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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring… and We’ve Got the Solution!

An umbrella makes a great promotional gift because everyone needs one, but who really wants to go out and buy one? You can also never have too many umbrellas – keep one in the car, one at the house, one at the office, and more!

A few weeks ago Peerless Umbrella, our go-to production partner for umbrellas, stopped by our office to tell us about what’s new and trending in umbrellas.

Read on to learn more about our favorite umbrellas!

 

The Rebel

The Rebel

What’s New – The Rebel

The newest addition to Peerless’ line is the most unique umbrella we’ve ever seen – the Rebel.

We’ve all been in the situation where it’s pouring rain as you’re running to your car, and you have to make a quick decision. Do I try to get my umbrella closed as I’m in the car and risk getting my car wet, or do I just get soaked and close it before I get in? The Rebel is the solution to your problem.

With an inverted design the Rebel closes away from you, keeping you dry as you get into your car or walk into a building.

Click the image to the right to see exactly how it works!

 

The Mojo

The Mojo

What’s Trending – Unique Use of Color

We all have seen the basic black umbrella or the standard two-tone umbrella, but are you looking for something that can make you stand out from the crowd?

We can help you do that! From a new twist on the two-tone umbrella to a black umbrella with full-color clouds on the interior, we have just what you need to make a unique statement for your brand.

Check out our favorite to the left – the Mojo comes in black or navy blue with accented internal hardware in a variety of colors.

 

A Custom Full Color Umbrella

A Custom Full Color Umbrella

What’s Trending – Full Color

Do you have a logo that’s too unique for a standard single-color print? How about a picture of a new building or location that you want to show off? We’ve got the solution – a full color umbrella!

Pick from folding, fashion or golf for the handle and frame, and an interior or exterior full color print. An added bonus? On some sizes and designs we’re able to print domestically, cutting almost two full months off of production time.

It is sure to make your stand out from the crowd on a rainy day!

 

For More Information

Would an umbrella be the perfect fit for a project you’re working on, or would you just like more information? Just let us know what you’re looking for, and we can present some options that will be the perfect accent for your next marketing campaign. We’re here to make your brand stand out from the crowd, rain or shine!

The Keyboard Sticker

Keyboard Sticker Blog Post

I bet many (if not all) of your incoming freshmen applied to your school through your website – most likely sitting at a computer. During the next four years of their lives, your students will spend countless hours on their computers – writing and researching papers, completing homework assignments and more. And that’s just the incoming class of 2020. Think about all the ways that your constituents use their computers – students writing papers, alumni making donations and faculty advising their students, just to name a few.

Since computers and technology are such an integral part of life today for your current and prospective students, alumni, faculty and more, what better way to keep your brand right in front of them than by using their own computers as a promotional item?

UW Keyboard Sticker

University of Wisconsin’s Keyboard Sticker

Our exclusively designed keyboard sticker is an inexpensive, engaging and unique way to do just that. You can customize any computer key with a ½” sticker, quickly making a keyboard the hard-to-miss advertisement for your institution.

These keyboard stickers have been a hit with many of our clients and they are the perfect way for you to reach out to current and perspective students, donors, alumni and more.

Many schools have used the same template, but do you want to switch it up? We can do that! Add more keys, make a bigger card, or even turn the keyboard sticker into a postcard. If you can design it, we can do it.

Email your Account Manager to discuss how the keyboard sticker could be the next great addition to your marketing platform.

“Awh Cute” Promotional Products

Sometimes you see something so cute that it just makes you say, “Awh cute.”

Plain and simple.

We have a few promotional items that fall under the “awh cute” category! Look at these pictures and see if you agree:

stuffed gray wolf for Loyola First Year Experience

We partnered with Loyola First Year Experience to create this adorable gray wolf.  Additional animals are available. You can dress your school’s little critter with either a bandanna or a t-shirt.

Hank puppy MSOE

For Milwaukee School of Engineering’s baseball themed promotional items last year, we created a Hank-inspired puppy for its Housing Department (the stray dog that the Brewers found at Spring Training).  Interestingly enough, Hank also won Dog of the Year!

Both the Loyola wolf and MSOE puppy are two examples of cute, fun promotional products that recipients are sure to love.

To search for more stuffed animal options, view this product search, or contact us for more details!

