Go for Gold: Olympic Fashions!

Every 4 years, the world gathers around one special city to support and cheer on their beloved athletes and countries.

This year that city is Rio de Janeiro. All eyes will be on the Maracanã Stadium as athletes from over two hundred countries parade together in celebration of the start of the 2016 summer Olympics.

Go USA!

Go USA!

While this year’s festivities have been muddied by negative headlines surrounding the overall preparedness of Rio and the Olympic facilities, one aspect never fails at gaining the most attention: what will the athletes and their loyal fans be wearing?

Dawning face paint, crazy hats and of course, flag capes, the promotional items touted over the course of these 2 weeks never ceases to amaze viewers. Here are some of our favorites!

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who this guy in the hate is cheering on. I mean, where can you even find a hat like that do you ask? Look no further than of course, Amazon!

Why stop at the faux fur? Add a statue to your hat!

Why stop at the faux fur? Add a statue to your hat!

I can only hope that this Brazil fan on the left is going to this year’s Olympics in his beloved country. I mean, if he went all out for the London games in 2012 like this, can you just imagine what he has in store for us this year?!

Norway has had a long standing tradition of dawning some pretty over the top uniforms. The Norway uniforms from the 2014 Olympics in Sochi inspired a whole new fashion trend: PRINTS. ALL OVER. So much so, that their fans began showing up to events in the same chevron-patterned pant suit in support of their curlers and skiers. Work it, Norway!

Olympics

Team Norway!

One of my favorite promo items that has been spotted on Shark Tank and all over are the peel away face masks. The Game Face company has everything from Olympic masks to jewel masks that all can be easily peeled off after cheering on one’s perspective team, instead of dealing with all of the messy paint. Dawn your country’s flag or favorite college team without the mess! Sure to be a big hit at this year’s Olympics!

Tell us who you will be rooting for and what are some of your favorite Olympic events below! Go USA!

A Pen By The Numbers!

National Ballpoint pen Day is June 10th and we know just how to celebrate over at Gossett Marketing!

With some fun and interesting facts about pens! Such as, did you know that 95% of people, when given a new pen, write their name first? That person will, on average hang on to that pen for 6 months. That makes sense because pens have been around for over 5,000 years! Egyptians first wrote using a reed with a split end and a vegetable based ink.

More than two billion pens are manufactured here in the USA annually. A typical pen can draw a line that measures anywhere from 4,000 to 7,500 feet long? Or approximately 45,000 words. I don’t think I even know 45,000 words!

Pens continue to be a top promotional item, as over 56% of people own a branded pen. We like to refer to pens as a traveling billboard for your business! And while many hold onto pens and lose them, they are undoubtedly going to end up in the hands of someone else. Which in turn, means more exposure for that brand! So be sure, when selecting the pen that will showcase your brand, that it will be one that one will want to hold on to and be upset when they lose it!

Virtual Reality Delivers

There is truly no market like the Virtual Reality market at the moment.16863422875_81d02f9901_o

Advances in technology and major interest in other key industries, VR has taken off very quickly.

Companies are using VR to market and showcase their abilities and offerings through 360 degree – interactive visuals that immerse the consumer in a whole new world.

VR is making a phrase like, “Tonight I’m going to Disney, then on cruise through the Panama Canal afterwards” totally feasible.

According to Fortune.com, Disney and Nokia have recently partnered up using Nokia’s $60,000 virtual reality camera and the compatible software to shoot 360 degrees for upcoming Disney films and marketing materials. VR is helping corporations expand their reach beyond boundaries ever imagined. People that have never visited Disney, will soon be able to access the wonder and magic from anywhere on the planet. That is huge Disney and many other big-name corporations diving head first into this industry.

VR has been used by the military for years, but the idea of a truly endless visual experiences for the user was shrouded with doubt. Up and down for years, the VR market has virtual gone from introductory, to shear disappearance and now is back again with vengeance.

Over time, we will witness the evolution of VR, giving us access to much more then we could’ve ever imagined. Are you for the enormous possibilities to come or weary of our society becoming TOO immersed in technology. Sound off below!

 

 

 

 

WalMart Uh – Oh!

I have to admit, geography wasn’t always my strongest subject growing up.

