But silk-screening is only effective on flat surfaces, and with the majority of stress reducers being rounded, pad printing must often be used. Shulman explained that, while a flat object can be decorated in a virtually unlimited number of colors, most pad-printing techniques on round surfaces can accommodate at best a four-color imprint, depending on the artwork.
In that regard, Torres recommends keeping it simple when it comes to imprint design. "On items that are squeezable, it is best to not imprint small text or detail, as it may fill in when the pad presses down on the item," she stated.
THINK OUTSIDE THE SPHERE
While there's nothing wrong with the tried-and-true polyurethane ball, a little innovation can go a long way toward maximizing the promotional capabilities of stress-reducing products. One example of such forward thinking is Prime Line's Belly Wobbler, a stress reliever with a weighted base and magnetized hands for holding paper clips, which proved to be the perfect giveaway at a magnetics company's trade show booth. "Because of the added magnet feature, the end-buyer was able to effectively communicate its 'magnetic message' by offering a desk item with functionality," Shulman explained. "It also helped the end-buyer stand out from the competition, because the Belly Wobbler was so different from what other exhibitors were handing out."
And while the adjective "high-tech" is seldom the first to come to mind when envisioning stress reducers, there are indeed brave pioneers who have reimagined the seemingly simple products for the digital age—and reaped considerable rewards in the process. Tom Miller, marketing supervisor for Ariel Premium Supply, St. Louis, Mo., detailed one such instance, in which an urgent care center gave away a bandage-shaped stress reliever with a QR code imprinted on the reverse side. "On the landing page that the QR code directed to, they added a pop-up survey that asked questions to participants to help improve the quality of service," explained Miller. "The data was configured by Google Analytics, [which] measured that the facility had increased awareness by 27 percent."