Promotional Version of S’well Bottle

12 oz. Force bottle

12 oz. version in a matte gray color

The promotional product industry continues to move closer to the latest trends. One hot (or cold…) new retail water bottle is S’well. These are high end, fashionable bottles that keep liquids really hot or cold for an amazing period of time. To see the variety of S’well bottles, check out their Lookbook. To learn more about S’well and their recent rise, which included a feature in Oprah Magazine and shelf space at Nordstrom, see the article from Bizwomen:

5 defining moments in the evolution of S’well

At Magellan Promotions we now can offer a similar style of bottle that keeps liquid hot/cold for a long period. The plus is you receive the retail look and features at a lower cost.  The products becomes your own once your company or organization’s logo is imprinted. These are an outstanding item to give to staff, prospects and clients to help make a lasting impression. Referred to as Force Copper Vacuum Insulated Thermal Bottles, they come in a number sizes, staring at 12 ounces and going all the way up to 34 ounces.

To see options, pricing and more, go to the link below!

Showroom for Force Insulated Bottles

Looking for more re-usable drinkware ideas?  View our New Promo Products of 2015 Photo Highlights, which includes drinkware trends, or contact us for additional information.

 

Tech Related Idea for High School Counselors

In one of our most popular posts, Top New Promotional Products for Colleges, we shared a few desk-related promotional ideas that could be given to high school counselors. Note pads, stone coasters, tech-stickers, pennants, and phone holders are just a few ideas that we include in our High School Counselors Showroom.  To keep on trend with new products in the industry, we wanted to spotlight a tech-related idea that high school counselors would find useful and fun.

Discover the Wedge Mobile Device Stand

The Wedge™ Mobile Device Stand is a fully customizable, colorful desk item that also can be used as a screen cleaner.  With 81% of all promotional products being kept because of usefulness, the Wedge will showcase your brand in a high-visibility work area for a long time.

 

 

 

The Wedge Mobile Device Stand and Cleaner

Helps keep device screens smudge free.

Side doubles as a screen cleaner.

The base can be used as a screen cleaner.

Artwork is printed on a single piece of fabric, offering a fully custom imprint area with full color dye sublimation for vibrant graphics. The base of the Wedge is available in standard grey or black, though other special edition colors are now available for an extra punch of color.  An antimicrobial coating prevents the buildup of mold, mildew, and odors. The fabric is 100% microfiber. It’s extremely soft and the entire item has a bean-bag like feel, so it’s easy to hold onto when cleaning a screen. The Wedge is handmade in the USA. Here’s a picture of the phone stand in use.

Mobile Device Stand in use

Colorful, multi-functional tech accessory will be appreciated by high school counselors

We recommend imprinting your brand name on the rounded, rectangle shape that is readily visible when the phone is in place for maximum exposure. In testing it out in our office, the Wedge held my phone at a comfortable angle, so it was both easy to read and touch the screen without sliding around my desk. Numerous colleagues are using the Wedge on their own desks because it’s such a functional and fun product.  It’s bound to be appreciated and will help keep your school top of mind with school counselors or other referral sources.

Link: View More Details and Pricing on the Wedge

Want more ideas? See our High School Counselors Showroom or contact us to discuss your recruitment plans.

Related Blog Posts and Resources:

30+ Ideas for Admissions Marketing30-plus-ideas-for-admissions-marketing

2015 Top Admissions Promotional Items

2015 Top New Promotional Products for Colleges

 

 

2015 Magellan Product Showcase

The 8th Annual Magellan Product Showcase was our BEST event yet! We welcomed a record number of customers and industry partners to our lunchtime event at The Hamilton on Milwaukee’s east side. It was the perfect venue and day to celebrate being in business for ten years with our customers. Everyone enjoyed getting together and checking out new promotional items for their marketing efforts.

Magellan Promotions Staff with 10 year Anniversary Cake

Magellan Staff (Cathy, Elise, Michael, Rachel and Julia) celebrating 10 years at the Magellan Product Showcase.

Ten industry-leading suppliers displayed a wide variety of promotional products. From tech and drinkware, to pens and umbrellas, the event highlighted promotional items for any budget range.  Each attendee received several product samples, which may have included:

  • Kor Vida bottle
  • Charge it Up Power Bank
  • Webkey
  • Mood Magnet
  • Hustle Sports Bag
  • eGrips
  • Consuelo Pen
  • Revolution Umbrella
  • Rope Disc

For links to highlighted products, including the raffle items, please visit our Product Showcase Showroom.  If you have any questions on these products, please let us know.

highlighted promo products

Some of the highlighted products attendees received.

