This One Time... at Brand Camp

Come for creative product campaign ideas and branding advice. Stick around for obscure movie references.

Happy Tuesday! Scroll down to read about client work that has been keeping us busy at the Sonic Promos office recently. We hope these items inspire your next project! 
WOODLANDLANDING Custom
Water bottles, tote bags and jump ropes were created for Southern Management's Woodland Landing property outreach.
SNUGGLEALL Nascar Custom
These laundry bags, tumblers, chairs and phone covers will be distributed as part of All/Snuggle's NASCAR activation.
BGC Umbrellas Custom
With all of the rain on the East Coast last week, these umbrellas for BGC were likely put to good use!

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

Good morning, all! We hope your work week is off to a great start. Scroll down to read about client work that has been keeping us busy at the Sonic Promos office recently. We hope these items inspire your next project! 
ESCHOOL PowerBanks Sweaters TieLines Custom
eSchool Solutions, an education software provider, recently hosted their annual Solutions Summit, this year in Denver, Colorado. Attendees received Juicebox power banks, custom bottle sweaters and handy tie lines. 
LOGMEIN Charger Notes Pocket Custom
We created phone wallets, sticky notes and emergency chargers for LogMeIn to distribute at various upcoming events.
AUSTINACES Apparel Custom
If you live in the Austin, Texas area, be sure to check out the newest Mylan World TeamTennis team, the Austin Aces. Season games begin in July, but the Aces will have a year-round presence through tennis clinics, community outreach and special events. Sonic assisted with debossed tech hoodies and embroidered Nike track jackets for the staff, as well as Next Level T-shirts and other sale merchandise. 

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
KRAFT shirts hats bags
... Hats, polo shirts and cooler bags for Kraft Foods.
BSKB charger packs
... and branded pouches containing a mobile charger, wall charger, car charger and universal cord for BSKB.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
BSKB shot glasses
... Three different styles of shot glasses for BSKB.
Race4Respect
... dog tags, barricade signs and clear plastic bags for the Race for Respect, benefitting down syndrome awareness. The inaugural event took place on March 30th, but you can still make donations through April 30th here.
BGC Basketball Game
... and basketball game sets for a March Madness event hosted by BGC.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

