Bankers Advertising Articles

Color of the Year throws fresh shade on brands everywhere

December 18, 2018


Last week, Pantone made their 20th annual announcement for Color of the Year. The 2019 winner? Living Coral, PANTONE 16-1546—a bright, warm, welcoming color right on the cusp between orange and pink. Any
deep-sea divers or thalassophiles (lovers of the sea) out there will be familiar with the shade: It comes from the marine invertebrates that have built their reefs over nearly 110,000 square miles of the earth’s oceans and seas.

Coral are among the oldest animals on the planet, both collectively and individually—they’ve been around in some form since over 500 million years ago, and single specimens of the genus Leiopathes, for example, have lived over 4,000 years. Reefs are currently at risk, however—something that has been floated (pun intended) as one of the reasons for Pantone’s choice. More than half of the world’s coral reefs are dead, and experts estimate that we could be down to 10 percent remaining by 2050 without drastic intervention.

“In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind,” Pantone said in its announcement. “Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.”

Reaction has been mixed. By and large, Pantone is being lauded for the color’s “optimism,” “playfulness,” and “yearning to reconnect with nature” (per Quartz). But Vogue does point out that “the shade can be kind of hard to pinpoint,” going by names as varied as salmon and papaya from various vendors. And Slate outright condemns the choice, arguing that, “As these real-world colors fade away, Pantone is hoping we’ll take solace in their artificial manifestations, vis-à-vis throw pillows and scarves.”

But despite that author’s morose conclusion that she “want[s] the Colors of the Year to populate [her] closet, not the Earth’s in memoriam reel,” the praise outweighs the resistance. Vogue calls it “a cool-girl lipstick color.” GQ describes Pantone as going in a “chiller, more therapeutic” direction than last year. And Refinery29 says that it “represents the natural world and a powerful regenerative force we need to nurture, not ruin.”

Treat yourself to the regenerative optimism of Living Coral in 2019. These already-available promotional items are a great start.

Sun & Sand Beach Tote

Bella + Canvas Ladies’ Flowy Racerback Tank

Vino Stainless Steel Stemless Wine Glass

Browse more ideas

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 6:17 pm

When you have a gift for everyone… EXCEPT your clients!

November 30, 2018

Ho-Ho-HOLD UP! Have you taken three minutes to browse through our 2018 Gift Guide? Basically, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you this season so you don’t have to.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite new branded products to give you a useful tool when gathering ideas for your holiday gifts. We have something for everyone, whether you’re giving to a loyal client, a potential customer, a business associate, or a valued employee. We think you’ll be delighted at what’s inside. More importantly, your clients will feel important and remembered. And that right there is PRICELESS.

Browse our gift guide.


Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 5:05 pm

The Power of Positivity

November 8, 2018

By Bankers blogger: Genevieve Trainor

A recent blog post from one of our top apparel partners caught my eye. It’s the perfect antidote to the oncoming dreary and despondent cold of winter (at least, here in the Midwest—no rubbing it in if you’re located in a more temperate climate!). The post called out a trend toward optimism in apparel—both in the graphics being imprinted by customers and in the color choices offered by brands. Here’s the post in full:

If there’s one trend out there in the apparel world we should all be excited to see, it is the current trend of optimism. Positivity is replacing doom and gloom in the graphics and decorations we are seeing around today.

Brands and customers alike all want to feel as if they are contributing to a greater good. Brands in particular are using hope as a way to connect directly with customers.

The everyday super hero is being emphasized through empowering graphics and important messages. Individuals want to be able to showcase their own particular “superpower” via unique and empowering decorations.

Bright colors are often seen on apparel these days, with logos designed to pop both in the retail market as well as on social media such as Instagram.

It’s not enough to merely be a hero these days…people want to see happy heroes!

Cathie Wigert/SanMar

“Contributing to a greater good” is certainly a powerful motivator in decision-making! Fast-rising Gen Z is particularly, more than other demographics, attuned to social responsibility—it’s easy to think of that in terms of alleviating negative impact with “do no harm” initiatives (recycled materials, for example), but there’s an aspect of social responsibility that embraces joy and uplifting messages, too.

