Office and Desktop

6 mildly scary films about promotional products that never made it past storyboarding



1. The Cinchpack of Notre Dame

The pitch: A String-A-Sling backpack sold to tourists at the Notre Dame Cathedral is hired to kidnap the beautiful Esmeralda. The cinch pack ends up falling in love with Esmeralda and attempts to save her from her captors, at his own risk…

Why the film was never made: Producers claimed cinch packs weren’t pitiful enough to inspire sympathy in audiences.

2. The Hills Have Ice

The pitch: Deranged ice scrapers descend from the hills to attack and cannibalize a family of innocent tourists. In the end, however, the ice scrapers feel remorse and decide to help the tourists by clearing the frost from their car windshield.

Why the film was never made: Producers argued that the ending was too postmodern for a box-office slasher.

3. Pirates of the Carabiner

The pitch: Keychain thieves hijack a college bookstore and take a pretty co-ed hostage, in hopes that her magic carabiner will free them from an ancient curse.

Why the film was never made: Studios felt the college football tailgating crowd was too small of a target audience.

4. Kites of the Living Dead

The pitch: Hordes of the undead wreak havoc on post-apocalyptic suburbia. After successfully turning all human survivors into zombies, they organize a worldwide day of kite flying that unites zombies in global peace… until the sequel.

Why the film was never made: Studios couldn’t predict that in 2009 zombies would rival even vampires in popularity.

5. The Fan-tom of the Opera

The pitch: After her father dies, a singer at the Paris Opera House hears the sound of whirring fans when she sings. Finally, a ghostly figure of a fan emerges from the shadows and declares its love for her.

Why the film was never made: Producers were unable to cast a fan with a decent singing voice.

6. Poltermice
The pitch: Promotional mice begin communicating with a five-year-old girl in suburban California through static on the computer screen. Eventually they travel through the computer monitor and into the house. “They’re here…”

Why the film was never made: Studios felt the story would be too traumatic for post-9/11 audiences. Maybe in 2010.

Posted by Admin in Seasonal Marketing Ideas, 1 comment

Promotional Products Take a Trip to the Wilderness

kenhodge13Although I am far from what you might consider “outdoorsy,” last weekend I ventured into the wilderness and went camping. As I was sitting around the campfire- surrounded by trees, water, and insects rather than cubicles, advertisements and televisions- I realized that in spite of the natural surroundings I was accompanied by many brands.

From my flashlight to the collapsible can cooler and of course the Swiss Army knife, many of the items I brought had been given to me by a corporation. I started thinking about how these promotional products successfully traveled all that way with us, and came to the conclusion that functional promotional items are key to building any brand.

Functional products, including drinkware, blankets, chairs and other outdoors products, can be imprinted with a company name and logo for increased brand exposure. Giving a product that is not only practical, but also small and easily compactable for easy travel, ensures that your company goes everywhere recipients go. Here are some camping tips to help you incorporate useful items into your next marketing campaign and some activities to inspire a trip to the outdoors.

-Hiking: This is not only a fun activity, but also a way to get to know the area where you will be staying and to tire yourself out before a night of sleeping on the ground. For kids or less active individuals, a leisurely nature walk is also a good afternoon pursuit. Stay hydrated and healthy with promotional sports bottles.

-Grilling: Plan ahead and make sure to pack food that can be cooked outdoors on a grill or open campfire. It’s also a good idea to bring items that won’t leave a mess, to ensure that pesky animals don’t bother you. And don’t forget to keep items fresh in a personalized cooler until you are ready to cook

-S’more making: Making S’mores is delicious and a good way to stay warm around the campfire. Carry a promotional flashlight with you if you venture into the woods to look for the perfect sticks. And always take a buddy, too.

-Camp songs and ghost stories: Singing songs and telling stories are great pre-bedtime activities. Don’t forget to write down your favorite tunes and spooky narratives in promotional jotters so you can remember them for next year’s trip to the wilderness.


Posted by Admin in Promotional Products Around Town, 0 comments

Information Overload: Why Buyers of Promotional Products Should Care

lil'bearAs a newbie in the world of marketing, it is hard for me to imagine how the industry functioned before the introductions of the Internet, TV, and cell phones. It must have been much simpler for marketers to communicate their messages to their target audiences, but they also lacked the extent of efficiency and information available to marketers in today’s society. But has some of the value of that information diminished in importance because of what author Guy Kawasaki refers to as, “information obesity?” When I came across an online article written by Kem Meyer and edited by Kawasaki the other day, I knew I had to dedicate a blog post to Meyer’s topic of discussion.