Favorite Products

Based on attendee feedback, several promotional products stood out as guest favorites:

  1. Camelbak water bottles
  2. Infuser water bottles
  3. Web keys
  4. Charging devices
  5. Extended Arm Umbrella

Can you find these products in the pictures below?

wide variety of promo products

So many cool promo products.

Top trends include matte finish on drinkware and pens, growler related items, pet products, technology items, and blender bottles.

Here are a few images taken during the event.

MPS-2015-views-of-guests-and-partners

MPS-2015-views-of-the-crowdMPS-view-of-Michael-speaking-and-guests

Thank you to all attendees and industry partners for making it a fun, memorable event! It is a pleasure to work with such wonderful people. We can’t wait to host another great Product Showcase next year!

 

2015 New Promotional Products for Businesses

As we mentioned in a previous post, Michael Wolaver and Pat Conley from our sales team attended the PPAI Expo in January. There they visited with promotional product suppliers to learn about what’s new and trending for 2015. After sharing their long list of products and reviewing pictures, we came up with ten awesome new products that any business could incorporate into marketing plans.

2015 New Promotional Products

It’s probably no surprise that more than half of the ten top new items are related to technology. Year after year the number of tech promotional products continues to grow and innovate. Heading up our list are the tech items.

1. Cell Mate Phone Wallet and Stand

This Phone Wallet was one of our favorite products of 2014. Available March 2015, the Cell Mate Phone Wallet is a multi-tasker because it can open up to be used as a phone stand.

Leather phone wallet and stand

Leather phone wallet and stand

It’s bi-fold design also means more security than the phone wallet we saw in 2014.  Cards and cash are safely stowed with less risk of falling out. Leather material also provides a higher-end look and feel.

2. Mobile Device Cleaning Kit

While we LOVE the DigiClean smartphone cleaning pad, we really liked the look and convenience of this device cleaning kit.

Mobile device cleaning kit

Cleaning kit includes microfiber cloth, cleaning spray and pouch.

Neatly packaged inside a pouch comes a lint free, microfiber cloth and a 6.75 mL spray cleaner. The cleaner is safe for electronics, alcohol free and non-toxic. It cleans and sanitizes at the same time, keep your device smudge-free,
and safe from bacteria that causes illness.

3. Solar Power Banks

We’ve seen more and more interest in on the go chargers. One of the newest iterations is a solar powered charger.

solar powered charger

This power bank’s battery runs on solar power.

These power banks use Monocrystal silicon solar panels, which efficiently convert sunlight to energy. The compact battery can charge any mobile device from smart phones to iPads and tablets. The Solar Power Bank comes individually boxed with a USB cable, so it’s easy to handout.

4. Leather Swivel & Stand Tablet Holder

Do you ever wish a tablet holder could accommodate both vertical and horizontal orientations? The Eclipse Swivel & Stand Tablet Holder can do just that!

Eclispe Leather Tablet Swivel and Stand

Easily rotate a tablet in this stand.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of the product:

5. Lynktec Stylus Pen

Here’s a high quality stylus pen with a very fine point for more accurate contact with a smartphone or device.

Lynktec TruGlide Combo Stylus with Retractable Pen

Smooth writing and easy typing on devices with this stylus pen.

6. DigiGrip

The DigiClean Screen Cleaner is one of our most popular promotional items.  When a new product in this same line was introduced, we decided to take a closer look.  The DigiGrip Plus Anti-Slip Wipes is a screen cleaner AND a phone grip that sticks to your phone, including most cases, even if rubberized or heavily textured.

DigiGrips Grip and Screen Cleaner

DigiGrips is a mobile phone grip and screen cleaner in one.

Similar to the DigiClean Plus, it includes full color, two sided imprint, including the sticky side that adheres to your device.  Photos, QR codes, phone numbers, and locations can easily be imprinted on the DigiGrips Wipe itself or on the included custom 3.5″ x 6″ Marketing Card or 2″ x 3.5″ Business Card!

7. Cooling Towel

This promotional product is something you have to physically touch to believe! Michael demonstrated the Chilly iCool Towel in the office, and we were all impressed!

Chilly iCool Towel

Keep your cool with this innovative towel.