Kindness is the new cynicism.

As the article notes, bright colors are on the rise as well, reflecting that sunshine in the soul. Now, I’m no Gen Z optimist: My own Gen X aesthetic is as black as my closet full of concert Ts. But there’s no denying that when days are gray, a flash of brightness is “contributing to a greater good.”

We can even track down those bright hues with ease! All your sales representative needs to know is the PMS number of your official colors, and they can let you know exactly which pieces come in those shades.

We are also seeing a rise in rainbow imprints and superhero messaging. As you consider designs for your wearables purchase, think in vibrant colors and remember to embrace the positive vibes illuminating the market at the moment. You’ll feel good and so will your customers. Be a “happy hero!”



Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 8:59 pm

Retail Brands + the Power of Promo: A Perfect Pair!

October 12, 2018

A recent webinar with Melissa Ralston, Chief Marketing Officer of BIC® Graphic, illuminated the inimitable value of the perfect pairing of retail brands and promo. Her tips and ideas were so compelling, we just had to share them with you! The bottom line? Promoting your business with retail brands just makes good sense.

At the outset, Ralston laid out the number one reason that you should add your logo to a retail product: 60 percent of end users—your customers!—prefer a recognized brand. Yes, 60 percent! Need more reasons? Well, here are seven very important ones:

  • Peace of Mind When you work with retail brands, you can be confident that certain things are taken care of. If the products are for sale on shelves across the country, you know they’ve been thoroughly vetted and meet all relevant safety standards.
  • Saving Time Decision-making is easier you are dealing with a known quantity rather than taking a risk on something sight-unseen.
  • Creating a Difference Retail brands will make your brand stand out from the crowd. You will easily be differentiated as a knowledgeable seeker of value.
  • Comfort and Safety Ralston also called this “predictability”—it’s the benefit you get from knowing what to expect and trusting that it will be the same each time you get it. There’s no surprises here; the quality is consistent.
  • Added Value Your brand has value in-and-of itself. Why not add to it by pairing it with something recognized and trusted? It has all the benefits of co-branding! The retail brand logo next to your branding elevates its perceived status.
  • Self-expression Many consumers think of retail brands as extensions of themselves—as Ralston pointed out, if you’re unsure of this, just ask a Mac user when they’re likely to buy their next PC! Brands aren’t just what we wear or buy, they’re who we are. Tying your brand to that emotional attachment builds loyalty.
  • Shared Experiences Retail brands aren’t just about individual expression, they’re about group identity as well. Brand advocates gather as a community and share positive experiences. By adding a retail brand to your advertising mix, you are entering a constructive conversation already in progress.

It’s no secret that retail brands come at a higher price point than other options. But through minimizing risk, creating favorable recognition, and standing out from the competition, you are bound to make back your investment. After all, sometimes choices made to save money can end up costing money.

One of the greatest benefits of retail brand use is creating a desired perception. By aligning with brands that share the values you want to convey, your customers will have double the reinforcement of your message. Think of the added value if a retail brand known for “peace of mind” were used in conjunction with a promotional campaign for an insurance agent!

Ultimately, retail brands are a win-win for both your customers and your brand. Talk to your sales representative about incorporating retail brands into your promotional campaigns. With gift season looming on the horizon, the timing couldn’t be better to experience the value of retail brands!


Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 9:29 pm

Why do business still advertise with calendars?

September 25, 2018

Research proves that advertising calendars are useful and valuable. The Advertising Specialty Institute says that 74% of people can recall the advertiser on their promotional calendar. They’re powerful little marketing tools, and if you’re not using them in to enhance your brand visibility… your competitors are.

Yes, we live in the digital age. A New York Times article recently stated, “It may seem counter-intuitive that a print product can thrive in the digital age. But the continued success of some paper calendars mirrors that of printed books, an industry that several years ago was confronting what seemed like the very real possibility that e-books would outsell the printed variety. Instead, a Pew survey this fall found that most readers still preferred their reading material printed on paper.”