The premise of the article is that NONE of us are immune to the presence of information overload. Alvin Toffler coined the phrase, “information overload” to explain the phenomenon which occurs when individuals are presented with an excess amount of information and lose sight of the task(s) that they were originally trying to complete.

People are exposed to hundreds of thousands of marketing messages daily, so as a marketer, it has become increasingly tougher to break through the clutter and get your voice heard. There is a fine line between “over-selling”, which runs the risk of potentially offending end users and invading their personal space, and not being aggressive enough, which may cause a campaign to be ineffective and quickly forgotten.

Meyer provides valuable information about how marketers can maintain a happy medium, and I have taken the liberty of adapting a few of her recommendations to apply to the more specific marketing subset of promotional products.

1. Stick to the facts. Provide the necessary information to enable consumers to make a decision. In the promotional products industry, this can be applied by limiting the amount of text imprinted on a given item. For example, customizing a promotional pen with the name of your organization, phone number, and website address may be sufficient to drive sales.

2. Stick to the point. In my experience, this step cannot be emphasized enough. Meyer states, “Start with the end in mind before you take action.” As marketers, it is our job to inspire people to think and act in accordance with our desired objectives. If you are unsure of what you hope to achieve by executing a promotional products campaign, how can you expect your audience to follow through on your call to action?

3. Deflate your self-importance. There is a time and place for a sales pitch, and generally, promotional products are not appropriate vehicles on which to deliver lengthy monologues stuffed with industry-specific terminology. As Meyer eloquently explains, “Work hard to think like your audience to find ways to connect.” In the Healthcare industry, maybe this means tailoring a promotional healthcare products campaign to the needs of nurses, whose job descriptions and equipment often differ greatly from those of physicians or other medical providers. Take on a tone that demonstrates a clear understanding of these professionals and they are likely to appreciate the individual attention paid to them by your brand.


Posted by Admin in Marketing Ideas, 0 comments

Promotional Products “Write It Down”

promotional jottersI’m sorry, but I’m not finished talking about Mad Men yet. This week, Paul and Peggy — it doesn’t matter that you don’t know them — are trying to come up with an ad campaign for Western Union. Paul feels outshone by Peggy, and is determined to impress Don. All night before the big meeting he stays in his office, drinking and brainstorming to little success until suddenly, while grabbing some leftovers from the break room refrigerator, it comes to him: the perfect idea. Satisfied, he returns to his office, pours himself another glass, and passes out on the couch.

The next morning Paul is awakened by his secretary (the same one who drove the lawn mower over someone’s foot last month), and after searching his office up and down for last night’s light bulb moment he realizes the terrible truth: He didn’t write it down. Somebody at Sterling Cooper should have ordered some promotional jotters. Paul could have slipped one in his jacket pocket on the way to the break room and saved his idea.

Fortunately, when Don hears the news he commiserates with Paul — “I hate when that happens” — and inspires Peggy to wax that “the faintest ink is better than the best memory.” Hey, couldn’t that apply to Western Union too? Then Don produces the perfect tagline for selling telegrams: “You can’t frame a phone call.”

So take a lesson from Mad Men, and make sure your company’s next big idea doesn’t fall by the wayside. Write it down with promotional jotters.

Posted by Admin, 0 comments

Promotional Products Around The Office

Jellaluna-VelofficeraptorI’m not a big television watcher, but I have to admit that I have an unhealthy obsession with The Office. It’s the only show I watch, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. My roommate knows not to talk to me during that special half hour on Thursday nights and my parents have learned not to call at that time. I sit on my couch, talk to my TV and act like I am a part of the funny office pranks and lunchroom gossip. In fact, when Jim and Pam got married last week, I was almost a little hurt that I wasn’t invited to the wedding.

The plus side of not actually knowing Jim, Pam, Dwight and Michael is that my work life is much calmer, more enjoyable and productive. And while Pinnacle certainly doesn’t have employees as extreme as any of the individuals on The Office, over the past six seasons I’ve come to appreciate that these characters are based on universal office truths.

With that being said, here are a few recommendations for promotional gifts to increase brand visibility among clients and employees who resemble the following characters:

Pam- Pam would love a custom journal so that she could practice her drawing any time inspiration hits. Or, keep her warm and stylish by giving her another classic cardigan sweater to wear.

Jim- Now that he has earned a well-deserved promotion, Jim would benefit from a personalized, executive-style briefcase. And of course, he can never have enough office toys in his desk to help him annoy Dwight.