Understandably, it can be difficult to differentiate certain states from others. Wyoming and Colorado can easily be confused, as can New Mexico and Utah. But hey, that is if I am just looking at a map and trying to point out states! It can get confusing!

Certain states, however, have unmistakable shapes. Texas, California, Florida, the list goes on. However, someone at Walmart was able to confuse the state of Massachusetts with the state of Maryland, placing  the University of Maryland Terps logo, stamped over an outline of Massachusetts. Capture

A customer spotted the goof last week, quickly tweeting it to Walmart directly. I still find it amazing that communications with big companies can easily happen over social media now, but I digress.

Walmart responded to the customer with and explanation that made no sense at all and eventually told the customer they would be pulling the shirts off the shelves.

How did this even happen? I can’t wrap my head around it, but this is a great reminder to double, triple, quadruple check before putting a logo of any sorts that will be out there for customers to see and buy! Clients trust us to know their logo’s in and out, that even if it is a simple pen or t-shirt, we better be sure we are getting it right. Lesson learned, Walmart!

 

 

Vote “Yes” for Promo!

We are knee-deep into election season.

With this comes the great joy of ever evolving promotional items that the Presidential candidates sell on their perspective websites.

And I am not talking about the Guaca Bowle that Jeb Bush was selling on his online campaign store or the “Fillibuster Starter” pack that former presidential candidate Rand Paul was selling. (featuring a t-shirt and bumper sticker that read, “The NSA knows i bought this Rand Paul sticker”) No really, I didn’t just make any of that up. 

Let’s highlight the creative and useful items that have found there way onto the sites of the 2016 Presidential candidates. The ones that will have you saying, “that would make a great gift” or “wow, that is a good idea!”.

I have to start with Senator Marco Rubio, who is still selling his “Marco Polo” shirt via his campaign site, despite having suspending his campaign. Not so wacky, but creative and hilarious in and of itself.  Kudos to the person who thoughts this one up!

Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton made waves shortly after announcing her candidacy last year by selling a “pantsuit” t-shirt for ladies via her campaign website. I have recently visited her site, and while the pantsuit shirt remains, she has chosen offer promotional items that feel a bit more retail. She is selling distressed t’s, lapel pins and socks, a Tory Burch t-shirt and tote bags with a retail signature style. Even including a “homeware” category, featuring a pillow, mugs and a frame.

Not to be outdone, candidate Donald Trump, who spent over half a million in February on promotional products alone, is churning out t-shirts and signage for his rallies. His “Make America Great Again” caps are now being sold in various colors and styles.    Cruz-BBQ-Pack

However, if you already believe America is great because we get to have BBQ’s, you may want to check out the Ted Cruz bbq pack. This set features a Cruz 2016 cooler, spatula and “Cruzball” koozie 4-pack. Oh, and don’t forget your Cruz 2016 paper plates for your BBQ!

If all of this is making you “feel the Bern”, then don’t worry! Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has you covered. His promotional items mirror fellow candidate Hilary Clinton’s items as more traditional and retail-friendly. Outside of his “Feel the Bern” stickers, mugs and pins, the most creative item was a tote bag reading, “I’m totes votin’ for Bernie.” Yea, it left me hanging out to dry too.

We still have a way’s to go in election season, so hold on tight. Candidates have implemented the promotional items they sell into their campaigns more so this year than before. You may want to grab a piece of it too, as this is surely becoming an election to remember.

 

 

 

 

The Shark Tank Effect

One of my guilty pleasures is without a doubt binge-watching episodes of Shark Tank.

Selfies for your pooch!

The bravery and ideas that many people bring to the table and the risk taken to get to that point has truly captivated a major audience.  Many people find themselves drawn in by the high stakes and stories of people putting their livelihoods on the line in front of a panel of major moguls.

Coatchex dominance

What is even more interesting to watch is what happens following the episodes debut. Whether the contestant scores a big deal with one of the moguls or walks away with nothing, the “Shark Tank effect” will take hold. After the show debuts, suddenly you have had anywhere from 8 to 10 million sets of eyes on you and your idea/product. And the results are astonishing. Company’s sales sky rocket while the phones ring endlessly. Simply showcasing your idea in front of a few people is nerve-wracking. Then you show case it in front of an audience of millions and the stakes are even higher. TJ Hale is as entrepreneur and produces a Shark Tank podcast, and he believes simply appearing on the show is worth anywhere from “$4 million to $5 million in marketing exposure.”

