Bankers Advertising Articles

2018: the Year of the Dogs

February 16, 2018

Chinese New Year starts today, and this one’s for the dogs! The Year of the Dog is the 11th Chinese zodiac year; after the pig gets its chance in 2019, the cycle starts over again. Recent Years of the Dog include 2006, 1994, and 1982.

Are you a Dog? If so, the year ahead might be a challenging one—the key to your success will be thinking before you speak and act! Still, you can look forward to success mid-April through mid-June, as well as in October and December.

Not so into astrology, Chinese or otherwise? That’s OK—you can still celebrate all things dog this year! Treat your staff and customers to something from our wide selection of items for dog lovers and dogs themselves.

It’s a perfect year for library summer reading campaigns or community summer arts festivals to embrace the “dog days of summer!” But while winter still has us in its grip, you can find ways to warm up on a three dog night.

A Cartoon Dog Stress Reliever is a great giveaway for kids of all ages, and this 6” Plush Big Paw Dog is perfect to cuddle, with a generous imprint area on the shirt. Try a Police Dog Hero coloring book for the youngsters, great for waiting rooms. A Paw Bank is an easy way for banks to encourage beginning savers to tell siblings to keep their paws of their change. And a pup-shaped Paws N Claws Magnetic Bookmark will keep your pages from getting dog-eared!

For the beloved pets themselves, help them stay cool with this H2OGO Pet Bowl. Make walks in the park a walk in the park with a vibrant Dye-Sublimated Pet Leash. A Synthetic Leather Cork Core Baseball keeps your brand high-flying during playtime. Dig into the world of agility training with a two-tone Clicker at a great price point. And your customers will never leave the house (with their pet) without the adorable bone-shaped Pet Waste Bag Dispenser.


Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 9:52 pm

Our top promo picks for 2018

February 15, 2018

Our desks are stacked full with new catalogs for the 2018 year, and there’s something new and exciting in each one. Our sales managers have been flipping through, and have picked out some fun, new branding ideas for you!

Rachel Manthey

Snacks Series

This is a great add-on idea to a mug. The full-color option gives a nice look to it. They’ve got some different snack gift items I haven’t seen previously offered, such as Pringles. And private-label bottled water from a key line is always great!

Zebra Fountain Pen (in pink because that’s my favorite color!)
I love matching ink pens. This is a brand-name pen with removable cap and fountain pen tip. It’s a nice pen to put with a journal for women’s events or conferences.

Natural Hammock

Longing for summer days right now to curl up in one of these!

Natural Hammock Swing

A very unique item, that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Great alternative to the fold up chairs.

Melanie Lamb

Green Thumb Flower Pot Bluetooth® Speaker

You can fill this speaker with fresh flowers, touch each flower, and hear a different sound. You can also set it so each flower you touch causes the band of light to change to a different color. There is a video on their website that I strongly suggest you watch. Cool and unique item.

Wifi Smart Plug

Plug this into your power outlet and connect it to your Wi-Fi; you are then able to turn the outlet on and off from anywhere with your smartphone or tablet, using an app. Forget to turn the iron off? No problem. Arriving home late and would like to turn the lights on before you enter? No problem. Nifty little gadget.

Connect Laptop Clip

Clip your smartphone to the top or side of your computer and never miss an important call. Also useful for video chat.

Erica Kelley-Gogel, CAS

Bendable Dual 3 LED Work Light with Bag Imprint

A 34” bendable steel wire wrapped in PVC that lets you shine light from any angle. The flashlight heads are also magnetic for picking up small metal objects.

Webcam Blocker with Screen Cleaner

These are really popular right now. Many suppliers are adding versions to their line. I like this smart combo—easy to send out and a great price point for a hand out.

3 in 1 COB Emergency Tool

Found in our Spring Guide, page 6, this is a very practical tool to keep in the glove box and at a good price point.

White Melamine Set

This set is four pieces—slotted spoon, ladle, slotted spatula, spaghetti fork—all practical!

ComfortClayTM Plush Large Hot Pack

I am curious about the Ariel ComfortClayTM, a hot/cold pad that uses a formula of clay, glycerin, and water

Brenda Thurness

Cedar Wood Phone Case for iPhone® 6/6S Plus

This Woodchuck brand phone case would be perfect for lumber & construction companies that buy promotional advertising. There are a variety of wood finishes and iPhone sizes available. The best part? One tree will be planted for every product purchased.

