You see cool promotional items everywhere, but there are some that are so darn unique, they just have to get their own list. The 13 most creative promotional products of all time are:

Most Creative Promotional Items

  1. Weight-Shaped Frisbees – IAMS
  2. Inflatable Colonel Pool Toys – KFC
  3. Light Up Pint Glasses – Budweiser
  4. Comic Books – General Electric
  5. Neon Green Xbox – Mountain Dew
  6. Adult Onesies – Domino’s
  7. Quarter Keychains – ALDI
  8. Flame-Grilled Perfume – Burger King
  9. Bendy Straws – Y+ Yoga
  10. Bling Ring – McDonald’s
  11. Cat Collection – Starbucks
  12. Disaster Kits – Allstate
  13. Drone Mailers – IBM

The best promotional items are creative and insanely memorable. These unique giveaways turn heads, get shared on social media, and inspire memes and even t-shirts. By using creative promos, you’re showing that your brand is daring enough to try something new!

Be inspired by the most creative promotional products of all time!

Why Should Promo Items Be Creative?

Everybody loves cool merch, but at the end of the day, it’s the unique promotional products that really stand out. If you’re a business, your goal should be to get people hyped up about your brand.

The branded giveaway items featured here definitely hit the mark. They are creative, thoughtful, and above all, memorable.

1. Weight-Shaped Frisbees IAMS

How they were used: IAMS’s weight-shaped discs were handed out for free at dog parks in Australia.

IAMs the woof with creative promo items in the shape of barbell weights. The idea behind this promotion was to show how their dog food is “stronger” than other brands. This is apparently true since IAMS remains out of the doghouse year after year with an estimated net worth of about $3.8 billion. These uniquely shaped Frisbees send a powerful message.

Source: UK Corporate Gifts

2. Inflatable Colonel Pool Toys KFC

How they were used: KFC offered these pool toys to dedicated fans via a Snapchat Memorial Day giveaway.

KFC’s marketing is always extra crispy, and they’re not shy about using unique promotional items. Aside from honey bears and holiday sweaters, they also released Colonel Sanders floaties with a built-in cup holder for your bucket of chicken. Today, the fast food chain seems to be floating along just fine as they made approximately $2.27 billion in 2020.

Source: https://d1l3jc4magixw.cloudfront.net/

Light Up Pint Glasses - Budweiser

3. Light Up Pint Glasses Budweiser

How they were used: The NHL offered these team souvenirs to the first 10,000 fans who came to Game 2 of the Washington Capitals vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Budweiser scored big with these unique glasses, which sync from a fan’s phone to light up every time their team scores. The buzz on social media was so strong about this promotion that the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Green Bay Packers jumped on the bandwagon to offer their own versions.

Source: ebay.com

4. Comic Books General Electric

How they were used: In the 1950s, General Electric hired the same artists who worked on “Batman” to design exclusive comic books for their brand.

General Electric has boring products to advertise like aircrafts, power generators, and oil equipment. They still found a way to make their marketing exciting, though, with these colorful comic books. The old-school comics are now valuable collectibles, but fans will be happy to know GE has also released new sci-fi stories for their digital app.

Source: General Electric

5. Neon Green Xbox Mountain Dew

How they were used: These green machines could be yours if you collected 550 “dew points” from different cases or bottles of Mountain Dew.

Mountain Dew, which positions itself as the “official soda for gamers,” released limited edition Xbox and Xbox Ones in 2004. This isn’t the only time PepsiCo has used nerdy, but creative promotions. They also gave away 1,000 Xbox One X consoles in 2018, and even released their own video game character – Pepsiman. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see “Micro Soft Drinks” that are just mini bottles of Mountain Dew in the future!

Source: https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/

6. Adult Onesies Domino’s

How they were used: Domino’s sold these fun promo items for about $32 at select locations in the United Kingdom. The money raised went to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

If you plan on having a pizza party, it only makes sense to change into your pajamas first. Domino’s got in on that action with “the world’s first ‘wipeable’ onesie.” These are some of the most clever, best promotional items out there! They were designed by Charlotte Denn and are made so you can get sauce on them without worrying about any stains.

Source: https://www.adweek.com/

7. Quarter Keychains ALDI

How they were used: ALDI, which is known for requiring a “rental fee” for their shopping carts, made it really easy for customers with quarter keeper keychains that were sold at their stores for just 99 cents.