One of my favorite stories and example of this effect taking hold was with former Shark Tank contestant, Derek Pacque. His show aired in 2012, showcasing his business CoatChex, a ticketless coat checking system. He turned down an offer from panel member Mark Cuban (a $200,000 offer and handing over a 33% stack in his company) stating it “wouldn’t allow him to grow his business.” Following the episodes TV debut, he received so many inquiries and traffic that he packed up and moved his business to New York City. Since then, staff has gone from 28 to a cool 200 and revenue continues to double or triple compared to previous years. Exposure is just what Derek needed.

Simply put, this “Shark Tank effect” has become such a powerful and unique platform that can you benefit you beyond nabbing a money deal. Viewers become truly invested in the story and the idea being sold, so much so that contestants will reap those benefits for many years beyond the actual “fifteen minutes of fame.”

Protect Your Checks with Anti-Fraud Ink!

Most may not realize it, but the checks we write are one of the most targeted forms of fraud.

According to a 2015 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, they account for 77% of all fraud cases. Check washing accounts for more than $815 million in fraud every year. Even more so, prescription drug fraud accounts for more than $10 billion in annual losses.1439318971954

To many, writing checks is an “old-school” method that has virtually been replaced by debit cards. Because of this, when we write checks now, we may not consider the ink inside of the pen that we are using to write. This is where ISO (International Organization for Standardization) has established ink standards to be used in pens that protect our documents from fraud. ISO-12757 applies to the ballpoint ink refills used for documentary used and general use as well. These standards mean the ink under these standards must be water-resistant and fade-resistant. The ink will essentially become trapped in the paper, making it impossible to erase or alter any important documents. Other requirements include Ethanol resistance, bleaching resistance and light resistance.f

While the FBI estimates that losses total over $18.7 billion annually in check fraud, the testing and standards of the ISO-12757 are reviewed every five years. So how are we to protect ourselves?

As I mentioned earlier, many people don’t find themselves writing checks anymore thanks to bank debit cards, allowing easier access to our bills online. However, for the occasions that you do have to write checks, or fill out personal prescription information, it is important you come prepared.

I can almost guarantee at this very moment you have multiple pens on your person or in your general area while reading this. I know I have about five in my purse next to me and even more inside the desk I am sitting at. A great tip is to always keep a set of these specific pen in two environments where you may need to write a check or fill out important paper work : at home of course, maybe at a desk where you pay your bills and such as well as in your car/purse for the ladies. Mark the pen with a piece of tape if that will help you tell it apart from other pens you may have laying around. This way, you will always be one step ahead.

The Amazon Drone

Drones were one of the holiday’s hottest gift, but have been on the rise for years.

The American Military boasts an arsenal of over 7,000 drones, one that it has been building for over ten years. While controversial at times when considering how they are being used, the appeal is they cost less to man and of course don’t risk the lives of military personnel.

Over the past couple of years, the rise of domestic drones by hobby-enthusiasts has grown tremendously. So much so, that the FAA now has set weight limits and all drones must be registered through an online system. gettyimages-487540612

E-commerce powerhouse, Amazon announced yesterday a new service, Prime Air. According to Amazon’s vice president of global public policy, Paul Misener, in his interview with Yahoo, “The drones will weigh up to 55 pounds each, but they will deliver parcels that weight up to 5 pounds.” The packages will arrive within 30 minutes of being ordered.

These newly released details have been a long time coming for Amazon, as well as other companies such as DHL and Walmart. Talk of drone delivery has been going on for a while now but seemed “so sci-fi”. Although details like how much it will cost and how the packages will be secured while in flight is still being worked out, conversation has sparked once again about potentially seeing our packages flying above.

I see one everyday being flown outside of my window. And recent incidents of obstruction to aircraft or emergency response crews has led many to feel drones are not regulated enough. Many have a hard time even fathoming the idea of looking up and seeing drones flying over us, dodging power lines, trees, buildings, wind gusts and so forth. Others worry drones will become target practice, for anyone looking to make off with a mystery package. What is to stop one person following a drone to the residence of someone and making off with the parcel once it has been left by the drone?  Who will be running all of these drones?