Emojii Hand Fan

Great for county fairs and school activities—you can do an assortment of faces, no minimum per face (but you will have a set-up charge per face). These are in our new Spring Guide, page 2.

I’ve been looking for totes for a women’s organization and ran across the following that I really like:

Two-Pocket Fashion Tote

Non-Woven Horizontal Stripe Tote Bag

Fashionable Roomy Tote Bag

Tri-Pocket Tote Bag


Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 5:52 pm

What marketers can learn from the Olympics

February 9, 2018

Today the 2018 Winter Olympics—formally known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games—kick off in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Ninety-two nations will be participating in 102 events across 15 disciplines, up again from the last Winter Olympics: the highest number of countries ever participating in the Winter Olympics and the first time the number of events has passed 100!

Photo by Republic of Korea

The U.S. Olympic team consists of 242 athletes, 107 women and 135 men. Team USA 2018 is the largest delegation of athletes for any nation in the history of the winter games. The U.S. has been represented at every Winter Olympics since their inception in 1924—one of only 12 countries that can make that claim. We’re one of only six countries that has medaled at all of those, and we’re the only country that has earned gold medals at every one of the Winter Olympics.

These are fun statistics, right? If you’re a knowledge geek like me, it’s nice to learn these things just for the pleasure of trotting them out at parties or the chance that they’ll come in handy for a game of Trivial Pursuit. But facts and statistics aren’t what cause the Olympics to capture the hearts (and eyeballs!) of 2.1 billion people worldwide (the record-setting broadcast audience size of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi). What drives the Olympic fairytale is the same thing that drives your business: stories.

For example, did you know that Team USA has SEVEN pairs of siblings competing this year? Many have been before, but for a few—cross-country skiers Caitlin and Scott Patterson and Logan and Reese Hanneman and curlers Becca and Matt Hamilton—this will be their first. The Hamiltons are Team USA’s first ever mixed doubles curling competitors. And one of the sibling pairs is a set of identical twins! Ice hockey players Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson (a forward) and Monique Lamoureux-Morando (a defender) each have twin sets of silver medals to match, too, from Sochi 2014 and Vancouver 2010.

Or the stories of Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga, three Nigerian-American women (born and raised in Illinois, Texas, and Minnesota, respectively) who will be representing Nigeria on that country’s—and Africa’s!—first ever Olympic bobsled team. They’re the subject of an ESPN documentary, Fast Tracked, that will air Feb. 19, right in the middle of the games.

When you dive into the stories behind the statistics, you access personality, emotion, and character. These are also crucial when developing a promotional marketing campaign. What story do you want to tell? Who are the people behind the product: Who will be using it? Who will be handing it out? The wide variety of promo products available allow a multitude of opportunities for your company’s personality to shine. Tell a great story and you’ll have a win every time!



Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 4:31 pm

Branding Ideas for the month of March

February 5, 2018

It’s almost time for March Madness… the time of year when even the ambivalent become invested in the outcome of college basketball games, and even those who actively dislike college basketball find other things (like books or superheroes) to make guesses on in brackets, because the process is just that fun. If you’ve never filled out a bracket, it’s a 50/50 choice at every branching, narrowing a field of 64 down to one winner. Your odds aren’t great, but making the picks is entertaining, whether you’re basing your choice on the skills of the players or which team’s mascot looks fiercer!

According to a 2014 Smithsonian article, “you’re more likely to die an excruciating death by vending machine, become president, win the Mega Millions jackpot or die from incorrectly using products made for right-handed people (if you’re a lefty) than fill out a perfect NCAA basketball bracket.” In fact, according to Sports Illustrated, there’s no documentation that anyone has ever done so. Yet every year, ESPN reports, some 70 million brackets are filled out. With that much fun going on, it would be madness not to brand it! Great choices include pens or markers to fill out the brackets (nothing erasable!) or basketball stress balls for when the tensions get high. Check out these other great March ideas:


Celebrate this Jewish holiday, often conflated with Halloween, with traditional noisemakers, masks, and more. Pairs well with a charitable giving campaign, in the spirit of the holiday.

Ideas: noisemakers, kosher candy, corkscrew, masks

Employee Appreciation Day

A day to honor those who really keep the company going! Remind your employees that they matter to you with creative gift ideas they’ll be sure to appreciate.