Late spring is when I find myself working on client projects that target college students. Job fairs, interviews, summer internship programs, and alumni events are all on the near horizon. Whether you're recruiting them, selling to them, or entertaining them, you need to know what college kids like. For all of our clients with college on the brain, here are my favorite items for 2014:
phonecover Custom
phonecovercase Custom
These clear, stretchy gloves will protect your smart phone in wet conditions without impeding screen and speaker function. They come stored in an aluminum tube keychain that can be branded in full color.
phonestraps Custom
Phone straps and wallets are also popular this year. When you're out at night, strap your ID and debit card to your phone and leave the purse at home. I like this item as an alternative to phone skins because they fit all kinds of smart phones.
digitalrewardcards Custom
Digital reward cards aren't anything new, but they're a fantastic marketing tool, especially for college programs. If you have never used them before, digital reward cards are custom branded gift cards loaded with a reward of your choice: movie tickets, song downloads, ebook downloads, pizza, etc. To claim their reward, the user must visit your landing page and enter the unique code printed on the back of their card. If you require the user to enter their email address to claim a reward, you now have a way to contact and follow up with them post-event.
juiceboxpowerbank Custom
powerbankflashlight Custom
Power banks are a great option for offer boxes and new hire gifts. The Juicebox battery pack (top photo) will recharge an iPhone 5/5S 1.5 times off a single charge. If you want to provide connector cables too, the Squid companion (not shown) offers connectors for micro-USB and iPhone 4 & 5 devices. The black power bank shown above doubles as a flashlight- a perfect safety item for campus.
BananaFruitBuddy Custom
I don't want to promote taking fruit from the dining hall, but I'd be lying if I said I never grabbed an extra banana or apple at breakfast. Fruit is an easy snack to keep in your backpack for long days of back-to-back classes. These neoprene fruit buddies (available in pear, grape, orange, apple and banana) will keep fruit from bruising at the bottom of your bag. I also use my banana case to corral random purse items like ear buds, flash drives and charging cords.
triblendtee Custom
meegsstar Custom
Soft, comfortable T-shirts... they just keep getting better and better. I’m particularly fond of tri-blend tees from American Apparel, Next Level, Alternative Apparel and Bella + Canvas. Solid colors are classic, but prints- like the star Meegs Tank from Alternative Apparel- are popular right now too.
cablegrab Custom
Cable organizers are a practical, inexpensive and compact giveaway. If your HR team will be traveling to several job fairs this season, they'll appreciate having fewer boxes to cart around.
CooziesPrinted Custom
hoolercooler Custom
Coozies are always a crowd-pleaser. You have to expect that other companies will be offering them too, so set yours apart with a print. The chevron and seersucker patterns above are my favorites. And, if you really want to upgrade your coozie, consider the Hooler Cooler. See how it works here.
magneticbottleopener Custom
Fullcolorbottleopeners Custom
Like coozies, bottle openers are another item that many companies will choose for their recruting materials. Make sure your bottle opener gets attention by choosing something especially functional or colorful. I like the magnetic bottle cap opener because it works for both twist-off and pry-off caps. Keep it stuck on your fridge or the side of your car while tailgating.
bowtie Custom
If you're specifically targeting fraternities, or perhaps sponsoring an alumni event- think horse races, derbies and galas- custom bowties would be a HIT.
wristlet Custom
Since I mentioned fraternities, it's only fair that I put forth an idea for sororities too. Isaac Mizrahi now has a line of wristlets and bags available for promotional printing. I love this little leatherette wristlet, available in navy, sunflower yellow, off-white, metallic gold, glossy black and glossy rose pink.
rubikscube Custom
Rubik's Cubes and handheld puzzles are another good choice for job fairs. They're colorful, engaging, and a great traffic-builder. Not to stereotype here or anything, but several of my friends in engineering have commented that Rubik's Cubes are their favorite swag item.
masonjar Custom
contigodrinkware Custom
How did I get off the topic of drinking? Let's go back there for a moment... but this time we'll focus on the good kind of drinking. You know, like water and hot beverages. Hydration and caffeination. Mason jar drinkware is hugely popular this year. You'll see stainless jars, acrylic jars, jars with handles and jars with straw lids. Any of them would be well-received at a college event. For upscale drinkware (think new hire gifts), I really like Contigo's line of water bottles and tumblers. They're designed well, easy to use, and they don't leak.
sunglasses Custom
customsunglasses Custom
Sunglasses were popular in 2013, and they're still a hit in 2014. If you want a lot of them- a few thousand maybe- consider overseas production and design a really neat custom pair.
speakers Custom
moleskinenotebook Custom
customheadphones Custom
This post is getting a little long (if you're still with me, I really appreciate it!), so let's just wrap up these last three products in one paragraph. Portable speakers, Moleskine notebooks and custom headphones would all make excellent new hire gifts. They're the perfect items to accompany a student's transition from college to career.

That's all from me for now! Contact your rep at Sonic for additional items, and happy hunting! 

Sonic Promos proudly announces the most significant breakthrough in the promotional marketing world since the invention of the silk screen. For the first time ever, clients will finally have the ability to get things when they really need them – yesterday.
PastTrackImage Custom
“Not a week goes by that we don’t field calls from marketing teams who have waited beyond the last minute to order their custom printed products,” explained Seth Weiner, Sonic Promos President. “Up until now, a three hour RUSH production and overnight delivery was considered about the best anyone could do.”

For the folks on the front lines – those with trade shows opening in minutes, award ceremonies just hours away, or the big race packet pickup that began at 6 a.m. - the ability to get custom decorated items the day before they remember they’re needed has a significant impact.

Seth goes on to explain, “We generally encourage people to allow 10-14 days for ordering customized goods, since almost anything can be done in that timeline. With this new PastTrack technology, if a client needed their pens at last night’s meeting, we can make it happen. No more needing to bolt out of the conference room in a panic – now, those absent minded organizers can just wait until after the event is over to place an order – that’s what I call total stress elimination!”

Amazingly, the PastTrack service has no impact on the price of the custom items. However, Weiner cautions potential users to keep the minimum shipping charge of $10,000.00 in mind when placing orders.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
Forrester Balm Hand Sanitizer
... lip balm, hand sanitizer, screen cleaning cloths and tablet holders for a Forrester sales conference.
Glickman Totes Cubes
... and grocery totes and puzzle cubes for Glickman Design Build.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

SXSW 2014 kicked off last Friday, and it's pretty much all anyone will talk about in Austin until the festival ends on March 16th. Interactive concluded yesterday, just as Music began, so the blazers and messenger bags crowding city streets have been traded out for concert tees and guitar cases.
SXSW-2014 Custom
(source)

