Pepsi Resurrects 90s Classics to Target Nostalgic Millennials

In case you hadn’t heard yet, Pepsi recently announced the return of Crystal Pepsi, their early 90s cult hit soda. Not only that, they’ve also packed it with everyone’s favorite educational death simulator, Oregon Trail. While this might seem like a pretty underwhelming announcement to a large segment of the population, it is earth-shakingly momentous to others.

Only people of a certain age can truly understand the sheer joy of sitting in a computer lab with a 20 oz. bottle of clear, sugary goodness while your entire family dies of dysentery.

I’m talking about the generation that drank enough sugar water to put a hummingbird to shame and shot more buffalo than ever even existed. To millennials, this announcement is like watching your childhood be gloriously resurrected in front of your eyes.

Overlooking no detail, Pepsi even designed their campaign-specific site,, in what can only be described as true Geocities splendor. This throwback to early webpage design includes everything from rotating Crystal Pepsi GIFs and scrolling banners to a visitor counter near the footer.

If You Aren’t Marketing to Millennials, You’re Doing It Wrong.

It’s no coincidence that a huge company like Pepsi would be reaching out to young people right now. With each passing day, millennials are supplanting baby boomers as the nation’s most active consumers and trendsetters. In an increasingly digital world, the 15-35 demographic has taken control of the conversation and, increasingly, the marketplace.

If you look around, it won’t take long to see that Pepsi is far from the only company making blatant appeals to millennial customers. Cinemas are packed with adaptations of comic books that saw their heydays in the late 80s and early 90s. It’s hard to find a popular children’s show from those years that hasn’t been rebooted, repackaged, and resold in wide release. It’s clear that the largest companies are shifting their focus away from boomers and toward the future, and that nostalgia is the tool they’re using to power their efforts.

Nostalgia Transcends Generational Gaps

Nostalgia has always been a powerful marketing tool, and the reigning baby boomer generation was no exception. Try to find a city in America that doesn’t have a “classic rock” radio station attempting to cash in on the childhood and teenage memories of the 40-plus crowd. It wasn’t until the millennial crowd grew into a powerful consumer base, though, that the popular remake culture was born. Maybe it’s their newness to adult and professional life or the combination of high student loan debt and years of a bleak economy, but for some reason millennials seem especially receptive to childhood nostalgia as a marketing tool.

Running a successful business is about staying ahead of market trends. The economy is steadily changing and the youngest segment is driving most of the growth and activity. When big companies like Pepsi start shifting their marketing younger, it’s a sure sign that a sea change has come. In order to succeed in the coming years and decades, businesses absolutely must find ways to effectively market to young people.

Try Nostalgia-fying Your Marketing

If you own a business, examine your current marketing and see how you can optimize it to appeal to millennials. Whether it’s a nostalgic promotion, a more creative social media presence, or another method of selling the comforts they associate with childhood, finding ways to expand your reach in the youth market is the best foundation for future success. So sit back, hit the Trail, grab a Crystal Pepsi, and start brainstorming about how you’re going to tap into this powerful consumer base. If you’re looking for suggestions, we were all promised Hoverboards.

orange Call-To-Action

When to Friend –The “Science” of Social Media among Coworkers

You enjoy the occasional chat with your coworkers; discussing the weekend, sharing vacation stories, or making vague observations about the weather. This type of casual conversation can be a welcome break from job monotony, and social interaction in the workplace is important. When it comes to friendships, though, where do you draw the line between your work and social lives? How much do you want your work friends to know about your life after 5?

Sooner or later, that friend request notification will pop up, and it can only be left pending in limbo for so long before the situation becomes awkward. So when do you accept it, or on the flip side of that token, when is it appropriate to send one?

Who We Are Online

Social media outlets are essentially our online identities. Our behavior there can affect how we’re perceived in reality. By uploading photographs of our pets or ourselves at the beach, crafting what we think are witty status updates, sharing links to potentially polarizing news articles, and praising or criticizing political candidates, we carve out a very specific online persona. Often times, however, this persona may differ from our work identity. Because personal opinions may cause unwanted friction at work, it may be crucial to keep them neatly compartmentalized. When you’re clocked in, you want to be judged based on your performance, not your beach body.