Dwight- Nerdy and hard-working, Dwight would appreciate an ID badge to ensure that his identification never gets lost during adventures on his farm or a calculator (in particular one that fits right in his pocket) so that he can always maintain efficiency.

Michael- Where to even begin? He would go crazy for an acrylic award, especially one imprinted with the words “best boss” (think The Dundies episode) and he is definitely in need of a digital or atomic clock so that the employees of Dunder Mifflin can never set the time forward again.

No matter what you choose, personalized promotional products will win you awards for your marketing campaign.

Posted by Admin in Product Placement in the Media, 0 comments

Hit a Homerun with Promotional Products

jbcurio-World's-Largest-Baseball-BatSince regular baseball season is over and the postseason schedule begins tomorrow, I thought now would be a great time to write about utilizing promotional baseball products to hit a home run for your marketing campaign. After all, from stadium sponsorships to game day giveaways, baseball and promotional products have always gone hand-in-hand. And, it just so happens that today, October 6, is an important day in the history of Major League Baseball.

The New York Yankees won three World Series on this day in history, beating the Dodgers twice. On October 6, 1919, White Sox catcher Ray Schalk was the 2nd man ejected from a World Series. And, in 1959, a single game World Series attendance record was set with 92,706 people attending the Dodgers-White Sox game in Los Angeles.

October 6 has marked an important day in baseball history since 1882, when the first World Series was played between Cincinnati and Chicago. Cincinnati beat Chicago 4-0, starting Chicago’s long history with baseball. In fact, the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in over a hundred years, perhaps due to a curse cast on the team on October 6, 1945. Tavern owner “Billy Goat” Sianis cast the curse after being escorted out of Chicago’s Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the World Series for buying a seat and bringing his goat.

Despite this long losing streak, fans still love going to Wrigley Field to enjoy the ambiance, including beers, hot dogs, and of course a pre-game promotional product giveaway. From custom imprinted towels to key chains to baseball hats, promotional products are traditionally handed out to the first 10,000 attendants, guaranteeing wide brand exposure for corporate sponsors.

But promotional products can also be great assets to a marketing campaign without breaking the bank. You can personalize company T shirts or jerseys to promote unity throughout the office, and even imprint or your company’s name and logo on a coach’s jacket to honor a top executive. Or, give clients and employees promotional baseball player stress balls and Hacki Sacks to alleviate office tension. No matter which item you choose, you clients and employees alike will surely have a ball!

Posted by Admin in Sports News and Stadium Giveaways, 0 comments

Warning: Shameless Promotional Ideas to Follow

promotional apparelSince September is nationally designated as “shameless promotion month” and last week was my first week here at Pinnacle Promotions, I figured doing my first blog post about promotional items and strategies would be more than fitting. After all, who doesn’t love talking about themselves?

Before joining the Pinnacle team, I did a little research about the promotional products industry and learned a few fun facts. For example, the education industry spends the most money on promotional products, while restaurants and bars round out the top ten. But then I started thinking more about promotional material, and realized it truly is everywhere you look.

Using celebrities to promote corporate interests is nothing new and I’m sure you can think of a million celebrity endorsements just off the top of your head. Tiger Woods and Nike. Michael Jordan and Gatorade. Even Oprah’s Book Club promotes certain authors over others. Get your book on her list, and you are as good as gold!

But for companies who can’t afford the sky-high prices of celebrity spokespeople, just turn to the people you have access too. After all, your employees are the face of your company and their hard work is your best asset. Promotional products are a great way to thank them for everything they do while also increasing your marketing efforts.

To create a look like Tiger’s, choose from our wide range of customizable caps, polo shirts or even golf accessories to help employees record their golf scores. And, with our great selection of promotional sports bottles, you can emphasize the importance of hydration and promote internal teamwork without spending a fortune to hire Michael Jordan. Even though shameless promotion month is almost over, it’s never too late to get your name out there and strengthen your brand!

All this talk of Jordan makes me think of Chicago, my hometown. And, since it is the end of the month and therefore my last chance to talk a little about myself, I leave you with a video of my favorite moment in Chicago Bulls history:


Posted by Admin in Sports News and Stadium Giveaways, 1 comment

Pinnacle Poem: An Ode to Promotional Products







Since its creation in 1994,
Pinnacle Promotions has been a promotional company that offers more.
Providing customized solutions for any marketing or branding need,
With all exclusive services designed around one overriding goal – speed.
From processing orders with our service of 24-Hour Rocketship Express,
To saving you time with custom IdeaKits that are sure to impress.
Let our dedicated Account Teams help you find unique products of quality,
And know that your order will arrive on time, and as approved, with our Platinum Guarantee!

