12 Unique and Clever Promotional Product Marketing Ideas


You’ve likely come across cheap promotional products in the UK on numerous occasions – those items like t-shirts, water bottles, and pens. You’ve seen them at concerts, sports events, online shops endorsed by your favorite podcasts, and prominently displayed on tables during college job fairs. Swag is ubiquitous!

However, simply procuring this marketing swag and placing it on a table or in a gift shop won’t suffice. It necessitates effort and ingenuity in its deployment to maximise return on investment.

Would you like to witness these strategies in action? Below, you’ll find brilliant promotional marketing campaigns that leverage branded merchandise. These advertising concepts are worth considering for your own endeavours!

  1. T-Shirt Movie – Coca-ColaT-Shirt-Movie-Coca-Cola-01

Coca-Cola is well-versed in the realm of branded merchandise. Some even indulge in collecting classic coolers, vintage signs, and timepieces. Nevertheless, they improved their promotional marketing strategy in 2013, introducing a “Wearable Movie.” Coke t-shirts were given away as gifts too many supporters. They received an invitation to participate in a short movie. Each t-shirt was distinct and played a part in the unfolding narrative of the movie.

Why it’s ingenious: Customers were invited to participate in the marketing campaign, receiving something for free. The allure of a moment of fame is universally appealing, and by “starring” in Coca-Cola’s movie, fans could experience being part of something substantial.

Consider Implementing This Promotion Engraved drinking glasses, personalised t-shirts and Custom straws.

USA Today claims: “Branded giveaways still wield influence, notwithstanding businesses’ emphasis on online marketing.”

  1. Holiday Gift Boxes – PolerHoliday-Gift-Boxes-Poler-01.jpg

Leveraging social media for promotional marketing can yield exceptional results. Case in point: Poler’s campaign, where fans could enter to win a box of complimentary branded swag by tagging two friends. Specialising in outdoor equipment and apparel, Poler’s gift box included items like beanies and Frisbees.

Why it’s brilliant: Who can resist the allure of winning appealing items at no cost? Poler significantly elevated their social media engagement and captivated their audience with these promotional products. Moreover, a social media contest of this nature can attract an average of 17,500 new followers.

Consider Implementing This Promotion: Custom Frisbees, Embroidered beanies and Personalised jackets.

  1. Pop-Up Laundry Mat – LGPop-Up-Laundry-Mat-LG-01

LG showcased the capabilities of their appliances through an innovative activation at the Bonnaroo festival in 2018. LG staff, clad in promotional t-shirts and baseball hats, set up a complimentary laundry facility with 25 free washers and dryers for festival-goers. They even hosted a vintage clothing exchange!

Why it’s ingenious: Music festivals are synonymous with getting dirty, making this an ideal opportunity for LG to highlight their appliances. Their promotional marketing elevated their appeal, enhanced the festival experience, and endeared them to a younger target demographic.

Consider implementing this promotion like promotional t-shirts, custom laundry bags and custom baseball hats.

  1. Sticker Challenge – Timesuck PodcastSticker-Challenge-Timesuck-Podcast-01.jpg December 8

Dan Cummins, the Timesuck podcast host, created a unique promotional campaign. He encouraged his fans to affix customised stickers in random locations within their neighbourhoods. They were then instructed to capture photos for social media and share them using the hashtag #spreadthesuck. The more a fan posted, the greater their chances of winning $100 worth of complimentary “Timesuck” merchandise, such as t-shirts, hoodies, insulated water bottles, and tapestries.

Why it’s clever: Fans willingly participate in the challenge, becoming active contributors. Placing stickers in unexpected spots becomes an enjoyable endeavour. Moreover, the prizes reinforce their loyalty and promote the podcast simultaneously.

Consider implementing this promotion like insulated water bottles, customised stickers and personalised hoodies.

“The merchandise serves as a means to reciprocate the support of your fan community, providing them with something to proudly represent your brand.”