What We Say

Some may even use social media as an outlet to vent work frustrations. Relieving though it may be, blowing off some steam can land you in hot water with the bosses. As such, it may be critical to keep a division between this fabricated, online persona and your work life.

How We Behave

Like in the real world, different social norms exist on different platforms. You wouldn’t behave the same way at a rock concert as you would in a board meeting. LinkedIn, for example, is a buttoned-down social platform meant strictly for business interaction. Others, like Facebook, are intended to be a bit friendlier.

Of course, businesses do have Facebook pages, and there are certainly individuals who incorporate a professional component to their profiles, but Facebook is largely a personal outlet. It’s meant to be a way for friends and family to keep in touch. So when a colleague reaches out through Facebook, things can get complicated.

We Compartmentalize

Even outside the digital world, we separate the people we know into different social circles. How we interact may differ between our family and coworkers; between our friends and our friends. Google+ integrated this natural tendency into their platform. In Google+, you are able to separate people into literal circles; work friends into one, close friends into another, distant acquaintances in a third, and so forth. You can then choose which of your circles see what you share.

Facebook, however, is slightly less intuitive when it comes to sharing. Yes, there are several options which allow you to select who sees your status update or picture. However, these options are off by default and require a bit of digging to find-more digging than the average user is likely to do. Generally speaking, your Facebook posts are visible to everyone on your friends list.

Real Life Relationships Are Often Unstated

It’s rare that we explicitly apply labels to those with whom we socially interact. Conversations don’t begin with phrases like:

“Hello, work-friend Emily!”

“How are you, long-time-pal Tim?”

“Still selling body wraps, person I went to high school with?”

Other than marriage or “Facebook official” couplings, a level of ambiguity exists in our real-life relationships. It is because of this undefined nature of our relationships that we often run into awkward situations on social media.

We may be friendly with coworkers, but not necessarily consider them a friend. Conversely, a coworker may assume a certain level of friendship based on his or her interpretations of your interaction. This has the potential to hurt some feelings. Denied or unaccepted friend requests could cause an amicable relationship to collapse.

So what’s the answer?

You could do nothing.

Leave the friend request pending or deny it. As previously mentioned, this might bruise a few egos, but not always. Many people choose to send requests en masse to anyone they meet. These people are looking to expand their network and will likely not even notice if one of those requests is left pending.

If, for some reason, the pending friend request is brought up in-person, you have two options:

1) Lie. You could either say you only use Facebook to keep in touch with close family and friends, or that you didn’t see their request because you aren’t frequently on Facebook. This way, you can have your cake (maintain your work relationship with this person) and eat it, too (avoid interaction with them outside of work). If you’re ok with a touch of dishonesty, this may be your best option. Is it conniving? Sure. Does it make you a bad person? Probably.


2)Be honest. Explain to this person that while you do enjoy the time you spend together at work, you would like to keep your relationship strictly business. If they’re not ok with respecting your boundaries, then the distance this dose of honesty puts in your relationship with them may be for the best.

You could nip it in the bud.

If you anticipate a friend request from someone you know you won’t accept, a last-ditch, preventative effort would be to proactively block their profile. When they search your name to send a friend request, they won’t be able to find you, nor will they be able to see your communication between mutual friends. An extreme measure, for sure, and certainly a little harsh, but it’s also a clean way to avoid undesired connections.

You could accept it.

Maybe you’re interested in expanding your social network. If this is the case, you likely have a large number of connections. With the exception of family and close friends, you probably don’t interpret any of them to be particularly close. So when your phone flashes with that friend request notification, accept it!

Even better still, maybe you genuinely enjoy this person’s company. You get along well, share the same interests, and look forward to the after-work happy hour with them. There’s no reason at all that you should hesitate to befriend someone just because you work together. If this is the case, you shouldn’t have even needed to read this article at all.

You could stop caring so much.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. The Amount of energy spent pondering Facebook friendships is probably better invested elsewhere. This was a platform created for college students after all. Drama between who said what to whom is a kid’s game. The decision to accept, deny, or ignore a pending friend request from a coworker is probably much less consequential than you think.