Ideas: Gifts – candle set, VR viewer, coaster set

Oscar Night

Get in on the award show fun. Movie lovers are sure to have conflicting opinions on the nominees, so give them something to agree on with these great branded giveaways.

Ideas: mood sunglasses, star-shaped chocolates, popcorn bags

National Plant a Flower Day

Indoors or outdoors, in a pot or in the ground – get your fingers dirty! Spring is right around the corner, so dig in!

Ideas: seeds, gardening gloves, mini tools, blossom kit

Pi Day

For bakers and math geeks alike! 3.1415 … no matter how many digits you can recite of this irrational number, it’s a totally rational excuse for serving up the tastier version.

Ideas: slice-n-serve pie cutter, apple pie stress reliever, calculator

St. Patrick’s Day

This traditional Irish-American holiday gives rise to parades across the country. It also often gives rise to hangovers – and it’s on a Saturday this year, so don’t forget the ibuprofe

Ideas: shamrock beads, good luck coolie, whiskey stone set, ibuprofen

International Day of Happiness

Established via a U.N. resolution in 2012, this holiday, celebrated by all U.N. member nations, is in recognition of the value of happiness to our health and wellbeing.

Ideas: emoji hand fan, superhero smiley stress reliever, smile jotter notebook

The ideas are endless. Feeling overwhelmed? Contact your Bankers Promotional Consultant to help you select the perfect item for your brand building efforts this Spring!

Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 8:26 pm

Six More Weeks!

February 2, 2018


Happy Groundhog’s Day! Well, that dratted rodent Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter for us all. Whether you’re thrilled or miffed, we can all agree that there’s one bright side to the news out of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania this morning: There’s time for one last push of cold weather promotional products!Ground Hog Day

There are some wonderful items in our Ideas Book that you can talk to your sales partner about. Don’t forget item #3075, the Great Lakes Ice Scraper (pg. 6), for late winter storms, and the CP90 and CP90-2 knit caps (pg. 19), for staving off the winter chill. The various tumblers on (pg. 25) are always a perfect choice for holding in the heat of those hot beverages. And with cold and flu season lingering, the Hand Sanitizer Spray (pg. 28) is a must-have.

If you can bear to face the cold yourself, don’t be scared of your shadow: Get together with your sales partner and put together a plan! Punxsutawney Phil may be hiding inside, but he’s offered up the perfect “ice breaker” to get a conversation started about late winter promotional campaigns.

Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 5:02 pm

Super Bowl Successes

January 24, 2018

Well, we finally know which two teams will be facing off at Super Bowl 2018: the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. In scrolling through social media in the wake of last weekend’s games, I saw a friend post: “And I’m officially only watching for the halftime show.”  

That’s the thing about the Super Bowl, isn’t it? Even if your team’s not in it, you watch. For many people, even if you don’t like football, you watch. It’s ubiquitous. It’s unavoidable. It’s classic. And, between the game, the halftime show, and the commercials, there really is something in it for everyone.

Wouldn’t it be great if your company could make those claims?          

Well, that’s why we’re here: to help you leverage the marketing power of promotional products to deliver Super (Bowl) Successes – campaigns that are ubiquitous, unavoidable, and classic. Campaigns that catch the eye and draw people in, even if they’re loyal to a different brand. Even if they know nothing about the product.

Like the football game of games, a good promotional marketing campaign takes head-in-the-game hard work, like the players on the field. It takes a bold dash of creativity, like the halftime show. And it takes reaching out with humor and compassion for the part that people usually ignore in other contexts: the commercials, or, in our context, the ask.

So whether you’re in it to root for the Eagles (hey, the Patriots are favored, and I’m a sucker for an underdog!), to check out the Justin Timberlake halftime show, or to laugh and cry at the commercials, remember that all three work together to draw in the over 110 million people who tune in every year. Bankers is here to work hard, get creative, make that ask – and deliver you Super (Bowl) Successes every time!

Uncategorized — Genevieve Trainor @ 8:10 pm

How a small gesture created a gigantic impact

January 18, 2018

The new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s hospital opened in early 2017. Architects designed it to have a wraparound view of Iowa City from the highest structure in the county, as a public space. They even designed a special, large room with floor-to-ceiling windows – known as the Press Box Café. During Football season, it’s set up like an indoor tailgate. Every inch of the field is visible from the windows.