The towel can absorb eight times its weight in water and keeps cool as the water evaporates. It can continue cooling for hours as long as the towel is kept damp. The chemical-free design is biodegradable and machine washable. Store the clean, moist towel in its original package to get years of reliable use. Pretty cool, huh?!

8. Tritan Tumbler

This is a classic style, higher end tumbler that keeps drinks colder since it is lined with a double wall. This means your hand does not warm up the glass when holding on to it.

Tritain 16 oz tumbler

Tervis-style tumblers are available in many colors, can feature an insert, embroidered patch, or dome imprint.

We recently created a tumbler for Western Racquet Club, using their logo on an embroidered patch. Learn more about that project in our case study.

Western Racquet Club Tumbler

Final products – WRC gave out these tumblers at a tennis event.

9. Hustle Duffel Bag

We like this affordable duffel bag as an alternative to an event tote bag.

Hustle Sports Bag

Roomy sports bag with shoulder strap and large imprint area.

This sports bag has a roomy main compartment and a mesh outer pocket. Available in six colors.

10. Puffy Vest

This lightweight, packable vest caught our eye. The shell of the vest is made from recycled PET bottles.

Radius Puffy Vest

Puffy vests were trending at the PPAI Expo.

Premium insulation provides warmth without the bulk of other puffy vests.

From tech items to drinkware, our top ten new promotional products for 2015 spanned across a lot of categories and price points. Which promo product would you want to include in your branding and marketing? Comment below and let us know your favorite!

Please contact us with product related questions or to request a custom quote. For more product information, visit our 2015  New Products for Businesses Showroom.

Need more SWAG ideas? Call our Idea Explorers at 414-831-0184.

Help Students Picture Their Future at your School

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

Future-Badgers-case-study

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?

Show-Stopping Promotional Marketing Ideas

A trade show is an opportunity to connect with an audience in a fun and exciting way. Handing out a promotional item is a way to make your company memorable both during AND after the show.

A show-stopping promotional item can:

  • Create enticing pre-show promotion by advertising your booth activities and swag
  • Help drive traffic to your booth at the show
  • Serve as a reminder of the experience with your company after the show ends
  • Promote word of mouth marketing, whenever anyone sees your swag
  • Increase brand recall and recognition to support your business

For these reasons and many more, a trade show is one of the top uses for promotional products. You’ll find some swag at EVERY booth.

This certainly was the case when Michael attended the Milwaukee BizTimes Expo last week.  In walking the show floor, Michael spotted our clients using the promotional items that we helped create.  Here are a few highlights in what he saw:

Promotional Marketing for UWM at BizTimes Expo

The Airplane Stress Toy promotes the UWM Masters in Management program through the School of Business. The literature includes the tagline, “Your future is about to take off.” This has been a very successful campaign!

Promotional Products at work at BizTimes Expo 2014

There were a wide range of products at every table, though pens remained a staple item throughout the show. MSOE also used tire pressure gauges; Innovative Signs used bottle openers and combination pen/highlighters. Mount Mary had a lot of interest in their branded coffee packets as something that is both unique and appreciated. We also love how striking their pennants turned out.

Cultivate Communications Brain Stress Toy

Here is a close-up of the bright orange brain stress toy that our client Cultivate Communications used. Since they are a creative marketing agency, the brain is a fun and engaging way to help tell their story.

Miss Southern Wisconsin and Michael

Miss Southern Wisconsin, Tyra McFarland, spotted Michael’s logo’ed polo shirt, and said, “Hey I work with you.” She was right (and another great reason to have company apparel)! Account Manager Paige Wagner worked with Tyra on creating frisbees to promote the UW-Milwaukee Student Startup Challenge.

UWM Student Startup Challenge Frisbee

Artwork for the UWM Student Startup Challenge Frisbee for our client, Tyra McFarland, also Miss Southern Wisconsin.

What are your favorite show-stopping promotional items? We’ve also heard about sending teasers pre-show to drive booth traffic, such as sending ½ of a pen and then handing out the other ½ at the booth. In addition, we like the idea of holding a drawing for a higher value promotional item, and having higher-value items for VIP’s (or hot prospects) who stop by your booth. There are so many ways to effectively integrate promotional items into your events!

For more event ideas, see our blog posts:

How to Guide: Integrating Promotional Products into College Events

Much More than Tchotchkes

For help discovering the right promotional idea for your events, please contact us.