– Joe Paisley from Timesuck for Video/Audio Production

  1. Donut Pop-Up Shops – GoogleDonut-PopUp-Shops-Google01.jp

Google ventured into the offline realm by establishing pop-up doughnut shops in Los Angeles and New York. Visitors had a unique choice at the counter – either a delectable doughnut or a brand-new Google Home Mini. This strategic move capitalised on the fact that 85% of event participants are inclined to purchase.

Why it’s brilliant: Google, a globally recognised brand, often interacts with customers through screens. The pop-up shops and enticing treats provided a direct avenue for engagement with their fans.

Consider implementing this promotion: custom Bluetooth speakers, branded boxes and personalised candy.

  1. Remote Control Socks – Netflix

Netflix is a noticeable streaming platform with more than 238.39 million subscribers as of 2023. Recognising that many viewers drift into slumber while enjoying their favourite shows, Netflix devised an innovative solution: remote control socks! These cleverly designed custom socks incorporate sensors that automatically pause the programme when the wearer falls asleep, taking the “Netflix and Chill” experience to new level.

Why it’s brilliant: This promotional marketing concept is ingenious. Netflix adeptly understands its customers’ needs and addresses them in a playful manner that elicits smiles. It’s a level of creativity that sets them apart from the competition, Hulu included.

Consider implementing this promotion, like tech-oriented promotional products, personalised socks, and customised slippers.

  1. Hot Wheels Giveaway – Chicago Auto Show

Almost annually at the Chicago Auto Show, Ford distributes exclusive Hot Wheels to the attendees. The twist? These unique promotional products are available only once an hour for a limited duration, demanding swift action.

Why it’s astute: This approach blends urgency and motivates attendees to actively seek out Ford’s booth every year. Many visitors bring their children, who are delighted by complimentary toys and might develop a lasting affinity for Ford. Furthermore, this plan encourages people to return to the auto show each year to get more unique items, as they become collectable treasures.

Consider implementing this promotion like automotive accessories, customised toys and transportation-themed stress relievers.

“Giveaways are a tried and true way to engage with customers, both present and potential.”

Mark Bilek, Communications & Technology Senior Director—Chicago Automobile Trade Association

  1. Car Mirror Decals – Miami-Dade Animal Shelter

Dogs derive immense joy from sticking their heads out of car windows. Miami-Dade Animal Shelter cleverly harnessed this concept with car mirror decals. These decals, more imaginative than standard bumper stickers, draw positive attention to the shelter’s cause. Given that approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters annually, every bit of promotional marketing aids their mission in the long run.

Why it’s brilliant: Miami-Dade Animal Shelter offers these decals on its website and provides them free of charge to pet adopters. These logo-bearing items will spark conversations and, ideally, generate increased awareness and support for the shelter.

Consider implementing this promotion like promotional car accessories, custom stickers and animal-themed keychains.

  1. Merch Scavenger Hunt – Birdhouse

Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse, a skateboarding legend, was established in 1992. The business debuted the “Twitter Hunt” in 2012. One of the 80 hidden gift boxes was available for fans to find in key locations worldwide. These crates were packed with promotional goods from well-known sponsors like Jones Soda, Vans, and Pirate’s Booty potato chips.

Why it’s ingenious: This innovative promotional marketing campaign simultaneously spotlighted multiple brands. It resembled an adult version of an Easter egg hunt, creating enjoyment for participants. This interactive experience ignited numerous conversations, both offline and across social media platforms.

Consider implementing this promotion like bulk snacks, promotional drawstring bags and custom shoelaces.

  1. Weight Loss Calendars – Cia Athletic

Cia Athletica observed a recurring decline in gym memberships each month. To counteract this trend, they introduced ingenious calendars to new members. These calendars visually depict the transformation of one’s physique over time, starting from January and culminating in a muscular physique by December.

Why it’s ingenious: These promotional calendars are both imaginative and serve to drive increased gym attendance. While gifting a membership is one thing, these calendars fulfil a dual purpose by assisting individuals in staying on course with their fitness objectives.

Consider implementing this promotion with custom wall calendars, fitness-related promotional products and desktop calendars.

