Tuesday, November 10, 2009


No, not that ridiculous movie from 1997 (or its equally ridiculous sequel, Hypercube), but the cube that sits on your desk and is useful for months. The Post-it Note cube.

If you were fortunate enough this year to obtain one of our showcase goodie bags, you have already seen United's Post-it Cube. This is definitely one of my favorite self promotions.

You might recognize this art from our last self promo. But since there is only one cost to have unique art on all 4 sides of the cube, we decided to go a different direction for the art on the other side.

Check out the other 2 sides on our Web Photo Album. This is such a splendid promotion because the art just looks great, and you are also able to keep your companies name in front of your prospects for months and months. Look in the album, and you will see that we put contact info at the very bottom of the art. We did this so that even if the Notepad gets very low, our clients and prospects still have our contact info right in front of them.

Check our store for all types of different styles.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just Kick the Extra Point

The Jets lost to their long time rivals the Miami Dolphins yesterday, 25 - 30. Some Say that head coach Rex Ryan should have decided to kick the extra points instead of 3 failed 2-point conversion attempts. I say I got my 'extra points' when, on my way out of the game, they handed me a sweet mug.

Wow, thanks! AND I get to take it to Jets' sponsor "Hess" gas station and get a free coffee any time after the game. How sweet is that? I love coffee.

The mug is a nice keepsake. It not only comes with the opportunity to get a free coffee, but it also features 6 Jets on the on the outside in action photos; Leon Washington, Darrelle Revis, Kerry Rhodes, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, and Kris Jenkins.

You can see in this pic that the art on the mug is actually a piece of paper that they print and then cut out to stick in-between the inside and clear outside of the mug. It really gives the mug a nice look and enables all sorts of design work to be done. This art is actually 4 color process ( Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black combined in various amounts to make up almost all other possible colors) plus 1 spot color, the Green in the Jets logo. You have to admire a team that will pay a little extra and stick with their branding guidelines to make sure the Jets Green is always the same green. Love it, this is what branding is all about.

On the Jets' wiki, it says the color is 'Hunter Green' I couldn't find the Pantone number of the color, this is probably to prevent people from creating accurate knock off merchandise. (which happens aplenty anyway).

Check the Picasa album for more pics of the Tumbler. Including the Official NFL hologram sticker and action shots of yours-truly drinking my coffee and feeling like I'm part of the Gang Green.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Curbside Handouts

I'm not sure which comedian it was who said that 'the guy on the corner handing out fliers might as well be saying; "Here, can you throw this out for me" as he hands you the post card'. This is pretty hilarious, but it's not always true. A little while ago, I got a card from John Allan's. From the looks of the card, the place must be a spa or health club. Or at the very least an up-scale barber.

Upon closer inspection, the picture on the front shows a pool table in the foreground, and a bunch of men getting their hair cut in the background. Seems like a good place to go to get my hair did. Below the picture, they offer a nice coupon. The kicker to this handout, though, is the free sample of shampoo that is stapled to the top corner. How clever. Most people will toss a postcard without giving it a second look, but if there is a free sample attached, well, this one is a keeper.

The little pouch of shampoo is branded with the barber shop's logo and colors. This must have been a custom job. To get the shop's own shampoo in these little pouches is really impressive. This must have been a national campaign (they have 1 location in Chicago and 4 in NYC).

You can see that the integration of printing and promotional products can make a big splash. Just like our Awesome-vitiation, which combined the 2 items, it is not only a memorable gift that the potential client receives, but also a postcard full of valuable info. This combined with direct mailing is sure to bring in clients and spur up some curiosity about any business.

Play pool while you wait!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Below you can check out pictures of this year's Awesome Invitation to the 2009 gift showcase. Once again we used our creative abilities to integrate a promotional product and a beautiful postcard into this year's invite. The gift that comes with the postcard is a swanky keychain / flashlight / bottle opener. Because just like United is your multi-purpose supplier, we wanted to supply a multi-purpose gift that will make people smile. And one that people will actually add to their key ring.

