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ASPCA Promotes APP With Branded Items

Pet owners have to be extra careful during the summer months as their furry friends are more prone to go missing, drown in backyard pools or suffer from heat exhaustion after being left in parked vehicles.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) urges pet owners to prepare for such situations by downloading the Pet Safety App, which tracks lost pets and issues emergency alerts.

To entice downloads, the ASPCA, in conjunction with fashion and lifestyle blog MyBeautyBunny.com, is giving away a summer prize package full of promotional products. The package includes a tote bag, Frisbee, beach ball and towel – all emblazoned with the ASPCA logo – and a Subaru yoga mat.

The app provides a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances. You can also build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on social media channels. Additionally, you can store and manage your pet’s critical health records and access advice on what to do with your pet before, during and after a major storm, even if there’s no WiFi or data connectivity.

In order to enter the giveaway, pet owners (18 years or older) had to download the ASPCA mobile app and then submit their information through the Rafflecopter widget.

Harry Potter Fans Load Up On Cursed Child Giveaways

The release of the latest Harry Potter book once again cast a spell on thousands of the wizard’s biggest fans, who congregated in midnight parties across the country while dressing up in costume and angling for giveaways.

They all eagerly awaited the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which (long after the series was thought to be concluded) returns to the Potter universe to follow Harry as an adult and father of three children. The book is a printed script from the London play penned by Potter author J.K. Rowling and other collaborators. With anticipation sky high – it was the most pre-ordered book in Barnes & Noble history – publisher Scholastic chose to release the book at midnight on Sunday, July 31, as was traditionally done with Rowling’s other Potter titles.

Bookstores throughout the U.S. celebrated with midnight release parties that included costume and trivia contests, readings from the series and latest book, a Hogwartsian “Sorting Ceremony” and all manners of games and activities.

Included among them was a whole host of giveaways. New York-based Books of Wonder offered a bevy of free premiums, including a set of full-color prints of each book cover, a full-color holographic Harry Potter bookmark, a lightning bolt temporary tattoo and decals for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a side book in the Potter universe penned by Rowling that is being made into a movie. Any patron that purchased two or more Harry Potter hardcover titles that night also received a free full-color mug with images of Harry from the seven book covers. More Potter prizes – including bookmarks, keychains, posters and even a signed first U.S. printing of The Prisoner of Azkaban­ – were won by customers who bought the book and then drew from the “Books of Wonder Sorting Hat.”

Others joined in with the giveaways. Skylight Books in Los Angeles offered Harry Potter tattoos and pins. Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, was transformed into “Hogwart’s Square,” with a movie screening, Harry Potter selfie stand and giveaways that included tattoos, decals and Wizard Glasses. Target even offered an exclusive poster for people who purchased the book.

“The announcement was that it was a play in script form, [and] we weren’t sure how it was going to be received,” Bryan Samsone, manager of Austin, TX-based BooPeople, told Entertainment Weekly. “But it became pretty apparent quickly after word came out that people still wanted to congregate together to celebrate Harry Potter, dress up, and relive all these memories that formed their childhood.”

Promo Items Help Boost Employee Health

With group health-care rates spiking – some soaring by double digits in 2015 – companies are promoting healthier workplaces to help cut down on health-care claims. A Harvard University study, in fact, found that for every $1 invested in a corporate wellness program, companies could receive a $6 return on investment, a direct result of reduced medical costs and a drop in absenteeism.

Indeed, corporate wellness – which has evolved into an $8 billion industry according to IBISWorld – is clearly an important business strategy, impacting firms’ bottom lines, as well as employee productivity and culture. Promoting these initiatives, and enticing employees to participate is critical to their success.

The approach is proactive versus reactive, encouraging employees to take charge of their health and make positive changes, rather than waiting until they develop serious health problems, which are much more expensive and harder to correct. Promotional products are important tools that companies can use as perks, as well as effective items that will energize and motivate their workforces.

One large firm that features a wellness program for its employees is Aetna. Of Aetna’s 50,000 current employees, some 34,000 currently participate in its wellness programs, says communications director Ethan Slavin. About 40% of participants use a wearable device to log their healthy activities.

In addition to its year-round Healthy Lifestyles program, which uses cash incentives, Aetna also offers a “Get Active Aetna” initiative in the fall which is a team-based wellness challenge for employees. If they meet certain healthy activity requirements during this period, they have the opportunity to earn Aetna gear, like gym bags, yoga mats, water bottles and other apparel, or they can donate an equivalent to charity, Slavin says.

Incentives, no doubt, are key. “If there’s no incentive, the engagement level is low,” says Frank J. Grimm, a senior benefits adviser at LHD. “The most successful programs have multiple designs, which might be gift card programs, challenges that allow participants to enter drawings for gift cards or rewards, Web stores and promotional items. Sometimes something as simple as a water bottle gets employees excited.”

If you’re planning an employee wellness program, be sure to contact your distributor partner for expert service and the perfect promotional products to fit your needs.

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