We were fortunate enough to work with several companies/organizations showing at SXSW this year, and we'd like to share some of those projects on the blog today.
LogMeIn Shirts Wristbands2
Seth worked with LogMeIn to create light-up, motion-activated wristbands and Next Level T-shirts, promoting the join.me group meeting app.
Co Bottles Cups
Co Cups Napkins Journals
Co Umbrellas Shirts Decals
Co Watches
Jamie assisted .CO with a number of items for their parties and networking events at SXSW, including stadium cups, napkins, decals, umbrellas, journals, T-shirts and watches.
STAGG Shirts
Schustermints
Jamie also worked on T-shirts and mint tins for Stagg and the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

Want more? Check out these other Sonic blog posts:

.Co at SXSW 2013

SXSW 2012 and Trade Show Strategy

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
CO speakers
... Bluetooth suction speakers for .Co.
KAZTRONIX Pens Coozies Cups
... color-changing cups, coozies and pens for Kaztronix recruiting materials.
CS Wines Totes
... and wine bottle totes for CS Wines' Rhone Wave Tour.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

Raise your hand if you're sick of snow! Yep. Us too. Thankfully, being stuck indoors with nowhere to go is good for getting work done. Here's what we're working on this week at Sonic Promos...
SMC Lightup Wristband
... Motion-activated light-up wristbands for Southern Management's Annual Banquet.
TPG Cycle for Survival
... Alternative Apparel tanks and tees for TPG Capital employees riding in the NYC Cycle for Survival.
Schustermints
... and "Schustermints" for the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
SP Blog p2 02 04 2014
... decals, flavored lip balm and sunglasses for the Adams County Prevention Partnership. The I'm Going Places campaign aims to engage teens in their community, helping them avoid peer pressure to drink and do drugs. You can learn more about this initiative here.
ELX table throw journals
... journals, lanyards and table throws for ELX to use at an event.
CBRE Water
... and bottled water for CBRE to distribute at a retail services expo.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

I don't have too much to add to Jamie's review of drinkware decoration techniques, but I did notice one clear trend in drinkware while walking around the ASI Show in Dallas. Stainless steel appears to be the new double-walled acrylic.
stainless mason mugs Custom
I saw the mason jar's stainless cousin...
party cup stainless
... as well as the stainless version of the infamous party cup.

And while we're on the topic of the red party cup, if you just can't get enough, consider this foam party cup coozie or this ceramic party cup mug.
party cup coozie
party cup mug
Catching up on our 2014 industry show recaps? Be sure to read:

ASI Dallas Favorites: Tech

ASI Dallas Favorites: Health & Wellness

Jamie's Top 10 from Las Vegas

Tech accessories are a popular choice with many of our clients, especially for college fairs, conferences and trade shows. Here are some of my favorite tech-related products from the Dallas ASI Show in February.
Juice Box
OrigAudio Power Banks
OrigAudio recently launched a few power bank models, and much like every other product by OrigAudio, they're fantastic. The 3600mAh lithium ion battery Juicebox will recharge an iPhone 5/5S 1.5 times off a single charge. I love the full color decoration (OrigAudio offers full color printing on nearly every item in their product lineup) and the adorable juice box packaging. There's even a straw on the back. Does it get any cuter? Include the Squid accessory to provide your customers with micro-USB, iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 connectors.
Crayon Stylus
Stylus Slider Custom
Styluses are still a very hot item, and the two unique products above stood out from the rest. The crayon shape would be perfect for an education-themed event, and the full color Stylus Swipe is a great option for multi-color logos or logos with fine detail (the imprint area on styluses is normally quite small).
Acrylic Phone Stand
Smart Phone Stands Custom
Much like styluses, cell phone stands are available in every shape, material and price point. When you've seen 200 varieties, it's easy to let your eyes glaze over, but I did a double take for this full color acrylic stand. Quality construction, sharp and vivid printing... it has all the right qualities for a good promotional desk piece.
Macaron
These macaron-shaped cases were everywhere! They're the perfect size to hold ear buds, coins, mobile chargers and school supplies.
CordWrap
Finally, for an inexpensive tech promo, I really like these silicone cable wraps. Use them to bundle power cords when traveling or to corral loose cords under your desk. Like a plastic zip tie, they're very secure, but thankfully much easier to undo.