In fall 2017, and in a truly grassroots fashion, a mom on social media suggested that Hawk football fans start a new tradition with the Children’s Hospital. The idea went like this:

At the end of the first quarter of every Hawkeye home game, everyone inside Kinnick Stadium was to wave in unison at the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, giving the hospitalized children a sort of long-distance hug. Some excitement. Some hope. The idea caught fire on social media.

Sure enough, at the Hawkeyes’ home opener on September 2, it happened. The entire stadium stood, turned around, and waved toward the hospital. The touching moment became the most popular and favorite storyline of the college football season.

Fueled by social media, the new tradition gained popularity immediately. It caught the attention of national news media including ABC, CBS and ESPN. The Hawkeyes were presented with the Disney Spirit Award for 2017 during the Home Depot College Football Awards in Atlanta.

“It’s a simple way for 70,000 people to recognize the kids, the parents and hospital staff who are the real champions, fighting every day to overcome significant medical challenges,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a news release. “I’m proud that a kind gesture has had a profoundly positive impact on so many people in our state and the nation.”

The opportunity to promote the heart-warming tradition included new items to sell in the Hospital’s Gift shop.

Lisa, Bankers Advertising’s promotional consultant, offered some fun promotional items for the gift shop to sell… adorable plush animals sporting t-shirts with the saying, “Wave, Fight, Win.” These huggable friends will be held, hugged and squeezed by its sweet (presumably little) recipients. A great way to remember and promote the tradition! Additionally, the gift shop selected sweatshirts, caps and beanies touting the same verbiage in big, bold letters.

What a fun, and touching way to use promotional products! Bankers Advertising Company is proud to have had the opportunity to be part of the start of the new tradition. At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with football or even promotional products. It’s all about those kids!


Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 8:38 pm

Color of the Year 2018

December 14, 2017

Color of the Year 2018

Each year, our industry waits in anticipation for a big announcement… the Pantone Color Institute’s Color of the Year. Their announcement came last week, and their color of choice has everyone in the marketing and branding industry talking: ULTRA VIOLET.

The rich, blue-based purple is simultaneously rebellious and calming; both a signature shade for recently departed rock royals like Prince and David Bowie, and a hue deeply associated with mystics, healing and mindfulness.

“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future,” the Pantone team says.


The Pantone Color Institute helps companies make the most informed decisions about color for their brands or products. Whether it is color trend forecasting, brand color developmentcustom color solutions, or product palette selection, the Pantone Color Institute guides creative designers and brand marketers through the development of a color strategy that fits a company’s unique needs.

The Color of the Year is one moment in time that provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design. In fact, Color of the Year is a culmination of the Pantone Color Institute’s year round work forecasting trends and developing color palettes for their clients.


After years of minty greens and soft pastels, Pantone is changing things up by announcing Ultra Violet as the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now,” they add. “The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

The Pantone team says that passionate purple has always drawn artists and musicians.

“Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance,” Pantone says. “Musical icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of Western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of Pantone 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.”


As packaging design becomes more sophisticated, Ultra Violet offers complexity and nuance that appeals to our desire for originality in all that we touch. Similarly, in graphic design, Ultra Violet resonates with this dynamic medium through its multi-dimensional feeling. Shades of Ultra Violet are increasingly used in packaging and graphic design by forward-looking brands in the CPG, luxury, and beauty worlds as well as by personalities and artists seeking to stand out.


On the runway or the streets, Ultra Violet is an enchanting purple that provides a theatrical linkage for both men’s and women’s styles. True to the coupled nature of Ultra Violet, created by combining red and blue, Ultra Violet lends itself to unique color combinations in fashion and is easier to pair with all colors on the spectrum than one might think. With golds or other metallics, Ultra Violet becomes luxurious and dazzling; with greens or greys it evokes natural elegance. Similarly, Ultra Violet takes on distinct appearances with different materials. Lush velvets in the color suggest intrigue for evening, but are also unexpectedly modern in athleisure or sneakers. In accessories, jewelry, and eyewear, Ultra Violet suggests the complexities of natural gems, textures, and florals.


Pantone has also created eight different color palettes that feature PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet to help designers bring this year’s special shade into your designs. All color bases are covered; brights, deeper hues, pastels, mid-tones, and metallics. With Ultra Violet as a versatile trans-seasonal and gender-neutral anchor in every palette, each of the eight palettes conveys its own distinctive feeling and mood and can easily cross-over fashion and accessories, beauty, home interiors, and graphic design applications. Within each palette, Pantone offers color harmonies to help you get creative with your own ideas of how to use the colors.