More info to come regarding the showcase, including a sneak peak at the goodie bags that the first 100 guests will receive.

Didn't get a postcard? Don't get pissed, get even! Leave me a comment or toss me an email and we can have one sent to you in the same day! (While supplies last!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

It Is That Time Again!!

If you are in NY, then you know from the weather that we cannot really hold on to summer any longer. This saddens me to no end... However! The ending of the summer also means that United is having another holiday gift showcase!! This year is going to be better than last year (which was awesome, check the old posts).

Here is the save the date, I will be keeping you updated on our progress with the mailed invitations and our famous goodie bags. Which will totally rock the house. We are giving away some awesome door prizes to the first 100 people that arrive.

The best part? How about getting a head start on figuring out what to give to your favorite clients this upcoming holiday season? Or finally finding the perfect sales-call leave behind becasue you can actually pick up and hold and test and use items, instead of just looking at them in a catalog. Or.. there is always the food and the drink, and (I'm not positive about this) I think Harriet might bring her new puppy Clemenza! See you there!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Holder of Cards

This weeks' item came to me as a special surprise during my attendance at a networking event. A friend of mine just started out on her own to create what she has named: The Hispanic Network. I would say that there were almost 100 people at her launching event. And what an event it was! The networking was easy and the food was excellent. Maria really knows how to throw a networking event. She will be hosting more and more events in the future, so get involved.

What about the promotion? The faux-leather business card holder is actually the perfect promotion for a networking event. It is something that people are going to use if they are networkers. Hey, I actually saw some people using it at the event. This was a useful promotion.

The holder itself is ok. It's a little thin for my taste, it can only comfortably hold about 5 or 6 cards in either pocket. The imprint seems to be a little sloppy. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see that the tag line; "Bridging the Hispanic Market and the World", is smudged in places. But, for something that you would pull out quickly at a networking event, the holder can look really nice (as long as it's only a fleeting glance). So this promotion serves as a reminder of The Hispanic Network LLC more so than an advertising piece. I don't think a person at a networking event would ever, by choice, show off a cheap-looking card holder. But as long as they use it, it will remind them to invite people to Maria's The Hispanic Network.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Promotion for [Adults] Only

Adult Swim is Cartoon Network's block of Late-Night programming that targets an older audience. I have been known to enjoy Adult Swim every once in a while, so when I was watching it the other night I was delighted to see that they are sponsoring events through their "Adult Swim Presents" event-planning arm. I was even more delighted to see that one of their events was in downtown NYC.

I'm a sucker for any event that doesn't require a fee to enter so I signed up and headed over to Santos Party House. Sounds fun, right? The event space was very cool. It was well decorated and ventilated, a fair amount of space and even some seating along the sides of the dance floor. The event itself, however, left much to be desired.

The good part was that I was able to acquire a rarity in the promotional product industry. They were giving out these sleek, black matchbooks. Which were subtly available to all attendees in little glass jars that were placed along the bar. If you aren't old enough to drink, you are not old enough to get free matches. Fair enough Adult Swim. Anyway, the matches are nicely decorated with a pair of otters (?) kissing on the cover and the Adult Swim insignia on the bottom printed in gold. This is an excellent promotion that even non-smokers are bound to take with them. More pics in the album, and if anyone can share a little insight on the kissing animals, maybe I'll send you a prize.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Business Card Innovation

You may have read my last post about business cards. It touches on the formalities that surround business cards and Japanese Culture. That is all fine and good, but what about our free-spirited ways here in the USA?

I was pondering this when I stumbled into this quaint little shop in SoHo called Scrap Yard Inc.. This shop was really cool and the owners were likable and friendly. I didn't want to forget the place so i asked for a business card on my way out. This is what i was handed:

The clever owners of this store got a rubber stamp and some "hello my name is" stickers and created an inexpensive Business Card that is very memorable. I really like what they did here.