Catching up on our 2014 industry show recaps? Be sure to read:

ASI Dallas Favorites: Health & Wellness

Jamie's Top 10 from Las Vegas

Jamie gave you a look into the Las Vegas PPAI Expo last month, and today I'll share some of my favorite items from the Dallas ASI Show last week. So as not to dump too many photos on you at once, today's post focuses on the Health & Wellness category. I'll share additional items in the coming weeks!Fruit Buddies Custom
These neoprene Fruit Buddies (available in banana, orange, apple, pear and grape shapes) are designed to protect fruit from bruising. I can't tell you how many times I've thrown a banana into my purse or backpack and forgotten it's in there until I'm reminded by the smell of ripe banana explosion... not fun. Whether you use them to store fruit or even non-food items like school supplies or travel tech accessories, the design encourages making healthy snack and lunch choices.
Bamboo State Shape Cutting Board Custom
Laser-engraved bamboo cutting boards are now available in stock state shapes. Even the District of Columbia is available! I love this piece as a unique executive gift.
Ganola Custom
My coworkers are sick of me talking about this item by now, but I can't stop raving about these custom granola bars. Each box is packed with two Ganola brand snacks, and they come in unique flavors like Green Tea & Blueberries and Cinnamon Coffee Bean. I love granola in all forms and flavors, so what really impressed me about the Ganola bars was the packaging. A set up charge of $48 gets you full color printing on the box AND a custom die-cut window.
Convertible Duffel Cooler Custom
Another item that caught my eye was this convertible duffel cooler. These coolers are available in 12-can and 24-can sizes, and you can easily remove the cooler lining to create a small duffel bag.
Black Tailgater Trunk Cooler Custom
This trunk cooler organizer is a great piece for tailgating and trips to the grocery store. Similar to the convertible coolers above, the center cooler unit has a removable liner for easier cleaning. The side compartments are large enough to fit two grocery totes, and they collapse and clip against the cooler unit when not in use.

That's all for now! I'll be back to share more items soon.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
SP Blog p5 01 14 2014
... compressed T-shirts for the 2014 Pinot Posse Tour.
SP Blog p3 02 04 2014
... bags, lanyards, chargers and pens for the REALITY program of the Schusterman Foundation.
SP Blog p1 02 04 2014
... and car magnets, travel toothbrushes, mint tins and pens for Hebrew Union College.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

I just returned from a short trip to Las Vegas where I attended the PPAI Expo, our industry's top show of the year. Over 1,500 suppliers attended to display their new items for 2014. My wallet is empty, my stomach is full (I was told that calories consumed in Vegas, stay in Vegas) and my desk is crowded with samples and notes about new products for 2014. Here is a quick rundown of the best things I saw in Vegas, excluding sights on the Strip:

Custom Acrylic Awards
LaserCutAwards Custom
I might rank this as the top new thing I saw out there. Are you tired of the same old awards and trophies? For a very reasonable price, we can completely customize each award down to the exact shape of your logo. The awards are colorful and unique and give a great impression when presented and displayed. We will be sending out information on this soon, as it is brand new and very exciting.

Bluetooth Speakers
BlueTooth1 Custom
BlueTooth2 Custom
BlueTooth3 Custom
Bluetooth speakers are huge right now. They come in various sizes/shapes/colors. Interesting product features include: suction cups for wall attachment, city skylines to promote an event or your headquarters, and enhanced audio power in a smaller speaker.

Retail-Inspired Clothing
RetailClothing Custom
The end-user is progressively becoming more and more fashionable. There are times when the basic T-shirt works for a low-cost giveaway, but if you really want your brand to be seen outside of the house or gym, you may want to upgrade to a true retail look and feel. These shirts can be custom dyed to a specific PMS color, and they have a great soft-hand imprint that looks like you picked it up at the mall.

Fashionable Covers for Phones and Tablets
FashionableCoverPhone Custom
FashionableCoverTablet Custom
When a standard tablet case just won’t do, this supplier has a premium option. Their items are made of high-end leather-like material. The cases are retail-inspired and stand out from the crowd with vivid colors and sharp imprints. In addition to cases, they make matching pens and journals which pair nicely for a memorable gift.

Custom Apps for Events
MobileApps2 Custom
MobileApps Custom
We’re going mobile! We now have the ability to create apps customized to enhance your event, conference or trade show presence. Through these apps, you can deliver information about your event to your attendees and give them useful information about the surrounding area: restaurants, shopping, night life, etc. There is also space for banner ads on each page, so you could split the cost for the app among your sponsors, or have someone else foot the bill entirely.

