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Bags Worth Toting

Promotional products, advertising specialties, swag, tchotchke, trinkets  or ‘stuff’, are  proven time again to be advertising that works – and  the least expensive media per impression.  They work because people don’t throw away free stuff or a gift.  They are fun and very useful items.  Your prospects and customers wear, display, play with and most importantly, USE your logoed item. They may give if away, but rarely will anyone pitch it. 

The bag was one of the first promotional products ever used.  In 1886, a newspaper man, Jasper Freemont Meek, witnessed a young student drop his books in the mud.  He took an idea of increasing sales for a friend’s shoe business.   With “Buy Cantwell Shoes” printed on a burlap bag, every child who bought their shoes at Cantwell’s received a printed book bag.  It was a successful campaign for both Meek and Cantwell!

Many organizations will use promotional bags for brand awareness. The bags, and other promotional products, can also be and important ingredient in your marketing mix.  Rarely am I asked anymore at the grocery store “Paper or plastic?”  Stores are encouraging shoppers to BUY reusable bags.  While the paper and plastic bag is on their way out, consider your  unique, large tote ‘in’ your customers use before your competitors do.  Increase brand awareness and encourage your customers and prospects to use your bag.  Not only will your large totes be used at the store, but at the beach, library and picnics!

As a consultant, I receive samples that I share with clients and sometimes use myself.  With bags and totes being one of the most useful items in the industry, I decided to take a look at the success of these lunch, book and necessity-carrying-walking advertising billboards.  Personally I have collected nearly 10 promotional bags and totes within the last year.  The bags came from running-race expos, sporting events, memberships and business luncheons sponsors.   Each has its own look, size and use. 

For a day in the city, I need a larger bag to fill with reading material, a change of shoes, a water bottle and an umbrella.   When cycling, I just need to carry a few bucks, lip balm, tissue and small spray of sunscreen.  Wherever I go, I need a bag and while zipping past a few 100 people in a given day – at least one logo is proudly displayed.

During a recent city visit to the city, I kept a log of the totes and bags I spotted on the sidewalks.   I declare, that these imprinted bags, totes, backpacks and slings are, to the city, what t-shirts are to a high school!   Yes – billboards of logos attached to people everywhere.  Waiting for the train I saw three bags were clinging to people right next to me in line.  There was a bank logo, (major marathon sponsor) on a canvas tote, a computer network logo on a messenger bag and a major hospital logo on another canvas bag with contrasting straps.  The owners had important items in their bags for use through the day.  Inside these bags a change of shoes, a lunch and a little take-home-work.  The bag was the perfect-size for these wearers.  They probably had more at home, but for these advertisers imprinted, from train to the streets of Chicago, their brand was out-there fully visible!

What are your customers going to use to carry their cell phone or tablet to the beach this summer? A waterproof tablet pouch would be perfect. 

Another HUGE increase in bag use is the airline carry-on. Printsations will set your company up with a super clear or tinted zippered bag perfect for toiletries, cosmetics or prescriptions.  Your brand is clearly visible on a product that anyone who travels needs!

According to a national advertising trade group, bags are considered one of the most useful of promotional products.   Logoed bags are tied with writing instruments as having the lowest cost-per-impression than any other promotional product, and your investment is going to have a lasting impression. 

The uses are endless, the prices are a favorable cost-to-benefit ratio and areas of imprint are large.  Let’s get your brand toting!!!











Ev'ryone Knows It's Slinky

A True Toy Story

At a recent promotional products tradeshow, I was honored to have met Tom James, the son of the Slinky creators, Richard and Betty James. 

Having owned several Slinkys as a child, and have watched my own children having fun with the toy, I was immediately attracted to the Slinky booth at a show. Everyone knows what they are (94% Americans actually). We have all tried to walk them down stairs and put the Slinky in other daring situations. My children even brought their Slinky on vacation to Washington DC, knowing there would be opportunity for the Slinky to experience bouncing down steps at historic monumental buildings.  


In 1943, Richard James was a naval engineer working with tension springs in an instrument development process.  One of the springs fell to ground and Richard watched it bounce across the floor. He brought the spring and an idea of a ‘walking’ toy home to show his wife, Betty.  After research, it was Betty who later named the toy. Further development of the spring toy led to a Christmas launch at Gimbels department store in 1945. The store allowed demonstration space and the couple sold 400 Slinkys during their first day.

Several years later, due to Richard’s leaving the country and their marital split, Betty alone, would not only save the struggling company but also expanded the toy line to include neon-colored toys, Slinky Jr., and Slinky Dog.  Today, more than 300 million Slinkys have been sold, according to company history.

The toy brings back memories for us all, and the idea of putting one’s own logo on it, is genius! 

The Slinky makes a great marketing product.  Promote your company name on one of the most recognizable brands in America. Today, the Slinkys are still made in the USA!!!   The Slinky is available in varying colors in metal or plastic and is imprintable in standard or PMS matching inks.  

This gift is a keeper – ‘expand’ your own branding and have Printsations get your logo on the Slinky!