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Greetings from Big, Fat, Ugly Me

Filed under: Guest Blog, Using Ad Specialties

Guest blog from Kathy Huston, Advantages magazine editor:

Let me start by saying that I’m originally from Northern New Jersey.

This is why my colleagues here in Trevose, PA make fun of the way I say “cawfee,” “chawklette,” and “draws” (meaning, the things you store clothes in inside your dresser, or as I call it, your “chest-a-draws.”)

Nowadays, as a transplant living in Langhorne – home of Reedman-Toll Auto World and Sesame Place and a suburb of Philly – I can say that while I totally disagree with this conclusion, I really don’t take it too personally that Philadelphians are deemed the ugliest people in the history of the world.

OK, so that’s taking it a little too far, but the City of Brotherly Love was, in fact, named the city with the ugliest people, according to Travel & Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities 2008″ survey.  Where’s the love, brother? 

And it’s not the first time for that dubious distinction either.  Have these people never seen Chase Utley?  As our editorial intern, Maurin Walchak, says about the second baseman for the Phillies, “Second-base Chase makes my heart race.”  Agreed.  And he is only one of a ton of very attractive Greater Philadelphians.  Go to www.phillystylemag.com to see more.  Better yet, come for a visit.

Plus, Philadelphians are allegedly among the least stylish and least friendly.  Are they kidding me?  As if all that isn’t insulting enough, last year, the American Obesity Association ranked Philly in the top 10 cities with the fattest populations.  Thanks, cheesesteak inventor, soft-pretzel makers…and yes, you too, Tastykake bakers (I could go for one of each right about now).

The Web site www.brandcurve.com says, “Looks like it’s time for Philadelphia to revamp, revitalize and rebrand!”  On that note, the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation did unveil a new marketing campaign just before the summer to entice travelers to visit Philly and its surrounding areas.  The slogan: “Philly’s More Fun.”  

Maybe one of you clever promotional gurus can help out with a “Philly’s Phat” campaign to combat the “Philly’s Fat” designation.  Suppliers, what do you think?  Can you help a brother (sister) out?  Think “Phat” hats; highly attractive bobble-head dolls; T-shirts that say “Pretty Philadelphian” and “Keystone Cool.”  Let’s turn this thing around.  Fellow Philadelphians unite!

Or we can just go drown our sad, fat, ugly sorrows in Yuengling lager, brewed right here in the Greater Philly area.  That should add another five pounds, but on a more positive note, even the ugliest Philadelphians will look better through beer goggles.

I’m joking, Philly!  For the editorial team’s take on whether or not we are so very hideous and even more opinionated discussions, watch a video replay of the most recent ASI Radio Show – at asicentral.com/radio.

Post a comment now or email Kathy, at khuston@asicentral.com.  Also, stay informed and submit your email address in the window called ‘Enter your email for updates’ at the top right of the screen and you’ll receive a note when the next post goes live.

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Video Tips for Your Marketing

Filed under: Education

I’ve heard from ASI members that video is starting to transform how they’re selling advertising specialties and they’re thinking about using videos to increase sales faster.  Some already use them extensively.

We’ve embraced using video at ASI and you can watch several on asicentral.com that provide personal introductions to our staff and demonstrate business-building features of our products.

But, using video was unchartered territory for us and many other businesses not long ago and we’re constantly refining and trying compelling new ways to deliver video that keeps viewers engaged.

In a recent business radio program about using video, I shared some tips that we’ve learned at ASI that you can apply to your videos or ones you’d like to start making.

Tips for producing and using videos that sell:

  • Keep it simple – show the most unique features of a product to keep viewers interested.
  • Make videos brief – several short segments are easier to digest than one lengthy one.
  • Repurpose – post a video on your Website, but also email it to prospects and run it in a loop on a screen in your trade show booth.

I’ve uploaded the video of the radio program and you can click here to watch it for more video tips from me, the hosts and another invited guest.

Let me know your thoughts about the radio program and videos – I’d like to hear your experiences.  Post now on the blog or email me anytime, at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our shows, watch my videos at youtube.com/timasitv

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Tony Robbins Booked for ASI Orlando

Filed under: Education, Industry Initiatives, Members, News About ASI

I’m excited to announce today that Tony Robbins, world-renowned authority on the psychology of leadership, negotiations, organizational turnaround and peak performance, will be the keynote speaker at ASI Orlando on Monday, January 5.

