Promotions stand a greater chance of success when combined with giveaway items, or "free gifts." Despite a company's best efforts, people consider many promotional items to be gimmicky and of little value. However, every once in a while a promotional product comes along that defies history and literally changes the way that promotional products are viewed for some time to come. Products that have such a major impact on the promotional product market are very rare indeed. Where do these influential promotional campaigns originate? Surprisingly enough, two of these smoking-hot promotions were created by fast food restaurants!
McDonald's and the Magic Beans
McDonald's made history when they offered Teenie Beanie Babies ® toys with their Happy Meals. This campaign was so successful that McDonald's actually had to place a limit on how many Teenie Beanie Babies ® could be purchased in addition to Happy Meal sales. Even McDonald's was not prepared for the wild popularity of this particular promotion and ran out of the Teenie Beanie Babies ® long before the campaign was supposed to have ended. In fact, Teenie Beanie Babies ® did not last even halfway through this campaign, which turned out to be pure gold for McDonald's!
Burger King's Customer Collection
Burger King experienced overwhelming success through their partnership with Pokémon for promotional Kids Meal products (and they have forged other joint ventures since then). This marketing move was a stroke of promotional genius for both Burger King and Pokémon; the campaign was a huge hit and drove many customers to visit the restaurant. Only time will tell if this campaign achieves the same type of success as previous promotions, which created quite the buying frenzy in the past.
America Online's Shiny Success
America Online (AOL) had a very ingenious promotional idea that served them well for quite some time. Though they are no longer the powerhouse in Internet connectivity that they once were, the campaign to deliver discs across the country and offer free service (for various lengths of time) was a major success for many years. They used direct mailing and store shelf giveaways to promote their Internet service and it attracted millions of dollars in business. Handing out free discs wherever people purchased computers also helped them become a giant in the industry as well as become a household name.
There have been many promotional products introduced to worldwide markets throughout the years. Very few have had the impact on the market at large in quite the way that those mentioned above have. Companies like McDonald's, Burger King, and America Online experienced large-scale success with their promotional products, but keep in mind that they are already staples in their respective industries. Small businesses that give away useful and reusable items like custom water bottles or personalized can koozies have also had great success in the past. Who will have the next big thing to come along? If you market your company well, it could be you!
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