Vintage Golf Trophies
VintageGolfTrophy2 Custom
vintagegolf2 Custom
Maybe it's just the golfer in me, but I found these trophies to be pretty cool. So many times, I see the same old crystal plaques or trophies at a golf tournament. These trophies are based off real trophies that you might see at a PGA Tour event. If you want your golf tournament to stand out, displaying a set of these trophies on a table would definitely make a big statement.

Full-Color Imprints
FullColorImprint1 Custom
FullColorImprint2 Custom
This may not seem like the coolest thing in the world, but it’s definitely new and a little exciting if you have a logo with multiple colors. In the old days, you might have had to use a heat seal, which sometimes rubbed off easily and generally felt too rubbery for my taste. Additionally, there was often white backing around the logo. Now, we can do a full-color imprint right on the item with no backing. This elevates the game of full-color printing.

Imprinting on Drinkware Lids
ImprintingDrinkwareLids1 Custom
ImprintingDrinkwareLids2 Custom
Over the past few years, we’ve seen all types of imprinting on drinkware. This is the first time I have seen someone with the ability to print on the top of a cup or tumbler. It’s a great way to set your gift apart from every other cup out there. A great conversation starter too, as no one will have seen it before.

Laser Decoration on Mugs
LaserMug1 Custom
LaserMug2 Custom
I’m not a huge fan of basic ceramic coffee mugs, but this decoration technique adds a nice twist. They take a colored mug and laser etch your logo to show up in white. It gives the piece a different look, and makes it stand out just a bit from typical ceramic mugs.

Initialed Executive and Golf Gifts
InitialedGolf1 Custom
InitialedGolf2 Custom
If you ever need to give personalized gifts to executives, perhaps at a golf tournament or event, this company has a great way to do it. They started focused on golf events, so many of their items are golf-related, but they've recently branched out into more traditional items as well. Each item comes with two medallions: one with the logo, and one with the recipient's initials.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
ZALCO Umbrellas
... umbrella gifts for Zalco Realty staff.
AUSTIN ACES Tees
... American Apparel Track Tees for the Austin Aces tennis team, to promote the 2014 inaugural season.
BBYO N FLA Convention Tees
... and T-shirts for a convention attended by BBYO North Florida.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...
SCHUSTERMAN Pens Chargers
... travel chargers and bamboo pens for the Schusterman Foundation.
COLUMBIA BOOKS iWallet
... i-Wallets for Columbia Books and Association Trends.
CANTOR Openers Wine Sets
... and bottle openers and wine sets for Cantor Fitzgerald, to be used at a trade show.

"This Week at Sonic Promos" is a regular feature on our blog.
Read all past posts here.
Check in every week to see some of the work that's going on in our office.

I'm sure you've heard that donated apparel from the United States often finds its way to markets in developing countries. NPR recently published a story on the topic, and their article featured a few photos of used T-shirts in a Kenyan market.
shirt in kenya Custom
One of the shirts in the article (pictured above) appeared to be a party favor for Jennifer's Bat Mitzvah, held November 20, 1993. According to a name on the inside, the shirt once belonged to Rachel Williams.

NPR decided to put out a call to the Internet, hoping to find the original owner and close the loop on the shirt's life cycle.

Within a few days, a string of contacts and friends connected Rachel Williams and Jennifer Slaim with NPR. Here is a shot of Jennifer with an extra shirt from her event.
jennifer with shirt Custom
We live in such a small world!

All photos sourced from this NPR article

Tomorrow starts a brand new year. To close out 2013, we'd like to share our 13 most popular blog posts from the past twelve months. Hopefully you'll find some inspiration for projects to come. Enjoy, and thank you for another great year!
DippedTreats Custom
1) Custom Treats
Aloft AList Custom
2) Can It Be Just a Little Bit Better?
HUC Baby
3) Gift Packages for New Parents
Tab Bracelet Clip
4) The Tab Bracelet
Track Jackets
5) LogMeIn Trade Show Materials
masonjarhandle Custom
6) Summer Drinkware
Blog BakerTilly-2
7) And the SWAGger of a College Kid
jserve 2013
8) This Week at Sonic Promos 4.23.13
sunglasses Custom
9) Dollar Store
mailer Custom
10) US Congress Handbook Fall Mailer
CUPA
11) .CO at SXSW 2013
PremierPartnerCookie Custom
12) Spin Around and Hop Backwards Three Times Before You Take a Bite
Orig Epishock Custom
13) Best of Dallas: Part 2