When it Comes to Business, Don’t be a Cicada

Seventeen years ago, Brood V cicadas were just snuggling in for their long nap. These noisy creatures are just a little smaller than your thumb and are completely harmless, if not just a bit frightening to see zipping past you in person. Cicadas like these spend just a few weeks as adults, the males happily chirping away their tune at about 100 decibels1 to attract a mate. The female quickly works to build a home for the new brood, carving out a small section in some tree bark for her young. The young grow quickly, drinking their fill of tree sap before making their arduous trek back down to the dirt and taking their beauty sleep for the next seventeen years.

Skip ahead to today. It’s a lovely day in Pennsylvania, and a lovely day for an extensively well rested cicada to wake up from his nap and greet the world. This cicada has had the privilege of catching some beautiful months in 1999. Maybe he had a chance to go watch the first in the Star Wars prequel Trilogy, The Phantom Menace. Maybe the little audiophile was one of the original supporters of Napster, calling up his friends on his new cell phone to talk about Christina Aguilera’s Genie in a Bottle. Whatever the case, this insect is in for quite the culture shock. Gone are the days of this cicada sporting his favorite color of Nokia 8210 phone, because today, this insectoid friend has a brand new IPhone 6S, with a case customized in his company’s logo. Star Wars will be a big change for the cicada too; now the property of Disney, Star Wars and the Disney brand are on everything from coffee mugs to T-shirts. The cicada might not be able to pick up all the goodies for Rogue One, but why not take the opportunity to explore countless other printing options, maybe some other branded merchandise to give his own children to decorate and sport for their own rest until 2033. And don’t get me started on music. He’ll be using that new phone to tweet all his fellow chirpers about the new song he found on a Spotify playlist, Drake’s Hotline Bling.

That’s all just one cicada’s story, but cicadas don’t usually have their own business to get out there. Technology, music, movies; all have changed over the last seventeen years, but what hasn’t changed is the love of a well branded product that you can share with your customers or with the employees that make your business possible. Branded merchandise isn’t just something that pops up once every seventeen years. They’re the shirts that customers wear with pride when they go visit the movies with their families. They’re the mugs they sip out of to get ready for a busy day at work, or at the end of a weekend long conference. They’re the flashy phone cases they show off to their friends as they share pictures, watch clips on YouTube, or take awkward selfies! Your brands can be with these people forever, and it doesn’t need to take seventeen years to get the word out. Place an order today.

Water. Here’s a Tip: Take a Sip!

Water Is Life

Did you know that more than 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water? That’s approximately 326 million trillion gallons of water, covering the surface of the planet and helping to power Earth’s complex and diverse natural life. A human body is composed of anywhere from 60% to 70% of water, as well. Without water, we’d be nothing but tiny balls of dust rolling across the face of a huge, dead boulder.

You don’t have to look for evidence of water’s importance, both to the planet as a whole and to our individual health. Regions with draught are prone to famine, wildfires, poor crop yields, and a host of other environmental calamities. The simple absence of Earth’s most important resource can fundamentally destroy a previously healthy region. The effect on a human body is exactly the same. It would probably be awful, but if you needed to, you could survive for up to three weeks without food. Only three days without water, though, is fatal to human beings.

Increase Hydration and Brand Awareness

It’s clear that water is the fuel that powers the engine of life. That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated at all times. Whether you’re doing heavy lifting in a warehouse, traveling around making sales calls, or sitting at your desk typing on a keyboard, getting enough water is the single most important thing you can do to enhance your overall health and productivity.

That’s why we’re so proud to offer industry-leading prices on custom water bottles. Whether you’re trying to outfit your employees, keep everyone hydrated during an employee appreciation barbecue, or looking for the perfect promotional product to get customers excited during the summer months, these water bottles are the perfect mix of fun, form, and function.

Giving your employees a branded water bottle is a great way to make sure they’re operating at peak performance. It helps them stay hydrated all day long and removes the need for frequent trips to grab something to drink. It improves workplace productivity and removes a potential inefficiency.

Custom Water Bottles Work

Now that summer is here, people love to be outside. Maybe you’re planning an employee appreciation barbecue. It’s a great way to improve morale and give your employees a little time to enjoy a summer day. Giving away our branded water bottles make the perfect addition. It gives them an easy way to fight off thirst in the summer sun and, when they take it home, makes a useful everyday item for their families.

