I'm Only Happy When it Rains
Gary Libman, president of Storm Duds Raingear, Attleboro, Mass., mentioned a clear bubble-dome umbrella Storm Duds is introducing that will allow for decoration around its lower border. "This product can also be customized with a step-and-repeat design all over the edge," he said. He mentioned as well that full and under-canopy designs are available on the company's solid umbrellas.
There are several new technical innovations in umbrella design that help them weather the elements more effectively. Casey described one that improves the longevity of an umbrella's decoration.
"Variotex R was added this year," he said. "It's an opaque woven polyester that's UV-protected and resistant to water and weather, allowing our umbrellas to move away from being just an 'advertising' umbrella to more of a weather-resistant product."
Storm Duds has continued to add to its windproof offerings. "We are introducing several new styles in 2014, including a vented folding umbrella called the Windflow Dynamo," Libman said. "This product has a windflow venting system and prevents inversion in high winds."
Ways to Use
Like many other promotional products, umbrellas are a more versatile advertising product than they might seem at first glance. There are many creative ways to use them besides giving them to someone and saying, "Here's a well-decorated item that will also keep you dry."
Casey mentioned one promotional use for umbrellas is as point-of-purchase displays at bars or restaurants. "Our umbrellas have been featured and utilized in a wide range of different ways at hotels, bars, sporting events and more," he said. "Commonly, we see them paired with our advertising chairs, as this duo helps to create a maximum advertising impact."
Edge also shared a point-of-purchase example, but with an added twist of using the increased foot traffic and TV coverage that comes with the presence of a large, nationally televised and ultra-hyped event.