This One Time... at Brand Camp
Come for creative product campaign ideas and branding advice. Stick around for obscure movie references.

This Week at Sonic Promos 8.14.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... annual summer intern yearbooks for the Citizenship Law-Related Education Program (CLREP).

... and outdoor tents for Wheaton, Maryland.

"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.

Did You Know We Can...

Did you take our quiz on Wednesday? If so, here's your answer for #7!

"Promotional products" is a very broad category, and our clients are often surprised to learn just how many different items we can source and create for them.

It frequently happens that we'll work with a client for years, helping them design and implement trade show displays and giveaways, before we connect on the topic of awards and recognition. Likewise, we have customers that only think of us for apparel decoration services, unaware that we can assist with their direct mail and fulfillment needs too.

If you're already working with us on certain projects, please be sure to ask us about the following items as well:

Paper Products and Unique Business Cards

Yep, we don't just have cool business cards, we can make them for you too! Think of us for all of your office supply needs- folders, stationary, holiday cards...

Office Decor

Perhaps you've been using Sonic Promos to customize your trade show experience- I say "experience" because our abilities go far beyond booths and banners- but did you know we can brand your office too? We can help you design coasters and glassware for the board room, floor mats for the entryway, even custom seating for the reception area.

Party Favors and Supplies

Many of our corporate clients happily bring Sonic home with them. Well, that is to say, they come to us for their personal needs too. We'd be happy to print T-shirts for your kickball team, cocktail napkins and guest favors for your friend's wedding or super stylish fanny packs for an upcoming family vacation.


Food Gifts

Yep, we do edibles, and not just promotional mints and gum packs. We're talking custom-dipped cookies, food towers, meat and cheese samplers and etched wine bottles. If you send fruit baskets and boxed chocolate to your top clients on special holidays and occasions, consider working with us to make it extra special.

If there's something you need done, and you're not sure if we do it, please ask! We'll say yes!


Before you call anyone else, ask yourself- "WDSD?"

What Doesn't Sonic Do?

Because we do a lot. Way more than you might guess!

Here's a quick quiz for you. For each question below, identify the answer that Sonic doesn't do.

I would hope that you don't need help with questions 1-6, but we'll answer question 7 later this week!

This Week at Sonic Promos 8.6.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... custom bed-shaped acrylic donation boxes for A Wider Circle. The mission of A Wider Circle is to help children and adults lift themselves out of poverty by providing home furnishings, free of charge, and leading educational workshops in shelters and schools.

... materials for Christ Fellowship's Amazing Event 2013.

... and T-shirts and hats for Newton's Noodles, a new fast casual restaurant opening in Washington D.C.

"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 8.2.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... mints, ear buds, highlighters and sticky flag books for Wilmer Hale.

... journal and pen combos for the Institute for Excellence in Sales & Business Development, to be handed out at sales seminars .

... and drawstring backpacks and T-shirt party favors for a Bat Mitzvah.

"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 7.23.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... photo frames for AAA in celebration of Jonathan Ogden's NFL Hall of Fame induction.

... tumblers, sticky note pads, illuminated car charges and pens for Baker Tilly's college recruiting program.

... and navy youth baseball caps for JCC MetroWest Camp Deeny Riback.

"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.

Kanye Sure Knows How to Sell a T-shirt


MSN reported on Kanye West's private label T-shirt yesterday:

Poet Thomas Tusser famously said, "A fool and his money are soon parted." But it took a $120 plain white T-shirt designed by Kanye West (with French design house A.P.C.) to prove just how many fools exist. Priced at roughly a gazillion times the cost of a regular white T-shirt, this Egyptian cotton "Hip Hop T-Shirt" bears no visible difference from a dollar-store tee. Other than the words "A.P.C. Kanye" silkscreened on the inner neckline, of course- letting only the wearer know how willing he is to throw money down the toilet.

That's some pretty perfect commentary. I'm not really sure how to add to that.

At least he used Egyptian cotton.

Summer Drinkware

If you haven't yet deduced this fact from our Facebook posts, we're pretty pro-happy hour at Sonic Promos. Especially in the summer. Is there anything better than a glass of... whatever... sipped outside during late summer daylight? We think not.

In honor of our favorite summer pastime, here are 5 drinkware items we'd gladly invite to happy hour.

Glass drinking jar. How cute are these? If you're on Pinterest, I'm sure you can think of a million and one uses for this item.

Glass jar with handle. Add a handle. Drink with greater ease.

Silicone pint glass. Glass jars are great, but if you're looking for something a little more durable, silicone is about as durable as it gets. You can bend, freeze, bake, bounce, microwave, and dish wash these puppies. They're FDA approved, non-toxic and BPA-free too. Perfect for a company picnic or for taking to the beach.

Game Day Cup. This piece has appeared on our blog more than once for good reason. We seriously love it, as do our clients and their customers and clients. Styled after the infamous red Solo cup, the Game Day Cup is double-walled and suitable for hot or cold beverages. Stain-resistant, odor-resistant and BPA-free.