Something like this is functional in a off-the-beaten-path retail store. However, I'm not really sure that it would work in the Business to Business world. But who knows, maybe I should get a rubber stamp made and try it out!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pill Container for Organization and Convenience

This particular Promotional Product is so convenient that I feel like I must share it with the world. I don't take any medications, nor do I have arthritis, but I see the uber-convenience that is this pill case:

Organize your meds Monday through Sunday, or even lay out your meds for the whole month. Unlike some other pill cases, you will not have sore fingers from trying to open it. With the simple push of a button you can access your meds for that day. This item is perfect for pharmacies, hospitals, and pretty much any kind of health center or any place that services the elderly. They have a very significant imprint area and will remind the recipient where to go to refill their prescriptions.

Lens Cloth Update

Tamar Weinberg of Schwag Addict received one of our direct mail pieces from below and liked it so much that she posted it on her own Promotional Products Blog. She is quite the Promotional expert...

Thanks Tamar!

Monday, July 6, 2009

United's Newest Self Promo

Everyone loves free schwag. This much is obvious. So how do we get people to love it even more? Easy! We send it right to them. Check out our newest self promo / direct mail campaign:

Brightly colored and beach themed, when one of these bad boys arrives at your office it's like an instant vacation. Now, who doesn’t want to be associated with taking vacations? Really though, when people receive what’s commonly referred to as; 'bumpy mail', they are instinctively drawn to it. The curiosity is too strong and they are overtaken by the desire to learn what surprise could possibly await them beyond the saliva-adhered envelope flap.

If you see one of these brightly colored envelopes make its way into your mail room, you are in for a treat. If you don't see our vacation-in-an-envelope, well just post a comment and we'll make sure one gets to you.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reusable Bag Maintenance

I recently came across this article in Newsday about Reusable Shopping Bags. The article mentions that bacteria can grow in the bags when they are stored folded for hours and days before they are used again (the study was done by the plastics industry, big surprise). So I thought it might be appropriate to talk about a few things you can do to keep your bags fresh.

-Make sure that the meat and poultry that you buy are sealed well. Even wrapping them in another containing bag to ensure that there is no leakage.

-When you are done using the bag, turn it inside out and hang it up until the next time you use it. The reusable bags that I go shopping with are hanging on a hook behind my door. They are never folded up and shoved in a drawer. Especially if I use them to hold foods.

-Try to have some bags that you use for groceries, and some bags that you use for everyday items.

- If the bags smell funky, its not a big deal! Throw them into the wash. To dry; turn inside out and hang to dry.

If you have other tips about keeping fresh bags, send a comment!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Deliciouos, Delicious Promotion

A colleague of mine recently attended a soiree hosted by Hurley Capital . They are a financial advisory run by a good friend and colleague of UPG's. The purpose of the gathering was kind of a way to say 'thank you' to friends and clients, as well as a networking mixer. Fun was had by all.

One of the parting gifts was this delicious logo'd cookie. What a brilliant way to be remembered. We have seen plenty of "food gifts" in the past, but rarely do we see a snack (other than maybe a piece of chocolate) that gets imprinted directly. I think they used the same delicious technology that enables Carvel to put Disney Characters on their cakes.

The cookie was wrapped in a clear cellophane bag and tied with a nice ribbon that also held a card with the company's logo and website. Quite the complete package. We look forward to attending more of Hurley Capital's events.

More pics in the album.

Friday, May 22, 2009

You may just want to LOOK smarter

So because of these economic times, I've had to cancel my subscription to the New York Times. It is ok though, since I never really read the thing anyway. Actually, the Time's main function in my life was to help me look smarter. Which it did. When I would bring the paper onto the subway, even unread, I would get stares of admiration at the thought that I would be enjoying such a high-end publication. All bets were off as soon as I would try to open the thing and do the classic refold, only to drop the paper all over the subway floor. This would dash any hopes I had to impress people with my intellectual ability.

So in lieu of the paper and ink version of my intellectual status, I am now carrying the free bag that I received with my subscription. This contains; My peanut butter sandwich, my copy of The Queens Ledger news paper(no folding issues here), and a slew of the Recycled Pens that UPG has been using as our self promo.