Probably the best use of our custom branded water battles, though, is as a promotional item. Giving your customers a timely, useful promotional product is one of the most effective possible ways to market yourself. Summers are about bike rides, picnics, beach trips, and enjoying the outdoors. A water bottle is perfect for all of those activities. Best of all, they’ll see your logo every time they use it, which means your brand will be on their minds all summer long.

With a variety of colors available, we have the perfect water bottle for whatever you need. Contact us today to place an order and take advantage of this opportunity to get the perfect promotional item at an unbeatable cost.

Take Your Brand to New Heights with Promotional Products

You’ve built your business from the ground up. You work hard to make sure your product or service fits your customers’ needs. Often times, though, it seems as if your brand isn’t getting the recognition it deserves. You want your brand to be in front of as many eyes as possible, but this isn’t always easy. Sure, added exposure would help your bottom line, but more than that, you know that what you offer is something your customers want. It’s something that makes their lives easier and more enjoyable. Being there for your customers is the whole reason you started this business in the first place.

Unfortunately, some marketing can be pricey. As a result, many businesses decide to rely on word-of mouth or social networking to reach their customers. However, there is an alternative. You can expand your audience and reach as many people as possible while also avoiding the outrageous costs that are often incurred from other advertising mediums.

Promotional products are the answer.

They go by many names: promotional products; promos; branded merchandise; logoed stuff; swag; but no matter what you call them, there’s no denying their impact. Branded merchandise has an incredible return on investment and puts your business in front customers’ eyes and on their minds, all for a price that can accommodate any budget.

A recent study shows that American consumers have a highly favorable view of promotional products.

(click to see the full infographic)

Choose from many different products

Because of the large array of products and styles available, there is sure to be a branded merchandise assortment that will work for you. No budget is too big or small, so whether you’re looking for custom pens or embroidered Nike golf shirts, rushIMPRINT has the products you need at a price that fits.

For example, due to their low cost, some items like pens or custom sunglasses lend themselves better to large giveaways. Other more indulgent items, however, may be better suited as gifts to VIP clients, star employees, or for work anniversaries.

Another unique benefit of promotional products is their universal application. Because there are many different types of products that can be imprinted with your logo, there are no limits to which market you can advertise. Branded merchandise is like a skeleton key that unlocks the door to every demographic. Want to sponsor a 5k or awareness walk? Imprint your logo on custom water bottles, rally towels, and T-shirts. The participants will be thankful for the hydration and apparel and view your company favorably as a result. Maybe you’re considering donating equipment to a local school. Affix your logo to custom notebooks, pens, USB drives, or even backpacks. The students and parents will be thankful for the supplies and on top of that, contributing to education will shine a favorable light on your company. Everybody benefits.

Whatever audience you want to connect with, there is a promotional product that fits. Incorporating branded merchandise into your advertising efforts is a great way to take your company’s marketing to the next level. Start browsing now, there’s a product out there with your name on it, or rather, there will be soon!

The Stay Interview: Why Your Company Needs it

Anyone who runs an office is familiar with the exit interview. When an employee leaves, you ask them questions to figure out what they did and didn’t enjoy about their job, why they left, and what they think could be improved upon. Recently, though, employers have begun to wonder why you would wait until a potentially valuable employee leaves to figure out the answers to these questions. As a result, the “stay interview” is gaining a lot of traction in workplaces.

Put simply, a stay interview is an exit interview for employees who aren’t quitting. The goal is fundamentally the same. You want to figure out what your employees like, what they don’t like, and how to create a more productive work environment. It’s not just a great way to increase employee satisfaction, it helps bring new ideas to light before it’s too late to implement them.

When conducted correctly, a stay interview is a perfect way to keep your office running smoothly. Because of the different circumstances, though, a stay interview has to be conducted a little differently than an exit interview. If you aren’t asking the right kinds of questions, you won’t get the type of results you’re looking for.

The main goal of a successful stay interview question is to get your employee talking. That’s why you should never ask a “Yes” or “No” question. Asking your employees if they want to be paid more is going to get you a predictable answer and very little in the way of useful information. Instead, ask questions that require some thought and consideration.