  1. Summer Ice Breaker – JetBlue

Everyone excitedly awaits the approach of summer after suffering through a protracted and challenging winter. JetBlue capitalised on this sentiment by introducing two massive ice blocks in Manhattan. These ice cubes contained a variety of goodies, including branded summer clothing, flip-flops, and sporting goods. Additionally, participants had the chance to break the ice and win complimentary travel from New York to Palm Springs.

Why it’s brilliant: Placing a colossal ice block in the heart of Manhattan is guaranteed to command attention. Moreover, it draws people to the location to pursue the enticing prices concealed within. All these elements contribute to heightened brand visibility for JetBlue, making the airline a memorable choice for travellers.

Consider implementing this promotion, like logo-bearing apparel, customised outdoor gifts, and sunglasses.

  1. Direct Mail Candles – Earth Hour

According to a report by the BBC, a staggering 80% of the world’s population resides under the glare of light-polluted skies. Earth Hour, a global initiative orchestrated by the World Wide Fund for Nature, sought to rally support from significant businesses by dispatching yellow candles via direct mail. These candles were ingeniously packaged within boxes resembling buildings, symbolising the act of turning off lights. This campaign resulted in a remarkable 260% surge in corporate support for the cause.

Why it’s clever: Earth Hour is an example of the proverb “honey draws more flies than vinegar.” Rather than censuring companies, they extended a gesture of goodwill as a complimentary gift that echoed their mission.

Consider implementing this promotion: custom candles, direct mail offerings and eco-friendly promotional products.

How You Can Explore Promotional Marketing?

You deserve captivating promotional merchandise that will captivate people. Beyond merely selling or distributing them randomly, several alternative ways exist to integrate swag into your marketing strategies.

Here’s a recap of the approaches mentioned in the preceding examples:

Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing offers a creative and unexpected means for your fans to actively participate in building your brand.

Timesuck effectively engaged its fanbase by employing custom stickers and enticing prizes, all contributing to promoting the podcast. Similarly, JetBlue initiated a memorable promotional campaign that broke the ice with customers.

Pop-Up Shops

Hosting a pop-up shop not only puts a face to your brand but also becomes even more effective when complemented by promotional merchandise.

LG profited from Bonnaroo’s popularity. Google made their new voice service device known by giving them away for free, along with delicious doughnuts.

Limited Time Offers

At your store, trade exhibition, or charity event, creative promotional handouts provided for a brief period can spark interest in your company or its goods.

Ford’s Hot Wheels cars at the Chicago Auto Show are eagerly anticipated year after year, creating a tradition that keeps people coming back. Miami-Dade Animal Shelter also leveraged limited-time offers through their one-time promotional campaign orchestrated by an ad agency.

Social Media Contests

Boost your brand’s social media following by offering enticing promotional products at contest prices.

Poler and Birdhouse successfully generated buzz around their products on social media by promising free branded merchandise.

Promotional Gifts

Ensure that your cheap promotional products in the UK resonate with diverse audiences and evoke a strong emotional response.

Cia Athletica targeted individuals who often struggle to maintain their fitness routines with imaginative promotional calendars. Coca-Cola fostered a sense of community with their personalised t-shirts. At the same time, Netflix brought humour to the table with their custom socks.

Direct Mailers

Incorporate promotional gifts into broader campaigns to raise awareness about a cause or introduce a new product.

Earth Hour illuminated its noble cause by dispatching complimentary candles to prominent corporations.

In all cases, strive for thoughtfulness and creativity when selecting your promotional products. This approach ensures that your giveaways, and by extension, your brand, remain firmly etched in the collective memory for the long haul.

Final Thoughts

You have numerous ways to utilise personalised promotional products in the UK for promoting your company. People have a strong affinity for receiving complimentary items. Still, these items can serve a more major purpose when integrated into creative marketing campaigns.

Now, offline endeavours such as scavenger hunts and pop-up shops can become viral sensations and garner big attention. Go for creativity, and remarkable advertising achievements can appear from these endeavours!

At “Logo Designs Company”, get an extensive choice of cheap promotional products in the UK – ideal for businesses with even the most modest marketing budgets.


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