Vino2Go. No summer drinkware list would be complete without the Vino2Go. For only the most sophisticated of day drinkers. We're the first to admit that this piece is pretty silly, but you can't deny it's functionality.

This Week at Sonic Promos 7.9.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... a summer promotion item for Body Glove Mobile, to be sent to clients and prospects.

... water bottles for the Schusterman Family Foundation's REALITY programs.

... and apparel and sunblock for campers and staff of the Butler Camp.

"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 7.2.13

Take a peek at some recent client projects!

Mint boxes for Herndon, Virginia, used to promote local restaurants.

T-shirts, bags and display materials for Taste of Wheaton 2013, held last month in Wheaton, Maryland.

Golf items for BGC, to be distributed at their golf events throughout the summer.

"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.

The Tab Bracelet

One of our favorite (and inexpensive!) items of late is this simple vinyl bracelet with tear-off tabs.

We find that they're an excellent tool to motivate and organize event attendees. As is the case with most promotional products, the power is all in how you use them. Read on to learn how this piece was used at two different events.

Family Obstacle Course-

A few months ago, Sonic staffed a table at a KazokuFit Family Obstacle Course Challenge. Every child that came to our table received sunglasses and a wristband. Each wristband had five removable tabs printed with numbers, as you see in the photo above. For each lap of the obstacle course completed, the bracelet-owner was permitted to tear off a tab and drop it into Sonic's raffle. 5 tabs, 5 potential entries. At the end of the event, we drew tabs and awarded gift cards to the prize winners.

Not only did the bracelets generate interest and draw attendees to our table, they also really motivated the kids to push themselves and complete additional laps.

Property Management Expo-

At a recent property management event, we used the tab bracelets to organize a scavenger hunt. Every person who visited the table was given a bracelet, a magnetic clip, a sticky flag booklet and the task of retrieving a promotional product from another booth at the expo. We kept a big bucket at our table to collect their promo finds.

Similar to the KazokuFit example, bracelet-wearers were allowed to tear off a tab for each promo item collected as an entry into our raffle. We gave away three prizes: a barbecue/music set, a Cosi gift card covering lunch for 10, and two Stormtech jackets.

The PMA Expo and Kazokufit Challenge were two very different events serving two very different markets- outdoor family-oriented activity versus indoor business expo- but the bracelets were a big hit at both. I think the biggest appeal, at least from our perspective, is that they helped generate conversation. Let's face it; trade shows and expos can sometimes be a little awkward. Anything that helps break the ice is a big win in our book!

This Week at Sonic Promos 6.25.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... drawstring backpacks, Malibu sunglasses and Game Day cups for Broadway Technology, to be distributed at college recruiting events this summer and fall.

... items for Vertex that were gifted to their corporate clients attending the US Open earlier this month.

... and colorful racerback tank tops and reversible pinnies for Texas Play Hard women's lacrosse league and camp.

"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.

Ideas That Stick

Good morning, friends! I have a funny story to share with you today. Last week, I received a call from Colonial Parking in Washington DC regarding a returned transponder with a note on it. Our conversation went a little something like this-

Me- Hello?

Colonial Parking- Yes, is this Lindsay Hixson?

Me- Yes.

Colonial Parking- This is Sarah with Colonial Parking in DC. Someone found your parking transponder and returned it to me.

Me- That's weird. I don't have a parking transponder... And I haven't been downtown in months.

Colonial Parking- Well, your name, number and address is on this note.

Me- What?! How did someone get my address? Is there anything else on the note?

Colonial Parking- Yes, there's a name or note of some kind in blue ink. I can't really read it.

Me- Wait... Is my name printed or handwritten?

Colonial Parking- Printed.

Me- Okay. Yea, that transponder isn't mine. Only the sticky note is.

Colonial Parking- What do you mean?

Me- Is my name and number part of the sticky note? Does it also say "Sonic Promos"?

Colonial Parking- Yes.

Me- Right. I work in promotions. The sticky note is branded with my info, but I have nothing to do with that transponder. One of my clients must have just used a note I gave them to label the transponder. I assume it belongs to the name written in blue ink.

Colonial Parking- Ah, I see.

Me- Sorry about that! I hope you're able to find them!

Dollar Store

You can get great results with promotional products, even on a shoestring budget. Looking for a good item under $1? Here are some of our favorites:

Flavored lip balm

Adhesive screen cleaner

Nugget car charger

Coloring and activity books

Plastic sunglasses

Mini sticky flag book

Oval car magnet

Javalina pen

Mint box

Gum envelope

Power clip

I especially like that the standard decoration method on many of these items (lip balm, car magnet, mint box, gum envelope) includes full color artwork. If you have a logo with multiple colors in it, those are great options for a tight budget. Keep in mind that screen-printed and pad-printed items often require additional color run charges, adding expense to your project.

