Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

1,300 Reasons Why Calendar Advertising Provides the Most Bang for Your Buck

When it’s time to decide which direction to go with your next promotional product purchase, we have about 28,000 different options. So, it’s safe to say that what to buy isn’t always the easiest decision to make, which is why we take a consultative approach to what we do as customer service/salespeople. If you call us and want to simply place an order for 1,000 tote bags and pens, that’s totally fine! However, we’re residual marketing experts, so take advantage of the knowledge we have, especially when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck.

Residual marketing is what our industry is based on. It’s very simple, and that’s the beauty of it. Instead of putting up a ton of money for a billboard along the interstate or buying a cable TV or radio ad, you can spread your message far and wide by giving your current or potential customers a simple item with your name, contact information, and logo that they will see over and over again. Whether consciously or subconsciously, your message is constantly being absorbed by your target market.

Billboards are impressive...for about 3 seconds.

Billboards are impressive…for about 3 seconds.

A massive, colorful, lit-up billboard towering over the highway is impressive, no doubt. Impressive for the three seconds you get to look at it before you need to pay attention to the 4,000-pound mass of steel you’re careening down the road in at 70 MPH! After that fleeting moment passes (if it even happens in the first place), the message is more than likely lost and there is barely any residual effect (plus, it’s dangerous)! And I don’t know about you, but I simply do not watch TV commercials thanks to the DVR’s I rent from the cable company for $15 a month. Worth every penny!

That being said, there is your tote bag, the funny or clever stress ball, or incredibly awesome iPhone 4 acoustic amplifier. All of these items are great choices, look great with your information on them, and their lucky recipients will undoubtedly see the value in them, whether utilitarian or entertainment. They’ll also remember exactly who they got it from every time they use it. You couldn’t possibly pin-point your audience more directly with any of those choices, or, for that matter…. anything else we offer.

You have a ton of tools at your fingertips, so let’s talk about what is probably the most effective one of all…. CALENDARS.


Circle Stick-Up Calendars

I have one of these on my fridge, and I look at it every day.

Example 1: You may laugh, but the owner of the local pizza place by my house is a marketing genius. I don’t know where he went to school, or for what, but I do know that he’s smart enough to hand out stick-up calendars to every one of his customers. I have another calendar in my kitchen that I spent about $20 on, but I look at the one my pizza guy gave me much more frequently because it’s on my refrigerator, which I use every day…making the Salvador Dali one that I bought purely for aesthetics. So about twice a month, this purveyor of fine Chicago-style pizza gets an absolutely ridiculous return on his tiny little investment when I spend an easy 20 bucks on a large pepperoni with green peppers and garlic. Simple, useful, inexpensive, and extremely effective. He couldn’t have chosen a more perfect give-away, but now he just needs to buy them from me!

Big Rigs Appointment Calendar

Because of this calendar, I have my customer’s number memorized!

Example 2: There is a freight company I use at work pretty often to save money for my customers when shipping large orders, and the owner’s wife buys calendars from me along with a few other items. I got a small package from her last November, a couple weeks after she placed her calendar order, and guess what was in it….a calendar! The very one I sold her! I cracked up at the idea of the whole thing coming full-circle, and we had a good laugh on the phone about it, but the REALLY funny thing is that I probably look at that calendar 10 to 20 times a day. I could care less if it has custom semi-trucks on it (sorry, Nancy!), but it’s 2 feet from my computer monitor. I used to call 2 or 3 companies to get shipping quotes, but now I call only one, and I have their phone number memorized. I would be lucky to remember my Mom’s phone number, but my shipper’s 800 number is permanently etched into my memory.

For as long as I work here at Quality Logo Products®, I’ll never forget Nancy’s gesture, and I’ll expect a new 2012 calendar from her as soon as she places her next order in a couple weeks. It will have more trucks on it, and even more “call so-and-so at 10am!” or “sales meeting!” style-notes scribbled all over the place. Yes, I set reminders for myself in Outlook all day, but there is something to be said about the visual and tangible aspects of a calendar. As much as Nancy helped out myself and QLP by purchasing a couple thousand of those things, she also did me a favor by helping me stay organized. And when I need to know what day it is next Wednesday, I have her to thank for that too.

I also know that their trucking company is always on time and extremely competitive, as I’m reminded of that several times a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. In total, and to be very conservative with the numbers, if I look at Nancy’s calendar only 5 times per day, 5 days a week, then I’m being exposed to her company name, logo, phone number, and website 1,300 times per year. ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TIMES! You want to hear an even crazier number than that? The calendars she purchased were nice, but they only cost about $2.29 each. In total, they spent about $4,500 this year on calendars, but I’ve sent them more than that in business. Just me alone! I can only imagine how effective they are for her across the board. If you can find another promotional product of any kind that gets you that much exposure for that small of a price, your next order with QLP is on me.