From apparel, to drinkware, to stress balls galore,
Check out everything we have to offer in our online store!
We have journals, pens, backpacks, candles, candy jars and toys,
We have magnets, spa kits, golf balls, lanyards, and shirts for girls and boys!
We have accessories for travel and fitness, for your computer, your cell phone, and your car,
We have gifts that tell time, display photos, play games, and even stock your bar!
Whether for man or woman, young or old, business or pleasure, or all,
We have thousands of products for everyone in our virtual product mall!

Too many products to choose one on your own?
Just e-mail us, live chat or pick up the phone.
With account managers who know the industry like the back of their hand,
Their insight and knowledge can help find the perfect item for your brand.
What about custom artwork and logo designs?
Our graphics team can produce amazing samples that go beyond basic lines.
Let us help you along each step of your promotional products decision,
And help us enhance your overall marketing vision!

Posted by Admin, 0 comments

Say Anything… with Customized Pens

Here I go again on another 80’s tangent. I can’t help it, I am stuck in the 80’s and I am not afraid to say it. What really got me thinking about this though was when I visited my parents’ house a couple weeks back and I got caught up in the movie “Say Anything”. I hadn’t actually ever really seen the entire movie so I had to watch it, especially since I didn’t have anything better to do. For those of you not familiar with the movie either, the premise is basically about 2 teenage students who have just graduated from High School. The male lead, Lloyd Dobler(played by John Cusack) has had his eyes on Diane Court all throughout High School and he plans to ask her out and make her his girlfriend before she goes away to College. Lloyd’s plan actually begins to work, after he invites her to a house party, they start spending more and more time together thereafter. The only problem is as they become closer, Diane’s father becomes more worried that his daughter is getting too involved and wants her to break up with him.

One pretty interesting part of the movie that somewhat oddly relates to Pinnacle was the scene in which Diane has a discussion with her father about breaking up with Lloyd and her father says to her- “Give him a pen”. I mean that is harsh, but no matter who you are, what occupation you have, you always need a pen. That is where we come in, we have just about any price range and quality pen you can think of, starting with the most basic BIC Clic Stic ® or a mid-range such as the Geneva Twist or something higher end like a Waterford ® Arcadia ™ Ballpoint Pen. By the way, Lloyd did get a customized pens, but you will have to watch the movie to see what happens next…

Posted by Admin in Product Placement in the Media, 0 comments

Promotional Products to Recruit A Few Good Employees

promotional jottersFor the first time since its inception in the 18th century, the US Army has introduced an advertising campaign to recruit officers. Overcome with young recruits – due in part to the economic downturn and the damaged job market – they have found themselves short on officers to lead them. The force has expanded by more than 50,000 troops since 2005, only 83 percent of which in 2008 held a high school diploma, coming up just short of the Army’s goal of 90 percent for the third consecutive year. So while it is meeting, and exceeding, its goal for total number of recruits, it is not finding enough men and women qualified to lead them.

The new ads do not stray far from the style of their typical recruitment efforts depicting soldiers in fatigues marching to patriotic music. But they have been altered to appeal to more ambitious and higher-educated young Americans, those who may not normally consider the Army as a positive step toward their career objectives. They have created four television commercials as the nucleus of the campaign, featuring stories of high-ranking corporate executives who began their careers as Army officers or showing pictures of notorious generals from George Washington to Colin Powell. The goal is not only to find officers for the Army now, but also to do an overall better job of marketing that position within the force. As Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, head of the Army Accessions Command, which oversees recruiting told NY Times reporter Douglas Quenqua, “If you think about it as brand or product management, we have this product within our brand that gets no notoriety. For those who just graduated college, now is the time to become aware they can come to officer candidate school. We think the timing is right to get the notion out.”

Is your company looking to recruit new hires? While you may not have the budget to permit a national television ad campaign, there are many other less costly ways by which to find the right candidates to help build your business. The job market is beginning to heat up again, and especially the demand for entry-level employees. One way to acquire new recruits is by offering promotional products, especially if the candidate is not actively pursuing a position with your company. Promotional products can help lure people to your booth at job fairs and career shows, and help them remember your company after the event too. You could choose something of use to them at the time of the event like promotional jotters to take notes about the companies they meet or even offer bottles of water with labels customized with your company name and logo. Another idea to support your recruiting process is to offer promotional gifts as incentives for employees who bring in prospects. Browse our online selections of gifts and giveaways for some more promotional marketing ideas.

Here is one of the new Army Officership Recruiting Commercials:


Posted by Admin in How to Reach a Target Audience, 0 comments