We run an internship program at Sonic Promos.
The extra hands are invaluable to office productivity, and the wise words of a high school senior are invaluable to office morale.
Last week we said goodbye to a particularly memorable intern. Michael (Jr.) did an absolutely fantastic job, but over the course of his semester with us we did spot one very serious flaw- a lack of movie trivia skills.
Since every other sentence spoken at our office is a quote from some film or TV show, we felt it our duty to educate Michael and prepare him for the road ahead. Our gift to him on his last day? A Netflix subscription and a list of office must-sees. Keeping in mind that our list is targeted to a 17-year old boy about to enter college, let us know if you spot any glaring omissions!
Movies You Might Have Missed Because You Were Born in the 90's
The Breakfast Club
Movies to Quote at Parties
There's Something About Mary
Old School Talladega Nights
Austin Powers (take your pick)
Wet Hot American Summer The Hangover
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Movies Girls Will Love You for Seeing
The Princess Bride
Pride and Prejudice (extra points for BBC version)
10 Things I Hate About You
Bring It On
Movies Guys Will Respect You for Seeing
The Fighter The Ong Bak Trilogy
The Dark Knight
The Godfather (all)
Gone in 60 Seconds
Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Movies to Guide Your Moral Compass
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Clockwork Orange (as in, don't you ever let your compass point this direction)
The Green Mile
Good Will Hunting
Stand By Me The Experiment
Because We Say So
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Harry Potter series
Airplane (1 and 2)
The King's Speech
Into the Wild
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This One Time... at Brand Camp
Moving is a pain in the butt. And anyone who says they actually enjoy the task is lying.
Last weekend, I attended graduation at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and helped a family friend move out of their apartment. I graduated college just two years ago, so the experience of packing Styrofoam coolers cardboard boxes full of mismatched linens and souvenir shot glasses is all too fresh in my mind.
Though some may disagree, I will say that moving has one redeeming quality - you get to choose what comes with you.
It is truly amazing the amount of “stuff” people can accumulate over time. Race T-shirts, birthday and holiday cards, notebooks, movie ticket stubs, stadium cups and reusable tote bags are all things that I tend to find cluttering my drawers and cabinets. With the exception of the ticket stubs (which are really just trash, c’mon Lindsay), all of these items have something in common- they are promotional products.
As a promotional consultant, one of my responsibilities is to steer clients towards items that will be reused, and away from items that will be disposed. Of course, this distinction varies from person to person. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right? For this reason, considerable thought should be given to your target market when planning any promotion.
Sitting on the linoleum floor, I paid close attention to the thought processes of my friend’s roommates as they sorted their belongings Sunday afternoon. I was the market researcher and the grads, my test subjects.
“Anyone want this pill box thingy? No? Into the trash it goes.”
Takeaway: Most college students do not yet take prescription medicine, and if they do, they have neither need nor interest in organizing said pills.
“What’s a compressed washcloth? Oh! I think if you soak it in water, it expands to normal size.”
Takeaway: Compressed washcloths are appealing enough to be kept until moving day, but not appealing enough to be packed and saved. We soaked them and used them to wash beer pong table scratches from the drywall.
“Careful!! That box is FRAGILE.”
Takeaway: Not only will imprinted pint and shot glasses from local bars be carefully packed into boxes and stamped with red ink, they will ride shotgun all the way home.
College students are a fascinating breed, but if they represent a viable market for your business, it’s best to pay attention to their interests.
Non-woven, reusable bags are a popular item these days, as more people make the effort to go green. But what about the other colors?
If your logo or design contains multiple colors, consider an alternative to spot color printing. Color Vista is a printing process that provides close registration and photo-quality reproduction on non-woven bags. The difference is especially visible with gradations- notice how the Color Vista print pops off the item, whereas the spot color appears one-dimensional and falls flat. Which do you prefer?
It's no secret that buying in bulk lowers the price per item. Anyone who has joyously departed Costco with a hundred rolls of toilet paper or a 2-gallon bottle of ketchup can attest to this. Bargain shoppers, unite! Quantity price breaks are often summarized in a price grid, frequently with the minimum quantity listed in the left-most column. For many small businesses, the left column is a familiar place to be. If your average order generally leans to the left, read on to learn a few tricks that can help you reach preferred price breaks.
Request a copy change. A copy change is just that- a change to the copy/written text of a design. With many promotional products like screen-printed T-shirts, magnets and awards, you have the ability to change a portion of the imprint on some of the order for a small charge. Keep in mind that there may be some restrictions- you will likely need to order at least the minimum quantity for each imprint, and the imprints may need to use the same color ink(s).
Organize a group buy. Another way to use copy changes to your advantage? Consider group buying.
Many organizations have multiple branches/offices, and they all require marketing materials. Unfortunately, more often than not each branch makes their own ordering and purchasing decisions. A smarter strategy would be to organize a group buy with copy changes. Not only do you achieve a higher total quantity and thus better price break, you also ensure consistent branding.
For a great example of a group purchasing program, read more about the J-SERVE T-shirts here.
Consolidate your orders. Many of our clients order promotional items several times throughout the year. A couple hundred T-shirts for a spring clean-up event, another couple hundred for a company picnic, and a few dozen for summer kickball on the National Mall or in the park. With a little advance planning, it's relatively easy and very cost-effective to consolidate those three orders into one order with two copy changes. Even if you save just $0.75 per shirt, across 400 shirts that's $300 left to spend on other marketing projects throughout the year!
Spend some time reviewing your promotional plans for the year, and consider where you might be able to save a few dollars. If you need additional guidance- 301.869.7800- we are here to help.
Two weeks ago, the Black Sheep Agency posted a link on their Facebook page- 7 Ways to Cultivate Your Creativity. The article, originally from the Scientific American website, offers several tips and suggestions to tap into your creative stores. Paying attention- real attention- to your surroundings, completing brain teasers and writing a stream of consiousness are all great ways to push through a mental block.
The article got me thinking about the various things we do in our office- whether intentionally or unintentionally- for artistic inspiration.
Doodle. I've always been one to doodle; my notebook margins in high school and college were filled with hearts and Necker cubes. Luckily for me, my co-workers at Sonic embrace doodling too. Our most recent project is a growing collection of George Washington stress toys, dressed up for modern times.
Play with your words. A lot of our projects at Sonic rely on catchy taglines and engaging copy. We all appreciate a good pun, and we toss ideas around as a team. When I'm really stuck, I like to go to dictionary.com and make good use of their online thesaurus. I realize that sounds a little boring- I would love to say that I jump backwards five times and whip an eggbeater through the air or something original like that- but it works for me.
Organize something. Everyone in our office makes a sincere effort to keep the space tidy. While some of us are more Type A than others, we all seem to feel the stress when things start to pile up. I'm not sure what the science is behind this one- it might simply be that focusing on a different task, any task, will help distract and loosen your mind, or it could be that removing clutter from your physical space simultaneously breaks up the clutter in your brain.
Whether you work in marketing- where the purpose of your work is originality and standing out from the crowd- or not, we can all benefit from the tips offered in the article above. How do you bust through a creativity rut?
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