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ASI Promocar Stops At The Laurel Canyon Country Store

Filed under: Fun

Guest blogger Dawn Marie is ASI’s PR manager and creator and driver of the ASI Promocar, part of a year-long PR campaign to drive attention to the promo products industry.

The century-old Laurel Canyon Country Store is a storied landmark where everyone from Joni Mitchell to Mama Cass and Jim Morrison has guzzled coffee and shopped for groceries. It is the epitome of California cool. Naturally, I drove the #ASIpromocar there to check out their promo products – and ogle celebs. Turns out, it’s like a museum for ad specialties: A Kennedy bumper sticker and Fred Astaire dance flyer under glass on the counter. Recyclable bags. And of course, T-shirts.

I got a cappuccino and a bag and took a ton of photos. Oddly, not one person asked for my autograph.

–Dawn Marie

ASI Promocar - Promotional Products Everywhere!

Filed under: Fun

Guest blogger Dawn Marie is ASI’s PR manager and creator and driver of the ASI Promocar, part of a year-long PR campaign to drive attention to the promo products industry.

Looking for promotional products when you’re on the road is like looking for Waldo. At first, you might have trouble seeing them. Then, you see them everywhere:

The toiletries at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, CA, where the ASI Promocar (#ASIpromocar) was on display before setting off on its cross-country PR tour. The snazzy red sunglasses worn by a woman lunching at Argentine Grill in North Hollywood, who said she got them from her school, University of Redlands, and loved them so much she wore them every day (watch video).

The big bowl of giveaway matches at Boa restaurant in Santa Monica. The coffee mug at the Laurel Canyon house where I’m staying. Even the big bold “Cali” T-shirt sported by the MC of the hip hop group entertaining the crowd at Santa Monica Pier.

I still haven’t seen Waldo, but I sure am seeing strong evidence supporting Advantages magazine’s recent research report that sales of promotional products in California grew 7% from 2013 to 2014, for a total of $1.7 billion.

Swag on, dude.

–Dawn Marie

ASIPromocar Makes A Pitstop In Cerritos, CA – A Blessing In Disguise

Filed under: Fun

Guest blogger Dawn Marie is ASI’s PR manager and creator and driver of the ASI Promocar, part of a year-long PR campaign to drive attention to the promo products industry.

Sometimes, unexpected detours turn out to be blessings in disguise. After the #ASIpromocar left the Long Beach, CA show, bound for a 2,700 mile cross-country trip back to ASI’s Philadelphia HQ, I decided to do due diligence and check all the fluids. In the darkened hotel parking garage. At 11 pm. After a 14-hour work day. Thinking I was topping off the washer fluid, I mistakenly filled the coolant overflow. Oops.

Luckily, the crew at Browning Mazda in Cerritos, CA were delighted to help, getting me quickly back on the road after a coolant flush. I did have a little fun with them first, saying with a straight face when I pulled in,  “Who do I see about an even trade,  the Promocar for, say, an MX-5? (a $28,000 sports car, as compared to my $3,500 used Protege).

Promo PucksOnce over the shock, serviceman John Cemore waxed enthusiastic (Watch Video) about #promoproducts, testifying to their undisputed value to auto dealers everywhere. Proudly, he showed off 2 logoed hockey pucks he got years ago, which remain front and center on his desk to this day.

As I prepared to leave, the entire crew gathered round for photos, saying  “This is good stuff. Wow. Gotta show this to the grandkids. It’s certainly different. Love this.”

The best part? Their reassurance that despite its 190,000 miles, the #ASIpromocar is ready to rock the open road. Stay tuned…

–Dawn Marie

Super Bowl XLIX Poll Results – Favorite Seahawks Sacked

Filed under: Fun, Poll Results

Now that we can close the book on one of the best, most exciting Super Bowls in history, it’s time to look at how well our users did in our annual www.asicentral.com Super Bowl Poll.

Not unlike myself, the majority of voters (58%) figured that the Seattle Seahawks would repeat as Super Bowl champs by defeating the much-maligned and heavily scrutinized New England Patriots (42%). Had it not been for late interception on the 1-yard line, majority would have ruled; instead, one of the worst play calls in the history of the Big Game had the underdog Pats riding high in the end.

Here’s how our users voted (total votes: 65):

Super Bowl Poll Results

Tech Guru Steve Wozniak Inspires on ASI Radio

Filed under: Fun, asi radio show

Steve Wozniak“You have to have a drive behind innovation, you have to have an end goal,” said Apple co-founder and visionary Steve Wozniak, a very special guest caller this week on ASI Radio. “And if the path to get there is difficult, you have to be creative. (And never discount a little luck!)”

These were just some of the words of inspiration Wozniak — who will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 ASI Show Orlando — used in his 20-minute interview. Brand loyalty, hands-on education, the evolution of business … all topics broached by “The Woz” during the show. And when he wasn’t talking business, he was dishing about his favorite apps and talking tech with our very own IT guy and first-time interviewer Jason.

Want a little expert advice on how to innovate? Then you need to watch this show!

Sales Tip of the Week - Connecting with Clients

Filed under: Fun, General, Sales Tip

boredWhat do you do when you are talking to someone and realize you’ve “lost” them?  Advantages magazine says it takes one simple question to bring them back.

If she’s fidgeting, she’s stopped asking questions — maybe she’s sneaking glances at the clock—ask this question: “What is the most important thing we should be discussing today?” You will instantly connect with what really matters to her—and the conversation that ensues will help her see you as relevant and valuable.