It might sound a little old fashioned, I know. It isn’t that incredibly awesome iPhone 4 thingy that I mentioned earlier…BUT…for the life of me, I can’t think of another promotional item we sell that is anywhere near as effective as calendars. Nothing else is even in the ballpark.

The simple truth is that calendars work. You need to stretch your dollar as far as possible in the current business and financial environment, and being efficient in your advertising and marketing efforts is key to both survival and success. We have over 500 different varieties and styles of calendars; one of them is perfect for you, so give us a call and ask which one it is… it really is that easy!

Which type of calendar is your favorite? How many times a day do you glance at your calendar?

Image credit to cangaroojack.


Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Cybernetic SAM

    Do you have any Mayan Calendars?

    • Tony Promo

      Yes, but they end about 10 days early. I wouldn’t trust them, but at the same time, stock up on non-perishable goods and water.

  2. Scooby

    Jay – nice bio – without the name tag, I would thought it was Steven Hawking’s bio. Great post and is it me or did this seem like a fireside chat with JAY? I am thinking a semi-monthly blogger is in the making.

  3. Tony Promo

    This kid can really write. WOW.

  4. Kelly

    Very well written and informative post Jay! Technology is great but I honestly couldn’t tell you right now how to even get to the calendar in my phone. There is nothing that can replace the convenience of a tangible, view the whole month/year at once, keep yourself organized, traditional calendar. I will always own several so I have one wherever I go!

    • Amanda

      Agreed! A paper calendar is something I will never get rid of. I have a few throughout my house, and one at my desk. I glance at them throughout the day, every day! =)

  5. QLP Kid

    Slammin Post!

    -QLP Kid
    “It’s How the Midwest was Won…”

  6. amy

    I had no idea calendars were such a successful promotional product, but now that I think about it, you’re right! My parents have a calendar from a grocery store that has a new recipe every month that we use for “family stuff” – doctors appointments and family parties, etc. I know I check it every morning and then will glance at it as I walk past later that night.

    Great stuff, Jay!

  7. Joseph Giorgi

    Well, Jay, that pretty much settles it. If business owners are looking for affordable brand impressions (the kind that last all year long), then there’s really no substitute for promo calendars.

    Excellent debut blog post, sir!


    “…a large pepperoni with green peppers and garlic.”

    God, that makes me hungry! Gonna need mushrooms though.

    • Amanda

      Well said Joe & Jay! Calendars are always one of my fave items to get for free! And I love that nowadays they come in so many colors and themes. Anyone who spends money on promo calendars is doing it all right!!

  8. Mandy Kilinskis

    My family also uses a promotional calendar for doctor’s appointments, special events, etc. I look at it every single morning when I get milk and then generally at night when I’m getting dinner ready.

    Excellent post, Jay!

  9. JPorretto

    [ Wait a tic, this ain’t about shoes! What gives?! ]

    Helluva first post man! I don’t personally use a wall calendar, but they are absolutely EVERYWHERE. Even though I don’t use them, I’m exposed to every body who does. Excellent points made!

    P.S. Love the 7/8 time reference…. 1,2,3,1,2,3,1.

    • Jay

      It’s either that or 5/4. Take your pick!

  10. Rachel

    Awesome post, Jay! I had never thought about how effective calendars could be–yet I look at my free one from the National Wildlife Federation in my cube at least once a day. I should probably donate to them … 🙂 Thanks for all this great info!

  11. Kyle

    Wow! Fantastic debut, Jay.

    I never thought about how significant just one promotional calendar can be, but after laying out the math like that I’m shocked. 1,300 times per year!? And you used some pretty conservative numbers there too.

    Some top-notch writing!

    • Amanda

      I was shocked too, Kyle. I glance at mine several times everyday. I love calendars!!!! =) Super first post Jay!

  12. Jen

    Great post Jay! Calendars are great promo items for businesses to give away. Everyone looks at one at least once a day. Personally I love getting free calendars, I can’t get enough of them. 🙂

  13. Jay

    Thanks everyone! It’s nice to be an honorary member of the Blahg Squahd for a day.

Leave a Comment

Copyright 2003 - 2019 Quality Logo Products, Inc., Registration No. TX7-524-201. All Rights Reserved.