MacGyver’s Guide to Marketing Survival

A famous philosopher once said, “A good relationship is a lot like a car. If you want it to work smoothly, you gotta put a lot of work into it and have the right tools.” That philosopher was MacGyver, otherwise known as the Great Mulleted One. He definitely knew his way around tools, and whatever he didn’t have, he could improvise. He made the best of bad situations, using what he had at hand to get the job done.

Can you imagine if he had to get his plans approved by an administrative board every time he needed to defuse a bomb or stop a nuclear reactor? Let’s just say that there wouldn’t be enough paper clips in the world to put him back together.

“If you don’t have the right equipment for the job, you just have to make it yourself,” MacGyver says, and that’s the approach we take to marketing. You can’t go door-to-door, providing sales pitches to every single potential customer (Well, you could, but it would take forever.), so you’ve got to make do with other ways of making those connections. That’s where promotional products come in!

I’ve assembled here a list of five tools that would have made MacGyver’s life a whole lot easier. MacGyver went off the air in 1992, so it’s too late for him. However, these promotional tools just might get you out of a sticky situation or two!

Note and Pen Set

Features: pen, paper, sticky flags

Uses: writing notes, sending secret messages

Rating (out of 5):

Tool Set Card

Features: 5 mini screwdrivers, 2 phillips screwdrivers, 3 flathead screwdrivers, key chain

Uses: tightening and loosening screws and bolts, opening bottles and cans, measuring, picking the lock on a suitcase bomb

Rating (out of 5):

Multi-Function Pliers with Tools

Features: wire cutter, standard plier, needlenose pliers, bottle opener, big flathead screwdriver, Phillips head screwdriver, flashlight

Uses: cutting wires, tightening and loosening screws, opening bottles, removing hooks, slashing the throats of Russian spies

Rating (out of 5):

Multi-Function Golf Tool

Features: domed ball marker, scrub brush, divot repair tool, groove cleaner, spike wrench, knife, ballpoint pen, key chain

Uses: marking ball position, scrubbing cleats, repairing divots, writing down scores, holding keys, whittling a tee into a lethal weapon

Rating (out of 5):


Desk in a Box

Our great philosopher is best known for his affinity for paperclips: “A paperclip can be a wondrous thing. More times than I can remember, one of these has gotten me out of a tight spot.”

Features: paperclips, rubber bands, staples, stapler, sticky notes, and sticky flags

Uses: disarms bombs, picks locks, stabs arteries, hotwires cars, rigs explosives, conducts electricity, holds paper together

Rating (out of 5):

What do you think, fellow adventurers? Would any of these promotional tools work for your latest campaign? What do you see as the advantages of using personalized multitools in your campaign? Don’t you think there should be more role models like MacGyver, who did not drink or use guns throughout the entire run of the show (with the exception of using a gun as a distraction in the pilot, but we’ll let it slide)? Sound off in the comments below!

Until next time, keep expanding your brand!


Jana Quinn

An old ‘G’ that’s been working for QLP since it was in Bret’s basement – Jana has been writing since she made up a story about a Jana-Tiger that liked rocky road ice cream and got straight A’s. She enjoys writing about marketing and pop culture, posting a ‘Die Hard’ article as often as she’s allowed. She is inspired by the articles at Cracked and frequently wears a Snuggie in the office. You can also connect with Jana on Google+.


  1. Bret Bonnet

    I love paperclips.

  2. Shawn

    MacGyver’s Guide to Marketing Survival –

  3. Marie Walker Riddle

    RT @L_Hawkins: RT @ITC_518: MacGyver’s Guide to Marketing Survival –

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