New Promo Products of 2015 – Photo Highlights

Michael Wolaver and Pat Conley descended upon Las Vegas earlier this month to attend the PPAI Expo.  While we compile and organize a few top 10 lists of new promotional products we love, we wanted to share some photo highlights from their trip.

bright colors, office and kitchen swag

Bright colors, office & kitchen items

From top left:

  • Fun, new shimmer ink imprint on cloth bags.
  • Bright colored trucker hats
  • Reflective safety bands
  • Fluorescent desk accessories
  • Trivet or Growler coaster
  • Collapsible measuring cups
  • Pizza cutter and server
So many drinkware options

So many drinkware options

From top left:

  • Extra large fruit basket infuser
  • Stainless steel and matte black travel mug
  • Snacker – holds a snack on top of your drink
  • Colorful tumblers
  • A way to “spritz” yourself to cool off
  • Growler insulator / cooler
  • Juicer bottle
  • Mugs with flocked imprint
Technology related items

Technology related items

From top left:

  • Tech Tattoos – decals
  • LokSak Waterproof bag for your phone
  • Tablet stand and holder that rotates landscape to letter orietation
  • Full color phone holders
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Device chargers
  • Elastik phone cases
  • Cell Mate phone wallet and stand
  • Cleaning kit
Team spirit ideas

Team spirit ideas, Pat Conley showing off #1 Hand

From top left:

  • Fun spirit socks
  • Chrome domes large signs
  • Techno Skinz Decals for laptops and other devices
  • Poms with imprinted handle
  • #1 Ultimate Hand

Which pictures and products stand out most? Here was our top new promo products post from 2014.  Stay tuned for the 2015 lists!

2015 Plans to Give Back

In 2015 we are committed as a company to give back to area charities through a combination of sponsorships, financial donations, and volunteer work each month.   Here’s a recap of our activities in 2014 and a preview of our plans for this year.

September 2014: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Last fall we officially kicked off our monthly charitable giving plan. Our first beneficiary was Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. We used Facebook to run a social media driven donation. For every like and share of our page, we donated $1.00 to CHW. Additionally, Cathy Olig, director of marketing, participated in Al’s Run (actually walking) to further fundraise for CHW. To find out more about how you can help CHW, please visit their website.

Cathy Olig's view of Al's Run 2014.

Cathy Olig’s view of Al’s Run 2014.

October 2014: AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Panther Prowl

Next month owner Michael Wolaver and his family participated in the AIDS Walk Wisconsin, benefiting the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW). ARCW holds this event every year to make the fight against AIDS stronger. With Tim Gunn as the Honorary Chair this year, they raised $462,425.00 for the fight against AIDS!


Tim Gunn speaking at AIDS Walk Milwaukee

Michael Wolaver’s picture of Tim Gunn speaking at AIDS Walk 2014.

For more information on events and how else you can help fight AIDS, please visit their site.

That same day (!) the Wolaver family also walked in the Panther Prowl, supporting student scholarships at UW Milwaukee. This was their 10th Annual Prowl and a huge success!

Fun with Pounce at UWM's Panther Prowl

Fun with Pounce at UWM’s Panther Prowl.

November 2014: Volunteering at ARCW Food Pantry

In November, we put on our volunteering shoes as a staff and spent a day at the ARCW Food Pantry, putting together Thanksgiving dinners and meal packs for their clients. Every year, this pantry provides more than 400 tons of food to local residents living with HIV/AIDS. Please visit the ARCW site for more information on how to volunteer.

Michael Wolaver sorting food

Michael sorting food for Thanksgiving meal packs.

December 2014: The Hank Fund

We rounded out the year with a holiday donation to the Hank Fund of the Wisconsin Humane Society. This fund was established last spring after the Milwaukee Brewers adopted Hank the dog who had wandered into their practice facility. The fund supports the building of a high quality spay and neuter clinic in Milwaukee. Such a clinic does not currently exist. Donations will also go towards WHS’s goal of rescuing and caring for stray animals in the city of Milwaukee. For those animal lovers who also want to support the Hank Fund, check out the Hank Fund site.

Additional Activities

In addition to our monthly focus activities, we attended a number of non-profit client events and donated our time and services to Roots Ethiopia, an Autism Awareness campaign, and made a financial contribution to a number of different organizations.

Looking Ahead: 2015 Plans

Here are a few of the new charities we will be supporting in 2015:
Guest House of Milwaukee Facebook Contest – for every LIKE or Share of our page, we’ll donate $1.
• Wisconsin Association for College Admission Counseling (WACAC) scholarship fund
Hank Aaron Trail Earth Day Clean Up

Do you have a charity you want us to support? Let us know, and we’ll review to determine how we might be able to help.

Help Students Picture Their Future at your School

Help students picture their future at your school with creative custom frames.


Custom Frame showcases a prospective student on a campus visit. Image credit @uwadmissions

This is a fun, themed promotional item that can easily be incorporated into campus yield events, direct mail, and additional marketing ideas. The custom frame helps achieve the goal of engaging students in a memorable way with a social media component. We created this custom frame for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and wrote about it in this case study. Here’s our guide for how to use a custom frame at your school.

How to use a Custom Frame – On Campus

This oversize custom is an ideal event-related photo opportunity! Here are a few pointers for using the frame:

  1. Pick a favorite spot on campus to have custom frames setup during a campus tour, open house, or yield event. Think of a picturesque, iconic spot on campus.
  2. Assign staff members or current students to have prospective students pose with the frame as part of your event or visit. If staffing is limited, place on a stand to keep it in place.
  3. Another staff member should take pictures with a Polaroid and / or camera phone.
  4. Share digital pictures via social media using the hashtag imprinted on the custom frame. Email, tag, or private message students a copy of the picture. If using a Polaroid, pictures can be shared with students on the spot and posted to a bulletin board.
admitted students custom frame

Check out these #AdmittedBadgers at a yield event. Image credit @uwadmissions

Direct Mail Ideas

Remind students of their on campus experience by mailing a smaller, magnetic frame along with a thank you note. The note can include a generic picture of the magnetic frame displaying a picture taken with the large custom frame on campus, or an actual picture of the student for a more personalized touch.

Direct students to check out pictures of all admitted students on a URL that includes links to your admissions site. Bold, call to actions can promote campus overnight events, invite students to join an incoming class group on social media sites, or instructions on how to secure their place on campus.

For UW-Madison, we created smaller magnetic frames and had them inserted them into envelopes that were imprinted to help streamline mailing of their admitted student packets.

Other Marketing Ideas

“Picture your Future here” themes can easily be integrated into existing marketing. Whether printed or electronic, all communications to students can include custom frame imagery. Emails, posters, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat could feature similar imagery.

Admissions counselors could travel with custom frames to bring to high school visits or events and share pictures via social media.

The custom frame is an ideal product for engaging prospective students, tying in social media, and taking advantage of the #selfie photo sharing trend. To view additional information on the custom frame, visit our admitted student showroom or read our case study.

Products Featured

  • Large Custom Frame – 31″ x 42″
  • Medium Custom Frame – 23.5″ x 35.25″
  • Magnetic Frame for direct mail – 5″ x 7.375

How would you use this campaign on your campus?