If anyone ever questions you about the popularity of promotional products, show them a photo from St. Patrick's Day.
This one was taken in Philadelphia's University City section, near the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, outside of the area's most-popular Irish pub. At 10 a.m. On Saturday.
What the hasty camera phone shot doesn't show is the size of the crowd, which extended to the end of the block. See that bus in the background? It was adding more drops to the sea of green.
Walking to meet my friend (and former Promo Marketing editor) Laurence for breakfast, I was one of the only people not decked out in a green promotional T-shirt, cap and medallion. Incidentally, I was also one of the only people sober. Did I mention it was 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 12?
Over (what else) green eggs and ham, Laurence and I discussed how pervasive promotional products are. There are tens of thousands of students in that area of the city alone, and it looked like each one was out that morning, and each one was wearing something green. Most of those Irish-themed T-shirts and hats were likely produced by industry suppliers, and I saw more than one shamrock pendant that looked distinctly familiar.
This isn't news to you, of course, but it's a great example of the scope of our industry. For one day, or one week in Philadelphia (or one month if you're a college student), everyone goes green, with tons of businesses giving out Irish-themed items and people buying what they don't get for free. People don't just take these items as handouts: they seek them out and display them proudly.
Some people are making a lot of money off St. Patrick's Day, and hopefully you're among them. It's a great and obvious case study to crack a tough customer, and Colleen's blog this week has a lot of superb examples of products to show customers next year. Have you had any success with St. Patrick's Day promotions, or any other promotions that have effectively capitalized on a holiday or celebration? Let us know in the comments.