Sales Tip of the Week - Success Stories

Filed under: Fun, General, Sales Tip

successAdvantages magazine says there’s a limit to how many bold claims you can make about your company and product results, but there is no limit to the words of praise you can put in the mouths of your delighted clients.

Use case histories of your clients’ success stories about the benefits they received from your service or product. When you are using their actual dialogue, you can say much more glowing things about yourself and your company than you could if the words were your own.

Prepared for the Future – An Intern Reflects On Her Time at ASI

Filed under: Fun, General

Rachel AbrahamBy Rachel Abraham

I have had some time to reflect on the opportunities and accomplishments I have made at ASI. It has been such a rewarding and an invaluable experience. I was not familiar with the promotional products industry at all prior to interning here, but I was eager to learn and expand my writing. I was definitely nervous about starting this new endeavor, but it turned out just fine — better than fine. The guidance, colleagues and assignments made this summer enjoyable.

I never had a full time position as a writer before interning here, but I had taken on a few online internships while working as a cashier after graduating college. It seemed I would never find something truly satisfying, but then came the email notification from ASI. When I first came across the application for the editorial intern position, I knew this is what I needed to get my foot in the door and to get hands on experience in writing. It was the ideal position for me because I majored in print journalism.

The internship included a free week trip to New York City and housing at NYU where I had a fantastic view of Manhattan! I received training from the Dow Jones News Fund in business journalism. It was an intense and exciting week with guest speakers, quizzes on current events and article writing. While in New York I visited news media, such as: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and NBC Nightly News. Bonuses included the chance to be a tourist and explore the city by trying different restaurants visiting Times Square, and visiting the September 11th Museum.

I went through mixed emotions my first day at ASI, but I quickly became relaxed by the way I was treated. Michele Bell and the other members of the Editorial department helped me get acclimated to the new work environment. Sara Lavenduski, my fellow colleague and a former Editorial intern, was always available to help if I had any questions and gave me some great pointers. I have written for ASI’s award winning magazines and have had to meet deadlines. For example, I contributed to Trend Alerts for Wearables. I also profiled designers and their fashion and covered Fall/Winter trends for Stitches that I just saw in the newest publication. Check it out!

There have also been many perks. It did not hurt that there was an on-site Starbucks that helped with those afternoon cravings. But aside from that, I have had the chance to assist with fashion photo shoots, and see the behind the scenes of how models prep. It was fascinating to see the collaborative effort that was made to create those outstanding shots. I also attended a Phillies game for Joe Haley’s 20th anniversary at the company and participated in a painting party. We even had a wine and cheese party showcasing our artwork. I can’t forget about decorating an “ArtCar” for three days with different promotional items for the ASI Chicago Show. It is been a great way to spend my summer where I also befriended my fellow interns, Corrie Purvis and Virginia Lucas. I’ll never forget our walking breaks around the building!

The overall experience has been one I could not have expected. I now have another great addition to my resume. I appreciate the knowledge I have gained and the people I have come in contact with. Thanks to ASI, I feel more prepared and confident in my future.

Sales Tip of the Week - Engage Prospects

Filed under: Fun, General, Sales Tip

engageIf your prospect says she can source the product you’ve recommended cheaper online, don’t be insulted. Advantages magazine says engage the prospect to learn more.

Do they have a specific product alternative or online seller in mind? What kind of service, guarantees or support does the online vendor provide? Oftentimes, buyers are “star struck” by pricing they find online. What they haven’t necessarily factored in is how valuable the ability to pick up the phone and talk to you can be if they have a problem or concern. Perhaps there’s a difference in product quality or imprint method or ability to meet a deadline. Review the choice with your prospect to be sure they’re comparing apples to apples.

Ad Specialty Companies Take ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Filed under: Fun

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge — an international viral video campaign that’s raising awareness about Lou Gehrig’s Disease — has taken the globe by storm and is lighting up social media (if you’ve yet to hear of it, where have you been?!). The ad specialty industry is right there doing it’s part to raise awareness and funds, and to have a little fun in the process. Check out some videos and images from some of our industry friends, and if you have any please send to Counselor Senior Editor Dave Vagnoni at dvagnoni@asicentral.com. Enjoy!

Not to be outdone, Farfromboring takes the Ice Bucket Challenge … in a big way! See the video here.

HandStands PROMO, in Salt Lake City, UT, has accepted the challenge by Mark Freed. See the video here.

Steve Levschuk, owner of Talbot Marketing in Canada, takes the ALS challenge. See the video here.

The BIC Graphic manufacturing team in Clearwater, FL lines up for the challenge.

Wendell August’s Will Knecht accepts the challenge, then nominates his entire staff. See the video here.

And the Wendell August team responds! See the video here.

Barry Lipsett, Charles River Apparel President & CEO, taking the Ice Bucket Challenge. See the video here.

Dave Regan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at The Vernon Company, who happened to be visiting Hub Pen that day, accepts the challenge.

Hub Pen’s President Joseph Fleming gets doused.

Pop! Promos President Sterling WIlson getting drenched by two members of our sales team, Francis Rodenbaugh and Katie Swinburn. See the video here.

Mark Freed of Genumark challenges the whole promo products industry! See the video here.

Rosalie Marcus, The Promo Biz Coach, took the challenge in honor of her brother who lost his battle with ALS. See the video here.

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