Additional research has proven they’re effectiveness…

Calendars expose your brand multiple times a day, every day of the year:

  • 61% of people look at a calendar 2-10 times a day

They work hard for you:

  • 85% of people do business with the company that supplied their promotional calendar

They make people happy:

  • 82% of recipients enjoy getting a calendar as a complimentary gift

If this isn’t enough to convince you, here are 4 more reasons should consider advertising calendars:


There is no gift or product that is timelier at the year-end than the promotional calendars. Your customer’s 2018 calendars are about to expire. Plans for next year are already in the works! A new calendar is sought-after, appreciated and put to good use immediately at home or work (or both)! People know EXACTLY who gave them their calendar last year… did it come from you? It should!


Calendar advertising is the definition of personal advertising. Whether distributed in person or by mail, the advertising calendar is referred to daily, multiple times becoming an integral part of the recipient’s life. We offer many quality logo products to select from, but promotional calendars are the ONLY ones that are in your customer’s lives 365-24-7.


People always respond favorably when they’re presented with a product they deem valuable. They’re engaged from the START. You’re the advertiser, and you’re getting the opportunity to “engage” with your recipient every time the calendar is used.


Advertising calendars are seen and tell YOUR story to numerous people every day – family, friends, guests, colleagues, and more. The calendar constantly tells people about who YOU are, where YOU can be found and the products or services YOU offer.

We have a variety of options for creating a one-of-kind custom calendar. Whether it’s customizing a stock calendar or creating your custom calendar, our experts will help you. Give us a call and we’ll get started.

Browse calendars online.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 3:19 pm

What’s trending now…

September 21, 2018

We spend a lot of time learning and educating ourselves on all that’s on-trend in our industry. Why? So we can help our clients stay on the cutting edge with their branding year after year. We’ve created a fabulous resource for the upcoming gift season so that you’re not left behind.

We’re excited to share this Fall’s top branding trends!


There’s a hot new trend that’s delivering a jolt of excitement to traditional promotional products like bags and drinkware. Tech features, like charging ports and Bluetooth speakers, are being added to products to increase the fun and deliver more function and convenience. Backpacks and bags now include built-in wireless chargers. Taking your tunes on the go wth integrated Bluetooth speakers is another key trend.


Wireless isn’t just a convenience, it’s a way of life. Staying connected on-the-go is essential in our modern world. Wireless technology has been steadily increasing in popularity for several years, but with advancing Bluetooth capabilities on many devices, wireless chargers, speakers, and headphones are quickly becoming some of the most sought-after tech accessories! There is no denying the appeal of promotional products with wireless technology for promoting a message and making a lasting impression.


This trend is still HOT! In retail, high-performance, insulated drinkware hotter than ever. From campus to factories to the boardroom–it’s everywhere. The most popular drinkware pieces, those with copper – vacuum insulation, are home run gifts for any brand. What makes them so universally loved? Well, they perform, keeping beverages hot for up to 6-12 hours and cold up to 18-48 hours. Also, they’re practical. They’re meant to be used every day.


Natural materials like marble and cork are making a big comeback, and not just on countertops and cork boards! These timeless, minimalist patterns turn ordinary items into statement pieces. These products create rock-solid brand building, whether they’re used at home or at the office. The marble features rich patterns of veins and swirls, imposing a subtle visual interest that creates a unique background for your logo. The distinctive look of cork provides a stylish effect for your brand.and cork boards!


From home décor to luxury products, metallic is a growing trend. Fashionable silvers, bronzes, golds, and rose golds are showing up everywhere from the runway to retail stores. Shiny, warm metals are on the rise as important ways to lend elegance to a space. Help your brand shine and put this stylish theme in the hands of your customers.


