Doug Zanger: I Was Wrong About Promo Items

Not Only That, I Was Hypocrite

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Doug Zanger Doug Zanger
Back in August, I wrote a not-so-pleasant article about promotional items. It was a rather scathing missive about how I felt that promotional items weren't necessary and mostly a waste of time. I was (rightfully) skewered for my observations. Quite frankly, they were void of any merit and an ill-informed attempt to generate some kind of conversation. In looking back, I was pretty mean about the whole thing.

For Advertising Week, I interviewed Paul Kiwiet of Brandkiwi and I could tell that my presence on the microphone wasn't terribly well-received. In fact, if you listen to the interview, you'll hear me cave, retreat and backtrack better than John Kerry on his best days. Paul was very gracious and kind, and that made me feel like an even bigger tool for what I wrote.

Bottom line is I probably could have handled that post better than I did. So consider this my public apology to the people in the promotional industry.

The reason for this mea culpa is simple: We're going to be creating a promo store for some of the odd ideas that may or may not have a home for clients or ourselves. It's part of the creative oxygen that gives life to anything and everything we can think of. One hundred percent of the profits from what we sell will go to the Freeplay Foundation, so we feel good about getting our stuff out there for all of you to heartily buy and enjoy.

Sure, in this case, I was quite the hypocrite and I was called on it by my colleague. In fact, he used a new Flip camera emblazoned with our company logo to document my idiocy. Watch the resulting squirming here.

Yes, it is a promo item and I am proud of it. If you care to buy one, it will be available in our little whimsy shop and all of the proceeds will go to the Freeplay Foundation.

In the meantime, I'm on the lookout to get some of those HBO-style pens made. Based on my previous post, they seem to be a real winner.

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