A great question to ask is, “What opportunities to improve yourself would you like that go beyond your current role?” Another is, “Which of your personal talents do you not feel that we’re taking enough advantage of?” These are questions that require some elaboration to answer, and both are designed to reveal something about your employees and what motivates them. You might discover hidden, incredibly useful aptitudes that flew under the radar because they weren’t part of the technical job description.

The goal is to avoid asking simple questions like, “Are you happy here?” If the answer is yes, you don’t get any other useful information. If the answer is no, you’ve set an adversarial tone and are still forced to ask more questions to learn the root of the unhappiness. Designing your questions properly lets you easily determine the level of workplace satisfaction without creating a negative atmosphere or limiting how much you can learn from the process.

If you’re not already conducting stay interviews, there’s no better time to start than now. You might uncover problems you never knew existed or find ways to improve your productivity that you never even imagined. Your employees are your most valuable resource, and a stay interview is a brilliant way to make sure they have a comfortable work environment while also developing new, more effective business practices. Just ask the right questions and you might be shocked by how much your office’s morale and effectiveness improve.

The 3-4 Defense | How to Capitalize on a Gap in the Market

The 3-4 defense is one of the more interesting innovations in American Football, and one that the Pittsburgh Steelers used to great advantage for decades, not just in on-the-field performance, but in talent evaluation. With the NFL draft quickly approaching, let’s take a look at just how the 3-4 defense worked to Pittsburgh’s favor in terms of exploiting the existing market to unearth some exciting talent on defense.

A Breakdown of Defensive Setups in the NFL

First, it might be helpful to explain what the 3-4 defense is and how it works. In a typical base defense, which is also commonly referred to as a 4-3 defense, a team will deploy four defensive lineman and three linebackers in their front seven group of defenders. This is where the name 4-3 comes from. The defensive lineman play up front and play lower to the ground to get leverage against the opposing team’s offensive lineman, while the linebackers stand more upright to assume a greater range of responsibilities.

The 4-3 Defense

4-3 Defense

The primary goal for the four defensive lineman is to rush the quarterback and force a bad throw or sack him for a loss of yardage. A standard play call will have those four rushing; anything more than that is called a blitz, which augments the pass rush at the expense of coverage on receivers.

The 3-4 Defense

3-4 Defense

The 3-4 defense flips the line and linebackers, with three players playing up front and four linebackers standing upright behind them. The four-man rush remains in play as in a traditional defense, but the twist is that now any one of the four linebackers can act as that fourth pass rusher, which can confuse an opposing offense – a huge advantage over the course of a game.

The different style of defense leads to different type of talent requirements. The defensive line as a whole is larger in the 3-4 than in the 4-3. Outside linebackers in a 3-4 defense, who play on the edges of the front seven, are typically larger and less agile than their 4-3 counterparts.

Why This Swap Helped Win Games

While the 3-4 defense has waxed and waned in popularity since the 1980s, the Steelers are the only team to run it continuously since that decade. The advantage that this has given them as a result is that they’ve been able to snatch up valuable players in the draft and free agency that simply do not fit in a traditional 4-3 defense, such as college defensive ends who are too small to play that same position in the pros, but not quick enough to play linebacker in a 4-3. Because these players are in low demand league-wide, the Steelers are able to spend less valuable draft picks on them and sign them to cheaper initial contracts.

One of the best examples of the Steelers exploiting this gap in the market is James Harrison, who went undrafted and unnoticed until the Steelers plugged him into the lineup and let him flourish to the point where he won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008. If the 3-4 defense was more in style at the time, Pittsburgh may have missed out on Harrison as demand drove up interest from other teams.

A photo posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on

Luckily for Pittsburgh, they were one of the few NFL teams to run a true 3-4 defense at the time, and that strategy helped them exploit a market inefficiency to find low-demand and little-used talent that fit their team perfectly for a relative pittance.

What This Means for Your Business

By recognizing a gap in the market, and tailoring their strategy accordingly, the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to strengthen their efforts in ways other franchises couldn’t. Take a page from their playbook. By incorporating unorthodox strategies in creative ways, your business will set itself apart from the competition.

What has your business done to stand out from others in your industry? How did you go against convention? Was it a successful venture or did it fall flat on its face? Let us know in the comment section below!

Introducing the new Resource Center slider at!

