Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

Why We Love Tie-in Promotional Products for TV Shows and Movies

Although promotional products are huge commodities for direct mailings and networking events like trade shows, conventions, or open houses, they are also hot sellers when it comes to brand loyalty. We often think of promo items as special gifts we’re given BY someone else, but they’re also bought and snatched up by us when they feature a message we want: such as our favorite movies, television shows, or sports teams!

Television and film tie-ins do promote the end product or service itself, but they’re a bit different than traditional promotional products. Just like sports promo items (like customizable Chicago Bears jerseys or Blackhawks window decals), TV and movie giveaways are often willingly purchased by fans rather than distributed to a targeted audience. Why do we chomp at the bit to spend our money on logo-centric merchandise from our favorite things? Because we’re dying to show where our loyalties lie – and that’s another HUGE part of the promotional items market!

Brand loyalty doesn’t differ that much from TV show loyalty or sports team loyalty if you think about it. When something makes you happy, you want to relay that happiness to people around you and share your experiences. For example, if you thoroughly enjoy The Office, Lord of the Rings, and Office Space like I do, then you’ll probably get excited when you see new tie-in merchandise for it because you’ll want others to know how you feel about it, right? When I see TV or film promotional items I can’t live without, the first thing I do is head to the official web store to take a gander. Since I love the thing being promoted, I jump at the chance to show off that love to other people.

That’s quite similar to brand loyalty, although it’s in a different vein. For example, if you have a positive experience at a company you’ve done business with in the past, then chances are good you’ll recommend that company to others and spread the word (and perhaps even wear/use a promo item with their logo on it).

Our brand loyalties certainly extend into the entertainment industry whether we notice it or not. Every now and then, we see products in movies and on television that make our brains scream: “WANT!” Because this usually happens when we’re watching one of our favorites, that means our brains are trying to tell us something: We like that TV show or movie enough to make a purchase, support it, and promote it. The only difference between tie-in promotional products and giveaway promotional products is that one is typically paid for and the other is given away for free. However, both are used for the same thing: PROMOTION!

Just for giggles, I thought you might enjoy seeing some promotional product tie-ins that I own from my favorite shows and films:

Office Space: The Red Swingline Stapler and Initech coffee mug

The Office: The Dwight Schrute bobblehead, Dunder Mifflin mug, Hoberman Rainbow Sphere (this is on loan from Bret), and The Office doorplate pictured at the top of the post

Can you tell that I like office humor? I wouldn’t have it any other way!

What are your favorite movie, TV, or sports tie-ins? Do you think tie-in promotional products are synonymous with “memorabilia” or “merchandise”?


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. Bumcivilian

    Bravo! This is an excellent BLOG! I am a merch FREAK! especially for movies and television shows, you can’t help it, I think my giant TOTORO will prove that. I get so excited finding collectable crap,when it comes to tv, music (as you can tell from my office :P) and movies. PEOPLE LOVE STUFF! What’s the best way to promote your media? STUFF! Or Better yet S.W.A.G.!

  2. Mr. Office

    One time while vacationing a friend and I rented some ATVs for the day… a few beers later we ended up in the middle of an abandoned army base/mine field – LONG STORY.

    Sure enough… there it was however…


    … I about fell off my ATV in laughter (not a smart move when driving through a mine field) and peed myself when I saw it.

    I love the TV show “The Office”; only if I could get away with spanking my employees when they are bad like Michael Scott did.

  3. skelly

    Awesome post! Its important to realize that promotional products are not only free giveaways but also items that consumers are willing to pay for. It kind of goes against the traditional connotation of the word promo products but its so important to remember as a business owner that you can buy merchandise with your logo on it and then sell it to your avid fans!

    PS I NEED to get some office decorations like the ones you’ve posted above. I dont think hanging Bubba in the doorway is cutting it 🙂

  4. bet365

    This was a really splendid post!

  5. Mister pikavippi

    I like your tastefulness of blogging. I added it to my favorites and will be checking back soon. Thanks.

  6. Mr. Lover Lover Man.

    You certainly deserve a all over of applause looking for your collection and most importantly, ur blog as a whole. Very high calibre material.

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