The bag itself has a nice design and a beveled bottom for holding... Probably a newspaper. As far as the handles go, I like the look of them, but if the bag has some weight to it the metal ring handles induce arthritic pain in the hands. The colors are good, and the embroidered logo looks nice too. And there is a nice little zippered pocket on the inside.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Magic Promotion!

OK, fine, it's more like physics. But your sales will increase like magic. You will achieve top-of-mind awareness like magic.

Anyway that you slice it, this collapsible bag that fits into another bag, that is actually attached to the first bag is a damn good promotion. It may seem confusing but that is because I'm speaking cryptically.

We all know that bags provide the best Cost Per Impression at about $0.004. And the convenience of having a bag that you can easily carry around in your pocketbook, or even on your key chain (note the handy carabiner) will easily add to the usability of this bag in particular. Check out the more detailed pics in the Picasa album.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lets Go with 'Truckvertising'?

This custom remote control truck that we made for a client served as one of the best college promotions ever. We did 120 trucks and there were 60 colleges where the students could race the trucks against each other to win free prizes (read: other awesome promotional products). The reps in the college would also stick cans and bottles of soda in the truck and just drive them up to students randomly on campus.

These trucks are truly one of a kind! And they stand out extremely well which makes them a really memorable promo. We had the trucks constructed and custom painted in the Mountain dew colors. Check out the rims and the vanity plate! At UPG, we pride ourselves on being able to not only work with you to come up with great promotional ideas, but also to follow the jobs through to the end. And by that I mean that every time I see the truck I want a can of Mountain Dew. More Pics on the Picasa web album.

Radio City Promotion

A friend of mine recently went to Radio City Music hall to see two certain comedians do a reunion/comeback stand-up comedy show. She ordered a drink and instantly thought of me when she saw the promotional product that she received. She came to me the next day and told me I must put this on the UPG blog.

Here is this really nice light-up drink stirrer. the little air bubbles in the shaft of the stirrer create a really cool effect when it's turned on. And the imprinted piece at the top seems perfectly shaped for the Radio City logo imprint. This is the type of item that an out-of-towner would not just throw out after leaving the hall. The promotional product becomes a keepsake. It becomes a souvenir and a memento of an evening out.
I'm told that at the end of the comedy show, there was a music act and everyone in the crowd, instead of holding up lighters, held up the drink stirrer. What a pretty sight.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slap Koozie follow up

Although I do think that the slap-and-go koozie from below is quite brilliant, branding slap bracelets and koozies is nothing new. I would not normally wear a bracelet. But will I wear a bracelet that slaps around my wrist? Absolutely. And I recently came across one of these zip up bottle koozies too!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nostailgia + Functionality = Awesome Promo

Do you remember the slap bracelets from the early 90's? That might be the first fad that I remember getting into, way back in elementary school. The last thing that I had heard about them was some 3rd grade rumor that they were banned from use because the metal piece on the inside of the bracelet could become a lethal weapon if used incorrectly. I'm still not sure if that was true or not.

Either way, this special koozie utilizes snap bracelet technology to revolutionize the koozie world. Before this koozie, you could either have a can-koozie or a bottle-koozie, rarely was a koozie universal. All that has changed. This Promotional Koozie can fit around almost any beverage. With a huge 9" x 3.5" imprint area; this promotion will stay a part of any college student's entire academic career. That is 4 years (at least) of impressions guaranteed to be seen and used by other college students. I was testing it on my drink the other night and all I could think was "wow, my hand is room temperature, but my whiskey remains slightly chilled"


Friday, March 13, 2009

Flying Disc is FUN!

I have not been able to put down this collapsible flying disc that I got at the convention. Luckily, I picked up 3 so I can have one at work, one at home, and may be I'll keep the last one in my car for something to play with the other cars while at a red light or when I'm stuck in traffic.