Talk about a dream pairing! Every time you head to the grocery store, you grab your car keys, right? Now you’ll keep ALDI in mind and have your quarter handy at the same time! The idea behind ALDI’s quarter is to keep their prices low and pass those savings on to the average 40 million people that shop there every month. These keychains are some of the most effective promotional products ever created!

Source: Aldi Reviewer

8. Flame-Grilled Perfume Burger King

How they were used: Burger King released 1,000 of their Flame-Grilled perfumes in Japan. You could buy a bottle for about $40 and get a complementary Whopper with the deal.

Who doesn’t want to smell like meat? That was Burger King’s theory when they released these limited edition perfumes on April Fool’s Day. It wasn’t a joke, and even to this day, Burger King is not the only food brand to try unique marketing materials at this level. Cheetos, Pizza Hut, and KFC also have their own fragrances.

Source: highsnobiety.com

Bendy Straws - Y+ Yoga

9. Bendy Straws Y+ Yoga

How they were used: These flexible custom straws were handed out to customers at local fruit juice bars in Shanghai, China.

The best promotional giveaways tie back into what you’re all about such as these extra bendy straws, which show the flexibility needed to do yoga. Y+ Yoga is located in one of the biggest cities in China and all that unique marketing is paying off. In fact, the yoga studio was recommended by Culture Trip as one of the best to visit in Shanghai.

Source: Ads of the World

10. Bling Ring McDonald’s

How they were used: This $10,000 ring was offered to one lucky fan on social media in 2018. To enter, they had to use the #BlingMacContest and tag McDonald’s.

In celebration of new Big Mac sizes – the Grand Big Mac, Big Mac, and Mac Jr. – the McDonald’s corporate office in Oak Brook, Illinois got flashy with unique promo items they called “Bling Macs.” Be careful because you might end up getting proposed to with this juicy jewel. According to Forbes, more couples are getting married at McDonald’s and other fast food outlets than ever before!

Source: Ad Week

Cat Collection - Starbucks

11. Cat Collection Starbucks

How they were used: As part of Valentine’s Day in Korea, Starbucks released this unique collection of cat cups and kitty kettles.

With dedicated fans in 29,324 locations around the world, Starbucks is always coming up with useful promotional items that win over the crowd. This led them to take a new approach with cat-themed drinkware that’s purrfect for date night! You can also find coin pouches, pins, tumblers, and water bottles printed with this adorable design.

Image source: Business Insider

12. Disaster Kits Allstate

How they were used: Allstate gave away 1,000 drawstring bags stuffed with branded blankets, face masks, wet wipes, and flashlights to people in Oregon in 2019.

Oregon residents have to worry about all kinds of natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes. Allstate made sure they’re covered with custom emergency kits. In fact, the insurance company devotes a lot of time to volunteer work through the Allstate Foundation, with 258,000 hours served and $7.5 million contributed in 2018 alone. These drawstring bags are just another way for them to do some good for the world.

Source: kentreporter.com

Drone Mailers - IBM
Drone Mailers - IBM

13. Drone Mailers IBM

How they were used: IBM Developer, a resource center for developers, IT professionals, and students, mailed out boxes filled with custom t-shirts, stickers, and programmable DJI Tello drones to over 1,500 lucky recipients!

IBM Developer showed off their tech savviness with this creative promotion in 2018. Those who entered received not only cool promo items like a logoed t-shirt and sticker, but also a drone that could be operated right from their phone. It’s simple programming language that anyone can do, making #IBMDroneDrop a creative way to put IBM Developer’s services on the map!

Honorable Mentions

Munchkins Lip Balm - Dunkin’ Donuts

Munchkins Lip Balm Dunkin’ Donuts

https://www.jimjoseph.com/
Traveling Rubber Ducks Comfort Inn & Suites

Traveling Rubber Ducks Comfort Inn & Suites

https://www.tripadvisor.com/
Light’s Out Candles - Earth Hour

Light’s Out Candles Earth Hour

http://creativecriminals.com/
Biscuit Christmas Sweaters - Red Lobster

Biscuit Christmas Sweaters Red Lobster

https://www.chewboom.com/
Remote Control Socks - Netflix

Remote Control Socks Netflix

https://www.adweek.com/

What Are the Best Promotional Items to Give Away?