The two-tone color effect of gradients (or ombré) is making a big comeback in the design world. New styles transition bright pops of color to neutrals and metallic for a big impact or show subtle change in color value for eye-catching results. Gradients are interesting and memorable; the unusual blends showcase color in a new way. The effect is a game changer for brands looking to create their unique identity.


Is it a gift or giveaway? Someone wise once said that presentation is everything. Packaging options and gift sets offer more than a way to recognize a special occasion or important relationship – they’re also an opportunity to showcase your brand in a whole new way. The first impression can set the tone of receiving the gift and build an emotional

connection. Much of the attention in choosing holiday gifts is given to the gift itself, but the presentation is a value added opportunity that can’t be ignored. Packaging and presentation add to any promotion, presentation, contribution, or offering. Gift bags, custom ribbon, and gift boxes will enhance the selected item and maximize the impression it leaves.


With a per-gift budget in mind, it’s common to begin looking for the one item that fits in the budget. But with multiple items, your client receives greater exposure and value. By creating a kit or package of products, the recipients are left with many brand impressions. Bundling several items together also increases the perceived value.

Browse these ideas and more in our full Gift Guide.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 5:43 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 11

September 14, 2018


Client Need:

A major university was looking to reduce the number of non-emergency calls going to 911 and promote their on-campus safety program.


The Campus’ Public Safety team does visits, displays, and interface with students on campus quite often. They gave out key chains with the University’s mascot on the front and the Public Safety non-emergency number on the back. As a result, non-emergency phone calls to the 911 number were markedly reduced. Those calls showed up on the regular number provided on the key chain, where they should be.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 3:50 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 10

September 5, 2018

Client Need:

A benefits advising company was hosting a benefits conference and needed a useful, yet high-perceived value gift for clients in attendance.


The company’s Promotional Consultant suggested a wine glass. This 19 oz. tall wine glass features a rounded design and a chip-resistant rolled rim, and it has a long, sturdy stem and a wide base. The hotel was happy to use them at the event, then the guests were able to take them home as a memento of the event.


Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 4:31 pm

Our favorite way to stay dry

August 29, 2018

Take the frustration out of getting caught in the rain with the 48 inch Arc Two-Tone Inversion Umbrella! Made for durability using Pongee Material and crafted with a sturdy metal shaft, this umbrella will be sure to impress. The feature you’ll love the most is it’s inverted design that keeps you dry when closing. No more getting soaked while climbing in the car or when closing the umbrella once you’re indoors! Simply release the umbrella with it’s one-finger push button and manually open to a broad 48 inch diameter canvas that will keep you and anything you are carrying covered and dry. When closed, this sleek umbrella is just 2 inch long making the 48 inch Arc Two-Tone Inversion Umbrella easy to take along with you anywhere you go!

Find it here.

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 4:11 pm

Powerful Promos Vol. 9

August 20, 2018

Client need

A not-for-profit organization called Clutch 4 Charity is a startup apparel company that was founded on the words WHAT IF: What If… we didn’t spend billions of dollars endorsing athletes? And, What If… we endorsed charities and invested in them instead. Clutch 4 Charity wanted to partner with multiple charities and customize part of their apparel line to match the branding of those charities.


Our Bankers Promotional Consultant has partnered with this charity to provide branded apparel guidance and consulting. The National and Global organizations that are teamed up with CLUTCH each have their own Cause Line Shirt. For every purchase, approximately 50 percent of Clutch’s profits goes directly to the charity/organization selected. 

For example, the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s logo is orange, so their orange Clutch performance tee benefits that charity.

Additional Clutch 4 Charity apparel items:

PosiCharge Competitor Tee, ladies leggings, ladies tanks, collared shirts, and a specialty product in a unique color called Coyote Brown for a military group.

Our Promotional Consultant went above and beyond and helped the  client design two new designs that expand beyond their logo… a “TRAINING” tee and one that uses the words “WHAT IF” (part of their mission statement):

In addition to t-shirts, we are also working on additional products to add to the lineup including headbands and sport sandals.

Check out their newly launched website!

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 8:59 pm

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