For your convenience, we’ve added a new feature to our website. Our informative blogs, honest testimonials, engaging infographics, and interactive marketing calendar have all been condensed into one easy-to-use slider on the rushIMPRINT site. Simply click the Resource Center sidebar on the right side of your browser window to expand it, and then navigate to the resource of your choice.

Once clicked, the Resource Center menu slides open:

Once clicked, the slider offers 4 resources to assist in your marketing efforts:

(You’re on it now!) Learn best practices and strategies to help bolster your marketing efforts. In addition to in-depth product descriptions, the rushIMPRINT blog offers ways to implement branded merchandise into your campaign to help grow your business.

We’ve dedicated an entire section of the rushIMPRINT site to customer feedback. Here, we provide unedited messages from our customers. Our aim is to add a level of transparency to our process and offer honest insight on the experiences some of our customers have had working with us.

Find a wealth of useful marketing information at a glance. Our graphics department has taken in-depth research and visually represented it in an appealing and engaging format. These infographics will provide you with the knowledge to make the right choice when it comes to selecting your branded merchandise.

Marketing Calendars
Get quick, one-click access to a vast collection of marketing ideas coupled with corresponding promos. Our product specialists have paired holidays, health awareness occasions, sports events, and more with the branded merchandise to match each event. Many of these products even have 24-hour rush production. Procrastinators, we’re here for you!

The 5 Most Important Rushes in History

At rushIMPRINT, we’ve made a name for ourselves by providing top-quality branded merchandise at great prices. We got to thinking about our name, where it ranks in the world of Rush, and what else we can do to live up to it. We present the result below, the 100% Scientific* and Definitive** Rush Power Rankings!

5. Rush

Since 1968, Canadian prog-rock powerhouses Rush have been rocking faces all over the world with their unique blend of pop-friendly sound and virtuoso musicianship. As inductees into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Rush have cemented their status as one of the most legendary acts in rock music history. With 24 gold records and 14 platinum records, they rate as the third-highest-selling rock and roll band of all time. Their artistic triumphs, record-breaking album sales, and decades-long staying power have Canada’s favorite sons holding down the #5 spot on our power rankings.

4. Benjamin Rush

Charles Willson Peale [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Being in two different Halls of Fame is pretty amazing, but you know what beats it? Signing the Declaration of Independence! Benjamin Rush never had a gold album, but he was a physician, a member of the Continental Congress, a professor, and the founder of a college that remains open to this day! Think of the number of lives Benjamin Rush impacted. All of the students who have been educated at his institution. All of the generations who have grown up expecting the freedoms he fought to win. He may not have recorded “Tom Sawyer,” but he did more than enough to snag our #4 ranking.

3. Mt. Rushmore

What Benjamin Rush did not do is become President of the United States. He also, tragically, failed to have his face engraved on the side of a mountain in South Dakota. Signing the Declaration of Independence is a big deal, but it’s pretty hard to compete with four of the greatest Presidents in American history. Washington was instrumental in winning freedom for the Colonies. That declaration that Benjamin Rush signed? Yeah, Thomas Jefferson wrote that. What did Abraham Lincoln accomplish? Oh, right, he ended a Civil War and freed the slaves. As for Teddy Roosevelt, he was a soldier, a police chief, a boxer, a big game hunter, a wildlife conservationist, and a President. That’s why these men had their faces carved into a mountain on a monument that attracts more than 2 million visitors every year. More than enough to capture the #3 spot on the Rush Power Rankings. Mt. Rushmore might have been ranked higher, except for…

2. The California Gold Rush

Without the California Gold Rush, Mt. Rushmore might not even be in the United States today. Maybe the concept of Manifest Destiny made westward expansion inevitable, but there’s no question that when James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, he started a landslide that lead to America’s current sea-to-shining-sea shape. Within one year, California was already a state, and the other Western territories were quickly headed in that direction. A little glint in a streambed may have been the catalyst that helped create modern America. That’s why the California Gold Rush earns our #2 spot.