It is safe to say, as the technology of drones develops further, regulations and rules are soon to adapt. More likely than not, we will see drones being used by companies to do things we never thought possible. Are you into the idea of drone delivery? Do you have a personal drone that you use daily? Sound off below!

Watch Out!

Is it the end of watches as we know them?

Well, yes and no.

The high-end collector’s market has remained relatively stable, while many studies have shown that watches have become more of a fashion statement then functionality. I for one, have become one of those people.

That is where technology comes in. Technology has allowed the creators of LG, Apple, Samsung etc. to create a line of “wearables” that keep us more connected than ever. Although sales of the iWatch have yet to be released, Apple is not backing out of the watch market. While other watches have struggled to gain traction in this market, Apple is sticking to their guns with plans to capitalize on a new market of tech-savvy, Apple-loving fans that want to streamline their Apple gadgets and days. And if they have anything to say about, the wrist wearable market will soar in the coming years.

Today’s watch-wearer needs to be connected more than ever. From a built in heart-rate monitor to receiving emails, and requesting an Uber at the touch of a button, watches today have developed into more than just a time piece. In fact, it seems they have become less about telling us the time, and more about being our personal assistant, trainer, and friend.

While these “wrist-wearables” may be trending and the way of the future, there are many, including myself, who prefer to leave the watch trends to the likes of Movado, Citizen, and Tag Heuer. The high-end market of watches is one that will remain steady no matter the success of this new tech-watch market. In wearables, wrist wear continues to dominate the market, soaking up nearly 90 percent or the wearable market.

So while the face of the wrist-wearable industry will continue to change in the coming years as technology further develops, classic time-pieces will hold their ground firmly as many seem to prefer the classic over the new. It will certainly be interesting to see how much further technology can develop and take the tiny time-teller that has been around for over 500 years.

What do you guys think? Do you still prefer the classic time-piece or are do you like the new “wrist wearable” trend? Sound off below!

Here’s Looking at You, Desk!

For anyone who spends any time during their days at a desk, it can sometimes become of place of restlessness confinement. A study conducted at New York’s Polytechnic School of Engineering explored how just “fiddling” with desk items may increase productivity in the brain and at work. They studied 40 workers and how gadgets on their desks, i.e. Slinkys, pes, putty, etc. affect the brain and help jump-start the creativity within the brain. What they discovered was that when we are “holding, pressing, or bending small objects, our focus is improved, we ease stress away, and we think more creatively”.

So how can we spruce up our desk environments to engage our minds and stimulate our senses physically through releasing stress? Below are some fun tips and tools that can help you look forward to sitting down at your desk every day!

Desk Envy!

Decorate for the holidays!

Make others envy your desk! Make them wish they were sitting at your desk! The best way to do this is to have fun and innovative toys at your desk that do more than just stimulate your mind. They also serve as conversation pieces and stimulate others around you to converse and generate thoughts and open conversation.  Grab a planter and plant some flowers or herbs! Decorate for different seasons. Personally, I love stress relievers (the funky shaped ones, hockey pucks, hot dogs, pineapples, etc.) and silly putty. Manipulating and squeezing and object release tension and stress throughout the body and can help creativity. Think beyond the slinky and Newton’s Cradle! Although you may be asking people to leave your desk eventually, you will generate conversation thought would’ve never happened without some fun desk accessories.

Squeezie!

Squeezie!

Color Up

Outside of decorating your desk, you can’t leave those walls and corners bare! Make sure to put up pictures of loved ones in bright frames, colorful pieces of artwork, even curtains if you are able to. This will enhance the space and make it feel warm and welcoming to not only others, but when you first arrive in the morning.

Clear the Clutter

Organizing your space can reflect an organized mind. File papers and clear those trash bins. Remove all the excess and you will in in turn feel a “weight” lifted from your mind. This will allow for more positive productivity and an enhanced daily work environment.

Make it Fun!

Smooth stones promote creativity and relieve stress.

Smooth stones promote creativity and relieve stress.

Play music that motivates you! Keep a yoga mat under your desk so you can take some time to stretch during the day and move around. Keep dumbbells to keep the blood flowing and heart rate up! And if you don’t mind, keep a stash of your favorite snack for a sweet treat (in moderation!) Keep stones as paper weights and as a form of a stress reliever. Bring innovation and fun to your work space! The impacts will be tremendous and you will be thanking yourself in the long run!

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