The Disc has a nice large imprint area, and a little imprintable storage bag. I am thinking only one thing: Beach promo! Ok, I'm thinking a couple of things, spring time is coming up and this is your perfect Campus promotion. Sponsoring a BBQ or picnic? At less then a dollar(!) these babies are sure to spread your name around campus. I guarantee that your promo will be used throughout the summer months as well, increasing your brand's exposure exponentially. Extremely Excellent promotion.

NYC Promotional Product Convention

There was a great promotional product convention here in NYC last weekend. I always love these because usually at conventions the promotions are a side note. An important side note, but the main focus of the con is always Comics or Electronics . At a promotional product con, the whole goal is to visit the booths and get free stuff. It is just a wonderful feeling. Keep it here for posts of some of my Favs from the con!

Friday, February 27, 2009

NYCC Promotions, last one[s] I promise.

I know it's been a little while since I've posted, so to make it up to you, the reader, I will cover a couple of items tonight. We will start with the shirts that Sega was throwing into the crowd. Sega is a video game manufacturer for all major consoles. You may remember their lovable character Sonic the Hedgehog.
However, there were no cute and cuddly characters this time, folks. Sega was promoting their new games; "The Conduit" and "House of the Dead: Overkill". Click on the names to check out the game trailers. Here are the shirts;


I know the images aren't great, head over to our Picasa web album to see more detail on the designs.
As a good promotion always does, the shirts brought mobs of people to Sega's booth at the convention. There were gentlemen in full zombie make-up touting the arrangement; "hug a zombie, get a shirt", I'm secure enough to hug a zombie, and I'm glad I did. I then proceeded to demo both games, and I am excited for their release.
A major point about the shirts; they are tagless! If you are like me, when you have an uncomfortable paper or plastic tag hanging out of the back of your shirt it can become the bain of your existence. Sega has the foresight not to associate the killing of zombies with any uncomfortableness. Good job Sega!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NYCC Promotions Part 2

After I got the wolverine key chain from Del Rey, I walked around only a little before I was handed a foam toilet seat (full size!). Now, I'm accustomed to seeing many bizarre costumes at events like these, but when I was handed a foam toilet seat, I wasn't sure weather I was supposed to wear it around my neck or just look at it. I didn't wear it, but I had to hold on to it so I got a friend to wear mine for me. Unfortunately, he turned down any photo ops for the blog. Here is the seat:

You can see that time has been rough on this promotion. Although it's only been a week or so, the bright white foam has discolored slightly to become a more yellowish hue around the edges.

But all in all, this custom promo from fox screams for attention in a sea of short attention spans. Supposedly in the show, the main character dies when a rouge toilet seat falls out of a plane and hits her in the head.

I love the idea for the promotion, and to be honest, I've only heard great things about the show (even though it's been canceled). This promo is for the upcoming Direct to DVD movie and it got some attention from the die hard fans along with attention from the casual con goers like me. This show has such a following that someone believes they can sell the foam seat for a few bucks on ebay. Compare his pic to mine to see the difference in color (and camera quality).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NYCC Promotions Part 1

Throughout all of the hustle and bustle at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center this weekend I was able to grab a few good promotions. One of my favorites is this cool Wolverine Keychain.

The Key chains were given away by Del Rey Manga, a company that imports a lot of Japanese Graphic Novels into the US. The key chain is promoting "Wolverine: Prodigal Son" a new graphic novel from Del Rey. Apparently in the book, "Logan [aka. Wolverine] is a teenage rebel with a real good reason for having a real bad attitude". The key chain features the name of the graphic novel, along with some really nice art of the bad-ass teenage wolverine. The key chain itself is of nice construction and I wouldn't be too embarrassed to have it on my car keys. The only down side is that they left the "Hecho en Mexico" tag on every key chain.

Check out these sites for more info on Conventions and pop-culture.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Promotions Ruled the weekend at NYCC

This weekend was the comic book convention in NYC. I attended Saturday and Sunday only to find that everyone was giving away promotions like it was going out of style! All of the larger booths were throwing shirts into a crowd or giving out keychains. Even the smaller booths had pins and bookmarks to help grab attention and promote themselves. Keep your eyes here over the next few days as we go through some of my favorite promotions (including the foam toilet seat cover).