1. Custom Rush Apparel from rushIMPRINT

rush apparel from rushIMPRINT

Everyone on this list accomplished a lot, but none of them did it in just 24 hours. Thanks to our new custom rush apparel program, you can order high-end branded apparel that ships in as little as 24 hours! No waiting around for your shipment, no worries that your shipment is late, and no need to plan weeks or months in advance. Just log in, place your order, and boom! It’s out the door the next business day. It’s a whole new paradigm in custom branded apparel. This is the same high-quality branded merchandise you’ve come to expect from us delivered in record-setting time!

* Not Actually Scientific
** In No Way Definitive

Earn Your Customers’ Focus in a Sea of Distraction

Over the years, American advertising has grown from humble beginnings into a pervasive medium present in nearly all facets of our life.

Think about it.

If you take a look around you right now, I’d wager there are at least several things within your line of sight that are imprinted with a company’s logo. As I’m typing this, nearly a dozen items on my desk are branded. My décor is minimalistic, too, so most of these logos are on things I use every day-my keyboard, mouse, monitors, etc.

This speaks to the prevalent nature of branding in our culture. Unless you’re clad in homemade clothing and backpacking through the wilderness, nearly everywhere you go is likely to be smattered with a logo of some sort. Pair this branding saturation with the increasingly short attention span of the average adult (8 seconds) and you’ll likely come to one inevitable conclusion:

To earn customers’ attention, you need to say something unique.

A task not so easy in today’s market where in just one minute, Facebook users like over 4 million posts, Twitter sees 347,222 tweets, and Snapchat users share 284,722 snaps. As illustrated below, the amount of big data generated every 60 seconds is overwhelming.

With this degree of content overload in mind, it’s clear to see how earning customers’ attention is extremely competitive. This wasn’t the case in American marketing’s infancy. In the late 1700s, marketing consisted mainly of colonists advertising goods on-hand. The messaging was basic, dry, and purely informative. Flash forward a couple hundred and a half years, and marketing has, out of necessity, evolved into a colorful and creative art form.

To stay relevant, marketers are constantly thinking of fresh ways to promote their brand. It’s no longer enough to put your product or service on a billboard and wait for orders to come in. You need to be active and engaging in your messaging. Your need to not only speak to the problems your product or service can solve, but it also must resonate on a personal level with your audience

Native advertising is a medium so clever, you can hardly tell what you’re seeing is an ad. It gets your customers involved by offering an experience beyond the traditional exchange of goods and services. When using this type of marketing, the advertisement often becomes the content itself. Take, for example, the Nationwide Commercial featuring Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning. The commercial portrays Manning singing about his day-to-day life to the tune of the Nationwide Jingle. The most memorable line being “Chicken parm you taste so good”.

Due to its popularity, this spot even lent itself to parody in a subsequent ad; a commercial sequel of sorts.

Is Nationwide promoting any of its benefits with this commercial? Is it clear how their insurance is better than the competition? Not at all, but this was not the purpose of the ad. The purpose was brand awareness and recognition. Nearly everyone can recall their jingle after hearing Peyton sing it. Some have probably even come up with their own versions. You may even be humming it to yourself right now.

In a press release, Nationwide’s Chief Marketing Officer Terrance Williams said “The original ‘Jingle’ ad was one of the highest performing television ads in the history of our brand”. Nationwide’s concept was to bathe Peyton in a relatable light; to strip through the layers of stardom and instead, show him in everyday situations. This led customers to see him as relatable and ultimately associate this feeling to Nationwide. Customers want to buy from relatable companies. It fosters brand confidence.

Although the specific benefits of choosing Nationwide Insurance may be lost in the message, that information isn’t the focus of this commercial. The focus is brand awareness. By gaining this type of brand awareness from just one campaign, customers who need insurance are much more likely to go to Nationwide first. All they need to do at that point is offer at least comparable, if not superior services at competitive prices.

By incorporating an advertisement with a memorable and easily emulated jingle, a superstar quarterback, and a bit of comedy, Nationwide was able to make their brand a household name. They found a way to creatively gain brand recognition with a jingle that was catchy enough to be repeated by everyone around the TV on Super Bowl Sunday. In terms of brand recognition, it would behoove your company to take a page from Nationwide’s marketing playbook.

What are some of your company’s non-traditional marketing efforts? How have you gone beyond your product to engage customers in interesting ways? Maybe you incorporated distinctive product giveaways with your company’s logo. Let us know in the comments below and click through to start customizing your unique promos.