Seating to this event will be limited and ASI members should register for ASI Orlando at asishow.com to be guaranteed a seat.

For 30 years, Tony has served as an advisor to leaders around the world.  Beyond fathering the life coaching industry, Robbins is the owner of and helps run 11 companies.

Robbins has also been honored as one of the “Top 50 Business Intellectuals in the World” by Accenture; as one of the “Top 200 Business Gurus” by Harvard Business Press; and as one of the world’s “Outstanding Humanitarians” by Justice Byron White.

I’m sure our members will leave Tony’s presentation with new ideas for achieving business success in our industry and growing personally.

Robbins told ASI Show today:  “I am honored to be speaking as part of The ASI Show 2009.  ASI is a leader because its members know how to thrive, not just survive, in any economic environment.  It will be a privilege to address a group that consistently delivers superior results and raises the bar in the industry.”

Tony was selected based on surveys taken by ASI members and he consistently ranked among the top individuals that people most wanted to see.

To see Tony Robbins, register now for ASI Orlando, at asishow.com, or call 1-800-546-3300.  Space is limited, so in order to be sure you get a seat, register by September 30.

Tell me what you think.  Post a comment now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  Enter your email in the “Enter your email for updates” window in the gray shaded area at the top right of the screen, and you’ll get an email when there’s a new blog post.

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Product Ideas from Estonia – Pics

Filed under: Education, Using Ad Specialties

I just returned from vacation in Estonia, a former Soviet territory that sits on the Baltic Sea.  It’s a wonderful country, with tons of rural areas to explore, casual but delicious restaurants and incredibly friendly people.  Plus, since Estonia is in the EU but not yet on the Euro, it’s an affordable place to vacation.

Like everywhere I’ve been, there were imprinted items being used to market stores, hotels and other businesses. 

I brought back a couple favorites.

At one local restaurant, Ribe, the table was set with the napkin and eating utensils completely enclosed in a linen holder with the restaurant’s name embroidered outside.  It was a long piece of cloth with an extended flap at the top that folds down into a loop to cover the utensils – sort of like those 1960s pencil cases that had the roll top.  It provided a sense of a more sanitary situation versus when the utensils are placed by hand on the table, and it was a cool way for clients who own or market restaurants to brand their establishments. 

I think it also would be a terrific giveaway – diners could take them home and tell their friends.  Any restaurant would work – imagine chopsticks at Asian places, for instance.

I also visited a small local shop where a craftsman/merchant offered to imprint a logo or message onto the front cover of an old-style, 100% leather hand-bound journal.  It had impressive thick covers and two matching ribbons to use to tie it closed.  It even included antique-style paper inside to provide an exclusive feel.  A truly unique and personal gift for clients to use to thank their customers.  There are several U.S. suppliers who could provide similar products, and some who I’m sure could upgrade their offerings for special, higher-end incentive gifts like these.

Fashion trends often start in Europe, especially Eastern Europe.  I’ve been traveling there for several years, and one big, obvious trend this year is a “new color” – white.  Shirts, pants, shorts, shoes, belts, you name it.  I’d say 15% of the Estonians – male and female – were in all white or mostly white.  When I was there 18 months ago, I didn’t see anyone in white. 

So be on the lookout for those white 1970s shoes to be back in style – and for apparel demands to shift to white in coming months.

Tell me what you think – post a comment now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  I also mentioned these products on this week’s ASI Radio show – available for replay at www.asicentral.com/radio.

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AlphaGraphics Recognizes Service and Support

Filed under: Community, Industry Initiatives, Members, News About ASI

The “Supplier of the Year” award from AlphaGraphics recognizes a supplier that provides outstanding service, responsiveness and support to their 230 U.S. business centers.  This year, AlphaGraphics presented the award to ASI.

Congratulations are in order for the entire team at ASI – I feel that the award signifies that we provide the best resources and services to help all of our distributor, supplier and decorator members improve their businesses and increase their sales everyday. 

Our people and products truly help distributors and suppliers excel professionally and personally, but of course no one is perfect and we’re striving to improve in all areas across-the-board for our members all the time. 

The award was presented during the recent AlphaGraphics Annual International Conference in Montréal, Canada and ASI was one of only three suppliers recognized by the AlphaGraphics system this year.

Tell me what you think anytime – post now on the blog or email me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.  For new products from our shows, watch my videos on YouTube, at youtube.com/timasitv.