascinating. 


By Fausto Mendez

    Watch business coach Carol Kinsey Goman break down ten different ways to identify liars in the workplace. She also offers tips on how to look honest when you are actually telling the truth. Both sets of tips are extremely useful in the marketing industry, but her advice can be applied across the board in all industries. 

    One sign of lying is the use of overly formal language, but you should be careful because “overly formal” is in the eye of the beholder. Do not add meaning where there isn’t, or you might easily become the office’s next disseminator of false truths.

    Keep in mind that these are just signs of lying and not proof of lying. People may give off signs of lying even when they aren’t lying, but having a keen eye for the presence of multiple signs could point you in the right direction when you’re not sure if you can trust someone.


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: UN Ads for Women’s Rights


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile the UN’s new women’s rights campaign.


By Fausto Mendez

    The UN asked women in various countries to use Google search’s autocomplete feature to find out what people are searching for - in relation to women - in those parts of the world. The ads speak for the themselves, and if you do a similar search in Google in your region, you will most likely see similar results. Below, I screenshotted the sad results from my search with the query “women cannot”.

    My regions is Southern California in the United States, so it’s pretty sad that this is what came up. See the rest of the ads at the behance profile of Kareem Shuhaibar, featuring ads that show autocomplete results from various parts of the world. 


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

Download this Free Font: 20 Harmonious Font Pairings


Finding the best free #fonts isn’t easy (except when we post them here), but it’s always good for business to have some extra out-of-the-box typefaces within arm’s reach. That’s why we’re always searching the Web for its best-kept-secret fonts.


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By Fausto Mendez

    This week’s featured free-font set takes a different approach than the standard weekly list. Instead of supplying a list of gorgeous fonts, Tutvid did something really interesting, pairing free fonts together that really complement each other.

    In the above photo, you’ll notice a quote by the legendary Star Wars character Yoda. The fonts in use are Alfa Slab One and Lora. This quote is one of my favorite lines in all of the Star Wars movies, tv shows, stories, etc. It’s very inspirational. 

    Check out the rest of the list at Tutvid. There’s 20 graphics like this, each featuring two fonts. Print them out, or use them as your computer’s wallpaper for your daily dose of inspiration. But don’t forget to download the fonts! Have fun!


    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

How to Run Killer Trade Shows: Get Fans to Brandish Your Promotional Swag with a Scavenger Hunt & Social Media


We introduce a new strategy to flood trade-show floors with fans brandishing your logo. Bonus: get exposure on social media at the same time!


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By Fausto Mendez / Original Photo by Scott Swigart

    Promotional giveaways are an excellent way to advertise your brand at trade shows, but the vast majority of the time, they are tucked away into bags and backpacks, never to be seen again. Avoid that problem and maximize brand awareness with your limited budget by carefully planning a more strategic giveaway campaign. Today’s tutorial leverages a scavenger hunt and social media to flood trade-show floors with fans that brandish swag with your logo. 

    We previously covered a very different strategy with a focus on apparel, though it achieves a similar goal. But this new strategy incorporates a variety of promotional items that feature your brand name, so you’re not limited to just apparel. Here’s the plan.

How to Put Your Logo on Everyone

    You can get a lot of people to rush around the show floor in your shirts - carrying your bags, using your pens, brandishing your notebooks and other swag -  with a well-planned scavenger hunt that features a few grand prizes for the best players. You will, of course, have to advertise the scavenger hunt ahead of time in your regular marketing channels, including social media; otherwise, nobody will know about it.

    Start by posting the rules and requirements of the scavenger hunt on your social media channels. The first requirement should be to find follow/like/fan your most relevant social media channel. That could easily be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google+ for most companies. The second requirement should be to find one of your promotional shirts (or tote bag) at the trade show, put it on, and post the photo to your most relevant social media channel. 

    In this day and age, you should cleverly add a healthy dose of social media into all of your marketing campaigns, especially your presence at trade shows. In this case, I recommend using social media as the way to record each participant’s collection of the items to be found in the scavenger hunt. It’s best to use your own promotional items, such as pens with your logo, as the items for the scavenger hunt, but you can also throw in some items from sister companies or other companies that you work with.