What WE Get When We Race

Each year on the last day of Expo East, one of our annual promotional marketing trade shows, a few brave souls get up (or stay up) at 6 AM from a night of drinking and hit the Atlantic City Boardwalk to run a 5K and raise money for a great cause. The Howard Blum 5K 4 5K raises money for the SAAGNY Foundation's various charities, including: its scholarship fund for industry children, Happiness Is Camping, a camp for children battling cancer, Hilltop School, a school for disabled children, and, a hurricane relief initiative.

Last year's race raised $7.500; the goal for this year's race was $10,000.

Mallory Scott and I were up bright and early to help the cause and burn off the last few drops of beer and tequila. Mallory did amazing... and I finished.

But what do the swag-makers get in their own swag bags? Funny you should ask- a lot. A whole lot. And it's the good stuff!

Event T-shirt, running hat, and retro sunglasses.

Zipper tote, drawstring backpack, and Foundation T-shirt.

Microfiber cloth, lip balm, sunscreen, mobile phone holder, safety reflector light, and first aid kit.

T-shirt shaped collapsible bottle, blender bottle, and sport bottle.

Great events and lots of great items. If you or your organization has an event coming up, and you are looking to rev up your swag bag, give us a call. We'll show you what's hot.

This Week at Sonic Promos 5.29.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... baby bibs for Sitter City with tagline- There's a Nap for That.

... full color calculators for summer interns at the Macy's office in New York City.

... and tournament T-shirts for the Mid-Atlantic Cup at the Maryland Soccerplex, Saturday June 8th through Sunday June 9th.

"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.

And the SWAGger of a College Kid

Between college fairs in May, summer internship programs, and early planning for fall job recruiting, we've been brainstorming and creating a lot of college-friendly swag at Sonic lately. Here are some of our favorite product ideas:

Flash drives. I had a flash drive on me at all times in college. Group projects are so prevalent, it's really rare to complete an assignment using just one computer. Flash drives make it easy to bring the latest project draft from dorm to class to library, passing it off among group members as needed. If your budget will allow, I recommend going with at least 2GB of memory space. The smaller drives aren't all that desirable.

Food and drink. Free food and drink items are universal crowd-pleasers, but they're especially attractive to hungry (and cheap) college students. Energy drinks, bottled water, granola bars, gum, trail mix, candy... they're all great promo choices.

T-shirts. Quality T-shirts that is. Cheap, starchy cotton tees with a boxy fit might get passed over, but students will still snatch up a soft, well-made tee. Even better if you offer them in a few different colors and styles with a wearable design.

Digital download cards. Download cards make keeping in touch with interested students a piece of cake. In order to redeem the reward, card recipients must first enter a unique code online, giving you an opportunity to capture data, like an email address or contact number.

Tech. Tech items- like media stands, stylus pens, screen cleaners, mobile chargers and grip pads for cell phones- have been pretty popular this year. A student is never without their phone; choose a practical phone accessory for your swag lineup, and they'll never be without your logo either.

Sunglasses. Ah, bright sunglasses. If I had to pick just one promotional item to summarize 2012, this might be it. Still just as popular this year too. Go for the brightest colors you can find.

Drinkware. I like to recommend drinkware to clients attending college job fairs because it makes for a great table display. And students, well, they drink a lot. Stadium cups are inexpensive, durable, easy to stack, pack and transport. The Game Day cup (seen above- resembles a red Solo cup) has also been an extremely popular item this year. It's much nicer than a plastic stadium cup- double-walled, appropriate for hot or cold beverages- so the price point is a bit higher than you'd want to spend on a job fair giveaway. Keep it in mind for intern gifts or new hire swag!

Sonic Mutts Strut

This Saturday, May 18th, the Rotary Club of Bethesda Chevy Chase will host its 8th Annual Strut Your Mutt Dog Parade and Festival in downtown Bethesda, MD. If you live in the area and own a dog (or just love them), be sure to swing by. In addition to the parade, enjoy dozens of vendor booths, kid-friendly games and activities, and a raffle. The event runs from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Unfortunately, not all of us are able to attend Saturday's event, so we've opted to celebrate with a mini Mutt Strut of the Sonic dogs, here on our blog.

Lexi and Sade- belong to Seth and Julianne

Banjo- belongs to Courtney

Blaze- belongs to Debbie

Griff- belongs to Josh

Jordan- belongs to Brandon

Oscar- belongs to Debbie

Renley- belongs to Lindsay

Simba- belongs to Jamie

This Week at Sonic Promos 5.14.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... foldaway bags to promote the Citi Open.

... coolers for the launch of a new product by Sigma-Tau.

... and ear buds, Cubicool speakers, jelly bean jars, coffee tumblers, and media stands for Baker Tilly's employee referral program.

"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 5.9.13

This week at Sonic Promos, we're working on...

... summer amenity kits and tumblers for new members of the JCCGW.

... various items for Snuggle and All detergent, to be distributed at a Nascar event.

... and polo shirts for "On Par for Pink", Tigerlily Foundation's 1st annual celebrity golf classic, going on today May 9th in Lansdowne, Virginia. Best of luck for a successful event, Tigerlily! We hope the weather holds out for you!

"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.