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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.

Counselor Awards 2013

Filed under: Awards

Counselor Awards 2013Here ye, here ye! The winners of this year’s most prestigious awards — the Counselor Awards — will be announced tonight from the Art Institute of Chicago between the hours of 6:30-10:30 p.m. CST. Want to know who receives the awards as they happen? Follow our Live Tweet on Twitter at @asicentral and use the hashtag #ASIAwards. We’ll post all winners after the ceremony on www.asicentral.com at 11 p.m. EST.

Award categories include:

  • Person of the Year
  • International Person of the Year
  • Distributor and Supplier Entrepreneurs of the Year
  • Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Distributor and Supplier Woman of Distinction
  • Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award
  • Distributor and Supplier Family Business of the Year
  • Distributor and Supplier Top 40

So who do you think will win this year’s Counselor Person of the Year? Stay tuned … and good luck to all!

Photos from the Republican National Convention in Tampa

Filed under: Fun

A few Editorial colleagues of mine — Joan Chaykin and Jennifer Vishnevsky — are on assignment at the RNC in Tampa, and they’ve snapped a few fun pics of the ad specialties they found. Enjoy!

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products

Republican National Convention Promotional Products
Republican National Convention Promotional Products

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Top 10 Made In the USA Products

Filed under: General

Ice Cream Cone HatJust in time for the Fourth of July, ASI has released it’s inaugural Top 10 list of Made in America products, including an ice cream cone hat, picnic backpack, an igloo cooler and more! Check out the list here, which includes emails of all suppliers in case you’re interested in ordering some of these patriotic products!

For more, read yesterday’s press release.  

And if you’re interested in more seasonally themed product lists, choose from the following:



Tip of the Day – Blog For Business

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Blogging for BusinessA well-constructed and maintained blog can be a great tool for driving sales. Many salespeople today are turning to blogs and Twitter in an effort to expand their traditional sales and marketing efforts.

One of the keys to driving sales is developing and keeping a robust network of readers, according to the bloggers we spoke to. And they agree that there is a fine line between keeping and overwhelming readers.

The strategies for selling through a blog are more indirect than in cold-calling. Our bloggers told us that they often blog about topics that will entice their clients, thereby quietly closing the deal. Their number-one piece of advice: Provide your clients with information. By being the expert and dispensing knowledge, you’re giving clients a sense of security that you’re the right choice for their needs.

Whether you’re thinking of starting a blog or looking to revamp yours, this hot blogger will show you how to get the most out of your experience.

Behind the Scenes
What started as an exercise in curiosity has developed into a successful Web strategy, and the birth of “Kenny Blog.” Ken Block, director of business development with MCM Productions (asi/257932), started blogging a little over a year ago. He had been studying website development and social media and decided to give it a try.

Block entered into blogging from the technical world, focusing on analytics and search engine optimization (SEO). “Traditional Web pages are not that flexible,” he says. “We have more day-to-day relevant content that we wanted to share with our clients. What better way to do it than jump on this new blogging phenomenon?” So he introduced the blog with a promotion to his client base by giving away a pen to visitors who signed up to read the blog. After about six weeks, the blog was starting to get more hits than the website.

Block has been able to turn his blog into a sales force by showing what he knows. “We believe that if you are open with knowledge and the knowledge is greater than your competition, it’s a slam dunk,” he says. The blog helps book orders on a weekly basis. Block looks at which search phrases drive traffic, like his blog post about recycled PVC banner bags.

On the sales front, Block put out an optimized post about dishwasher-safe water bottles which quickly produced business. He also produced a series of blogs about new items he is seeing. “It shows clients that we’re out there researching new products for them,” he says.

Block says that what sets his blog apart is the focus on SEO. “We get more activity as we write the optimized blog posts, along with the lightness of our content,” he says. The language of the blog is very important. “We have to be cognizant and respectful of the demographics of all the different buyers of promotional products. If you write in a language that is specific to just Gen X, you lose the baby boomer,” he says.

For new bloggers in the industry, Block recommends taking the time to understand how search engines work. “You have to determine what you strategically want to accomplish with your blog before you write your first post,” he says. One piece of advice he offers is finding niche and sub-niche phrases that are popular in the industry, which will in turn put your blog on the first few pages of a Google search.

From Education Adviser, vol. 27

Tip of the Day – 5 Earth-Friendly Options

Filed under: Green, Tip of the Day

Curious about what to look for when sourcing for earth-friendly promotions? Try searching for these options:

  1. Biodegradable corn plastic is used for everything from pens to mugs.
  2. Solar-powered technology “fuels” earth-friendly flashlights, calculators and more.
  3. Organic cotton, bamboo or hemp makes apparel “green.”
  4. Recycled PET transforms traditional polyester and plastics into environmentally correct choices.
  5. Naturally appealing products like plant seedlings, seed packets and even imprinted walnuts provide a clever alternative to man-made promotional items.

From Advantages University, April 2010.

ASI Education Update: Webinars Page Redesign

Filed under: Education, site updates

The value of education within the promotional products industry cannot be emphasized enough, and success greatly depends upon your knowledge of everything from the latest sales and marketing trends to negotiation strategies. Our ASI Education folks — in particular Nicole Rollender and Dana Reaume — do a terrific job every month presenting Webinars geared toward the education of promotional products professionals.

(For those of you who don’t know what a Webinar is, let me elaborate. It’s a free 60-minute online course that you take simply by logging onto your computer at a predetermined time. The presenters and moderators do all the work – all you need to do is show up and pay attention! From informative discussions and slideshows to interactive discussion rooms, our ASI Education Webinars are really a great way to learn how to succeed in this industry. Best of all, Webinars are archived so you can learn any time, 24/7.)

And now we’ve given the ASI Education homepage a nice, new snazzy look so you can register and access archived Webinars more easily. Click here to see the page, and use the tabs above the calendar to toggle between the upcoming and archived Webinars. (NEXT WEBINAR: Become an Eco-Apparel Selling Expert, Weds. April 14, 2-3 pm EST – Register now!)

Got questions or comments about the new Webinars homepage? Feel free to email us at feedback@asicentral.com.

Shout out to Sr. Web Designer Craig Veltri for the design!

— Deez

Tip of the Day – Market to Casinos

Filed under: Tip of the Day

The expansion of gambling into other states and the increasing popularity of poker in recent years makes a gambling theme fun for lots of promotions:

  • Commercial casinos are legal in 13 states.
  • 28 states have Native American casinos.
  • Related markets include racetracks, lotteries and poker tournaments.

From Advantages magazine Success Stories.

Interactive Map: Hottest U.S. Sales Region

Filed under: Education, site updates

Of the 4 major U.S. regions (Northeast, South, Midwest, West), which do you think did the best in overall promotional products sales in 2009? What were their top markets and hottest items? Unemployment numbers?

Give up? Well Advantages’ magazine has done a terrific feature this month called What’s Hot in Your Neck of the Woods where all of these questions are answered, and more including regional sales forecasts for 2010!

And best of all, we here at ASICentral took the liberty of creating an interactive map that allows you to simply mouse over the region for a pop-up of all the details. Simply click here to see the map! (Or click here for entire article.)

And for those of you who would rather get the numbers right here, below are all 4 regions ranked by overall sales in 2009 (Go South!).

— VINteractive


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