    You should also mix in visually spectacular elements of the trade show show as items to be photographed - such as a celebrity, an impressive booth, a video presentation, a performer, a concert, a keynote address, a work of art, etc. - in order to make the participants feel like it’s not just one giant advertisement for your brand. And the reality is it is one giant advertisement for your brand, but the key is to make it feel like it’s just a fun game for attendees of the trade show.  

    Most major trade shows occur over several days, so it’s best to break up the scavenger hunt into “rounds”, one round being one day of the show. That allows players to feel like if they don’t do well one day, they still have the opportunity to win the next day. Each round should feature a few grand prizes for the best performers, and there should be one final grand prize for the best performer of all rounds. 

Example: Scavenger Hunt for a Fashionable Bag Maker at CES 2014

    For this example, let’s pretend that we’re a fashionable bag & case maker for gadgets and laptops, and we’re attending CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) as an exhibitor. Your most relevant social channel is Pinterest, so we require all players to record their collection of items by pinning the items to two boards on Pinterest. The first board is our own company board. The second is the player’s own board, specifically dedicated to the scavenger hunt. That’s is how you’ll verify items for the hunt. 

    Let’s pretend CES occurs over three days in 2014. The first day, you post the item list on pinterest. The item list is shared and re-shared by fans at the show, and it includes a good mix of hidden promotional items, shoutouts to partner companies, and fun sights and activities that should be experienced by attendees of CES. 

    Your promotional items should be relevant to your fans, so avoid items that your fans don’t care for, and you’ll have to hide them at different parts of the show, including no more than one or two items at your booth. As a result, you’ll have to pull some strings and favors to get other companies to allow you to use their space for your scavenger hunt. But that shouldn’t be too hard if you’re sending traffic towards their booths. If you ask very nicely and present a good case for why it benefits them, you may be able to use their space to hide some of your stuff; however, if you’re presenting at CES, I’m sure you have at least a few connections, such as partners or suppliers, at the show. Leverage your connections as well.

    You should incorporate time-sensitive experiences and items into the hunt, so eager hunters can’t finish the whole thing too fast. The key is to make the hunt last the whole day. Usually, at least a few attendees visit CES as announcers or promoters, so capturing a shot with one of them would be a fun item for the list. Flashy keynote addresses, important video presentations (such as the trailer for a new game), concerts and performances are also great ideas. 

    Make sure that you throw in at least one or two items or landmarks that aren’t directly on the show floor to get folks visiting the outside area, if it’s worth visiting. CES is held in Las Vegas, so that’s a no brainer. A famous statue, hotel, sign or art piece should be easy to find and photograph, so use a few landmarks as items for your list. 

    You’ll end each day by posting a new item list for the following day and by announcing the winners, which are the players that found the items first. In order for a player’s list to be evaluated, he or she should visit your booth, and you’ll have an employee review the player’s items. If it is determined that the player won, he or she will take the prize right there and then. Of course, you’ll capture a photo with of the winner and prize, and you’ll post that to your social media channels. The player, of course, must be wearing your promotional shirt and/or bag the whole time. You might also award a larger grand prize to anyone that wins more than one day. 

The Results

    If you play your cards right, the end result should be a ton of people running around the show floor in your promotional shirts and/or other promotional apparel, finding and keeping promotional items that feature your brand or the brand’s of other companies that you’ve partnered with. The sheer spectacle of the hunt will shine a giant spotlight on your brand during the show, attracting the attention of the media, potential customers, skilled professionals that need jobs, and future partners. And, of course, you should receive a lot of social media engagement.

Creative Advertising Gone Wild: Corona Beer for Day of the Dead


Ads are a dime a dozen, but great ads are rare. This week, we profile Corona’s 2013 Day of the Dead Campaign.


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By Fausto Mendez

   Above, we posted the full-size version  of one of the print ads for Corona’s Day of the Dead campaign, which you might see in magazines, on billboards, at bus stops and other places on the street. Below, is more of a web presentation of the same idea, though I can easily see this appearing on the side of a bus. 

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    Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh, non-stop marketing advice, and insightful business analysis - plus: free fonts, easy-lunch recipes and more. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

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