 

Collegiate Pennant Buying Guide

A pennant is perhaps the most iconic of ALL promotional items for colleges. Prospective and current students, alumni and staff will proudly display a pennant to show their loyalty, endorsement, and plain old LOVE for a school.

Common Uses

In addition to being popular, pennants are versatile, often being used to target prospective students, campus visitors, and high school counselors. Schools handout pennants to prospective students at campus tours or open house events. Some colleges include mini-pennants in an admitted student mailing.  High school counselors frequently display college pennants in their office or in a classroom. We pinned a few displays of pennants at schools in teacher classrooms on our “Products in Use” Pinterest Board.  When you see all types of pennants gathered together, it’s obvious that a lot of options and levels of quality are available to reflect your brand and budget.

Pennant Buying Guide

To make it easy to find the best pennant option, we have created several key areas to consider: material options, distribution, imprint options, sizes, and average turnaround time.

Felt Material Options

Depending on the main distribution method (hand deliver vs. mailing), select from two material types: Polyester felt or wool felt.

  1. Polyester Felt –  most basic, lowest cost pennant type, may CREASE when folded
  2. Wool Felt – higher end, best quality pennant type, will NOT crease when folded

The most affordable polyester felt option is the Felt Strip Pennant, as pictured below. Two colors can be imprinted on the solid background.  The fabric is the thinnest option, so it will crease if folded or rolled up for mailing.  Read on for more mail-friendly, higher quality pennant options.

Felt Strip Pennant

The Most Affordable option – Felt Strip Pennant

 

How will Pennants be Distributed?

It’s best to consider how the pennant will be delivered to its target audience to help narrow down material choices. Will the pennant primarily be handed out at events? Will the pennant be folded or rolled-up and mailed? While this isn’t always the first consideration that comes to mind with other promotional items, distribution is very important for pennants to make sure the correct material is ordered.

Lower-cost, polyester felt pennants can easily crease when folded and mailed, leading to unattractive results. If mailing is your primary distribution method, we recommend investing in a higher quality polyester or wool felt blend that will not crease.  Based on the desired design, all of the pennant options listed below are suitable for crease-free mailing.

Full Color Printing – Premium Felt Pennant

One step above the Felt Strip Pennant, is the Premium Felt Pennant (pictured below) with a full color design, making it truly standout from other options with just one or two color imprints. The full color, dye sublimated digital imprinting delivers excellent image and color quality on a higher quality 100% polyester felt material that can be rolled and folded without creasing.

mid range option - premium felt pennant

One Step Up – Premium Felt Pennant

Thickest Material – Wool Felt Pennant

As another step above the premium pennant, the wool felt pennant shown below is made of the thickest material.  One color direct printing is available.

The thickest material - wool felt direct print pennant

The thickest material – wool felt direct print pennant

As an alternative to direct printing, full embroidery is also an option on a wool felt pennant, giving the pennant a premium, classic look shown here in a mini, 6″x15″ size.

Best quality, embroidered wool felt pennant

The thickest, crease-free wool felt embroidered pennant

Popular Sizes

The most popular sizes for pennants are 8×18 inches and 9×24 inches.

Additional sizes available include: 4×10 inches, 5×12 inches, 12×30 inches, or the largest size 17×40 inches.

Average Turnaround Time

Once artwork is finalized, pennants can be produced in as few as 5 business days, depending on printing and material types. Allow for more lead time for mid-range to best pennant options as noted below:

  • 5 – 10 days for more affordable, felt strip pennants
  • 20 – 30 days for thicker wool-felt options
  • Up to 90 days for embroidery on pennants

Final Details

If mailing is going to be the primary distribution method, make sure an appropriate envelope or mailing tube is available.  This 2×9 inch mailing tube will fit the most popular sizes and would work well with any roll-able, non-creasing pennant.

Mailing Tube for Pennants

2×9 inch Mailing Tube for Pennants

It’s easy to find the ideal pennant to help promote your college after considering the material type, distribution method, printing method, size options, and production time frame. As mentioned in the introduction, a pennant represents and reflects your school’s brand, so we recommend choosing an option that fits your desired level of quality and budget.

Check out our pennant listing for a complete listing of all items. Let us know if you have any additional questions about pennant options. We are happy to be a resource for you!