The best promotional items are the ones that are also the coolest promotional items. It’s stuff that’s not only useful, but also stylish and unforgettable. Something you’ll be happy to receive and tell your friends about.

Do you want to be creative in your marketing? Try any of these unique promotional products:

Cool Mugs Filled with Candy

Cool Mugs Filled with Candy

Whether you get copper mugs, pretty pastel mugs, or tall marble mugs, there are a ton of stylish options for your morning coffee! Fill them up with tasty treats and hand them out as promotional giveaways at banquets or client meetings.

Unique Stress Balls

Unique Stress Balls

Are you a restaurant? Promote your delicious lunch special with hamburger stress balls! How about a dentist? Check out the squishy tooth stress reliever. You can get 100+ stress balls shaped like anything under the sun.

Color-Changing Drinkware

Color-Changing Drinkware

Ooh, look at all the pretty colors! Color-changing items are hard to resist and are particularly well-loved by kids. Mood drinkware, like plastic cups and water bottles, is an excellent choice since it will be used all the time for snacks!

Novelty Pens

Novelty Pens

You probably have a bunch of pens in your drawer, but how many do you have that look like a carrot? That’s the beauty of novelty pens, which have a unique look that’s hard to resist. You can find pens shaped like people, food, plants, rocket ships, and so much more.

Magnetic Koozies

Magnetic Koozies

If you want promotional products that literally stick by your side, look no further than magnetic koozies! These drink holders keep cold drinks cold, and as a bonus, have a magnetic strip on the back. People can put them on their fridge or toolbox, always having a cupholder around when they need it.

Flavored Lip Balm

Flavored Lip Balm

Lip balm comes in all kinds of weird flavors, and some even come in unique tubes or containers. If you need promo items for a beauty store or winter trade show, you can’t go wrong with lip balm that tastes like blueberries, vanilla, strawberry shortcake, or everyone’s favorite, piña colada!

Jute Tote Bags

Jute Tote Bags

Jute is a natural plant fiber with a charming, rural look. Instead of going with typical canvas or cotton, jute tote bags are great for farmer’s markets, grocery stores, and craft shows.

Funky Socks

Funky Socks

Everyone loves custom apparel, but if you really want to stand out, it’s all about funky socks! Print them in full color with your business logo or cool photography that represents who you are and what you do.

Be inspired by these ideas or shop around and check out many other great promotional items out there. You can add your logo to just about anything!

Why Use Promotional Giveaways?

Why Use Promotional Giveaways?

The average customer sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads every single day. Success in the digital world is largely dictated by what you’re doing offline as well, and that’s where promotional giveaways really shine!

You can give promo items away as prizes in a social media contest, open an online gift shop to sell your branded merch, or go the old-fashioned route and hand them out for free at a trade show. Whatever you do, you should never underestimate the power of cool, creative swag!

Companies will spend about $175 million on offline advertising.
These campaigns may include cool swag and promotional products.


54% of companies plan to increase their swag spend this year.
The more creative the giveaways, the better for your brand!


Social media campaigns are 44% more effective if
there’s a creative promotional giveaway involved.


84% of people believe that unique promotional
products increase brand awareness.

The Bottom Line

Now it’s your turn! Make sure that your custom logo products are creative, cool, original, and interesting. It may be a digital world, but you should still use creative marketing materials to make a statement. And of course – don’t forget to use the best promotional products company for the job… Quality Logo Products!

References

Carr, S. (2021, February 15). How Many Ads Do We See a Day in 2021? Retrieved from,
https://lunio.ai/blog/strategy/how-many-ads-do-we-see-a-day/

Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). (2020). Global Ad Impressions Study. Retrieved from,
https://media.asicentral.com/resources/2020-Global-Ad-Impressions-Study.pdf

Latana. (2021, April 18). How to Effectively Measure Offline Advertising ROI and Adjust Your Marketing Strategy. Retrieved from,
https://latana.com/post/measure-offline-advertising-roi/

Media Fast. There Are Powerful Advantages to Giving Away Company Swag. Retrieved from,
https://mediafast.com/giving-away-company-swag-can-pay-very-well/

Alyce. State of Swag 2020: How B2B Swag Management and Usage is Shifting. Retrieved from,
https://www.alyce.com/blog/state-of-swag-2020/

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