We encourage you to visit to view all of the beautiful color combinations that come with Purple Haze! If you’re looking for product inspiration, check out Numo’s website.

Information source:

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 10:04 pm

Help with year-end budget decisions

December 8, 2017

This time of year is tough when it comes to company budgets. For businesses with the “use it orlose it” system, many scramble to spend their remaining dollars in fear of the budget being cut the next year if they don’t spend it all. As a result, many spend those dollars on inefficient or unnecessary purchases that bring little value to the business.

Did you know that spending among organizations in the last week of the year is 4.9 times higher than the rest-of-year weekly average? In addition, project quality scores in the last week of the year are 2.2-5.6 times more likely to fall below central value. In short, two things happen: spending increases and quality decreases. Rollover spending can lead to higher quality purchases for larger projects in the next budget period, but that’s not always an option. The good news is, having that year-end deadline to spend does help push projects out the door that might otherwise be delayed. It’s motivation against procrastination!

Here are some general tips for those of you who are making these difficult decisions:

  • stock up on essentials
  • ask colleagues what they’d like to see the remaining budget spent on
  • make sure you’re getting the best deals for your available dollars

Beyond the general advice we can give, we believe supply items that will always be used is a good use of those funds. You want to choose a product that is versatile and usable all throughout the year.

Lip balm is always a fantastic choice because it’s small, gender and age neutral, and stays on the person. In fact, lip balm is used 2-10 times a day and lasts 3-12 months, which is staying power that’s difficult to match for less than $1 a stick!

Hand sanitizer is also a winning choice to ward off germs, especially during cold and flu season. The label can be personalized with their logo, contact information, or custom message.

Don’t forget other great items for year-end budgets: pens, sticky notes, kitchen items, notepads/books and calendars.

It’s hard to go wrong spending your remaining year-end budget on products that are long-lasting and will share your name over a long period of time. Promotional items are a small, useful way to make a very big impact!

Browse here for more ideas.

Source: Raining Rose Blog

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 5:30 pm

Here comes generation z

November 20, 2017

For several years, it seems like we’ve all been constantly analyzing the personalities and buying behaviors of Millennials, the generation born between the early 1980s and the mid -1990s. Sometimes, it feels like the topic has been so exhausted, that all we’re left with is a bunch of unfair generalizations and clichés. It’s tiring, but don’t lose focus, there’s a lot to be learned from studying generations.

Enter Generation Z

Let’s turn our attention to the next big buying population. Generation Z – the post-Millennial generation born during or after 1995 will constitute 40% of U.S. consumers by 2020. The oldest members of the group are only recently out of high school, but they are about to be our customers and employees and we need to start reaching them.

Good news! Early research indicates that promotional products are uniquely suited to connect with Gen Z buyers. Here’s why:

1. Promotional products break through the “ad blindness.” As a recent Forbes article points out, modern consumers are so used to seeing messages on their smartphone and television, that they become highly skilled at ignoring ads on their screens. Promotional products, tangible and useful, will be vital for amplifying messages in ways that Gen Zers are not used to. Remember, these are individuals who only know a world with The Internet.

2. Gen Zers prefers a cool product over a cool experience. A recent study by Deep Focus, a leader in consumer behavior research, indicates that Gen Z prefers being sold a cool product (60 percent) over a cool experience (40 percent), while Millennials prefer the opposite. This is good news for promotional products – but there’s a catch. With a world of information at their fingertips and having grown up with the Internet, Gen Z is selective with their purchases. A product better pass the quality test or your brand will be in serious trouble.

3. Selfies! Gen Z consumers take selfies, a lot of selfies. One poll found that every third photo taken by those between the ages of 18 and 24 is a selfie. And since they post those selfies all over social media, savvy marketers will take advantage of the trend and use giveaways, contests and events to get their promotional products in Gen Z selfies. Think about all the impressions as those images are shared around the world by your new brand ambassadors.

The Bottom Line Gen Zers are skilled message consumers and ignorers, looking for exciting things they can show off to the rest world.

Some cool products ideas to help get your clients brand front and center in all those Instagram posts are: water bottles, Bluetooth earbuds, hooded sweatshirts, Bluetooth speakers, ballcaps, snap photo remotes, cellular leashes and basically any tech gadget.

Source: Polyconcept NA Idea Hub Blog

Uncategorized — Marie Young @ 3:43 pm

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