Friday, January 30, 2009

Green Promotion from Vegas

In my Previous post, I spoke about green-promotions that are Actively Green- like the tree sapling in branded packaging that encourages people to plant trees- as opposed to passively green promotions like a recycled notebook. Actually, using any of our green promotions is a great way to expand your company's 'green initiative' and to send a message about caring for the environment. But we brought back an Actively Green promotion from Las Vegas that I am really excited about.

Pen shown for scale.

Here is what it says on the packaging: "The handmade paper foot is embedded with a hearty mix of perennial wildflower seeds. Plant under a thin layer of soil and water thoroughly. Keep moist until seedlings are well established." Ok, pretty simple instructions, I'm no green-thumb but I think I could plant these flowers succesfully. I love the shape of this one; a green footprint. (haha, get it?) But they can be die cut to match your logo. A promotion like this is versitile; it is well priced for give aways at a convention or promotional event, and it can also work really well as a direct mail campaign. This inexpensive, actively green promotion will remind the even the worst bottonist that your brand cares about the environment everytime they see their beautiful flowers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More from Vegas! Promotions That Stick!

I found some more promotions in my coleague's stash from Vegas. She isn't here today so I've decided to write about them before she could.

We've got 2 very interesting, inexpensive promotions that have some potential in niche markets. The first one is the magnetic roll of tape. You might be laughing, but let me tell you, I love this stuff! I've been making business cards into refrigerator magnets, and it is fun. I'm going to stick one on my friend's fridge at her party tonight. And I will put the rest on my fridge at my new apartment. They will be our first magnets, and they will make good conversation-starters for when we have our house-warming party. But the promotional potential is definately here. Since the roll looks like a normal scotch-style tape roll, the side of the container is all imprintable space. I'm thinking; school teachers, art teachers, home-makers, students, college students, and more can be reached with this promotional item. I know that when I go home today I'm going to make some more stuff into magnets. Priced for give-away's.

Now lets talk about the 'Duct Tape in your pocket'. This promotion is a foot and a half of duct tape with a removable backer so it can be folded and put in a pocket or wallet and it won't stick to itself. At first, I was like ..."really?" but the more I thought about it, the more I think I'm going to keep it in the center console of my car. I could use duct tape about 8 times per day on average and I think that this is a great car centered promotion. Gas stations, auto mechanics, electricians, repair men and other repair based service people can leave this little guy behind after a job with some kind of clever saying impinted on the package. How about; "if something else breaks, use this tape and then call me" with a phone number. I think that is clever eough to make a lasting impression. they can then take the roll of magnet tape out of their pocket and stick the duct tape to the fridge.

Check out the web album for more pics.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Greetings from PPAI in Las Vegas!

There are over 2,000 manufacturers, millions of new products.....And two convention floors full of ideas!! It is a little overwhelming, but my favorite item of the day is "The drinn."
It keeps your cell phone, or ipod neatly placed while charging. Hangs between your battery charger and the wall socket. Its universal and works with every socket and adapter worldwide. Great Imprint area for your logo. Under $3.00.


Keep your eyes peeled for posts from our colleagues in Las Vegas. This is the weekend of the huge PPAI expo down there, and we've set up e-mail blogging so they con post as they walk the floor. We expect them to return with bags full of samples and minds full of great ideas!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Conventional Catalog Browsing is Back!


I would like to formally announce to you, our reader, that UPG has single handedly brought back the style of reading that traditional print media had started so many years back, but was lost with the birth of the interweb; Page flipping.

With our New On Line Catalog you can browse the items in the classic 'page turning style'. This post goes out to Johannes Gutenberg. "You the man JG!"

Here is one of our new online catalogs. Let me know what you think. Or you can send me an email and we'll keep Johannes' legacy alive by sending you a paper and ink version! In the mean time, lets keep it green with tree-less catalogs.

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