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It’s great when we can see the impact a simple promotional product can have. For Easter, my church takes over our local college stadium. On Good Friday, we bring in a prominent worship band, Saturday is "PrEaster," with bounce houses, slides, and games for kids. Sunday is Easter where we serve a continental breakfast for two to three thousand people before the service.

Our senior pastor was in corporate marketing before becoming a pastor…and he thinks marketing. Here’s the promotion: In CA they charge for grocery bags. This promotion involves giving away a bag with our EASTER at College of the Canyons imprint that includes our Easter event invitation. The bags can be given away in a grocery store, or wherever? It’s simple, and a blessing to give away a bag people can use.

When I posted online about our need for a low-cost grocery tote for this promotion, several great suppliers offered to help. My friend Dana Zezzo from Imagen Brands asked me to call him. Dana had the ability to do something special to support this promotion. He hooked me up with a very nice lined cooler bag that I could provide to my church for less than “4 Imprint’s” .87 standard grocery tote price. Using a better, higher-end bag has a more significant impact when you give it away…obviously. This promotion has worked great. Thank you, Dana! If you are looking for a simple, high-impact promotion, consider doing something like this.

Here's my “real world” promo story from this bag giveaway. A friend of mine was in town, and we hung out at our local cigar lounge for a while. As is often the case, when you are sitting around for an hour or two, you have interesting conversations. We met Alex, an Italian who is married to a Russian pianist who has had an exciting career. We talked about many things and learned he loves to cook. They have a 9-year old son. It seemed to me that Alex would enjoy receiving a bag for his groceries and that his son Alessandro would have fun at our "PrEaster" kids day on Saturday before Easter. That’s what this promotion is all about. I gave him a bag. The next day I received this e-mail:

Subject: From Alex (met at Cigar Clientele)

Dear Jeff, to say it was absolutely delightful meeting you and your awesome buddy Pete it’s an understatement. I had a grand time chatting with you both tonight. And I just visited your websites, and I am even more impressed by the scope of your activities! Bravo!

Thank you so much for the lovely gift of the shopping bag, my wife loved it! And yes, I would love to take our boy Alessandro to the pre-Easter party you mentioned. Feel free to send any relevant information. We should be available.

I am so looking forward to seeing you both again, we just have to make it happen, soon! I am also interested in exploring business possibilities as we are constantly growing, more often than not through trial and error…. You guys take good care, and God Bless!

I sent him a video of what "PrEaster" looks like and perhaps they will come. And there is the potential to do business with him.

Giving away a bag is simple and we were able to utilize a promotional product that efficiently carried the brand and a promotional message.

The promotion and event turned out to be a huge hit! Bags were seen around town at different stores. There were stories, like mine, of how people had great conversations. People loved giving away the bags and people enjoyed receiving them. This is was one of the key goals of this bag promotion.

The other goal was to drive traffic to the event. To that end, we can report that it appears we may have had our largest turnout for our Easter Service. The stands and spots on the field were packed! All this was good for the community and helped Crossroads Community Church share the Easter message. This was a very successful promotion. The Easter branding on a higher end cooler bag will last all year. People will continue to use these bags. Imagen Brands did an awesome product for us and we are thankful for their help!

Think outside the box…or bag for your next promotion!

© 2018 Jeff Solomon, MAS


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