Companies are looking for those one-of-a-kind premiums to help reinforce their brand message. And for some, premiums translate into gifts of live snakes, rubber-scented candles and plastic cockroaches.
In a survey this year, The Creative Group, a Menlo Park, CA-based specialized staffing firm, asked 250 U.S. advertising and marketing executives to describe the most distinctive premiums they heard companies distribute.
Live snakes, rocks, umbrellas with holes and rubber-scented candles topped the survey as the most unusual or unique premiums. Often, companies try to reach potential customers with rather unique gifts and premiums to boost awareness and instill a lasting memory about its brand.
“Typically [those gifts] are delivering some sort of message,” said Carolyn Dacey, division director, The Creative Group, Paramus, NJ. “At the end of the day, it’s got your brand on it and is getting your name front of [mind].”
For example, a rock could mean the gift-giver is a rock-solid company, Dacey said. A rubber-scented candle means the company will “burn rubber or move quickly for you,” she said. “It makes you think.”
Though, most companies opt to give something to boost their branding or items perceived as useful, Dacey said. Survey respondents cited such premiums as reading glasses, sledgehammers, rakes, pillows and thermometers as useful items to encourage a brand’s message.
Respondents labeled such premiums as toy outhouses, bricks, plastic cockroaches, pigeons, chicken wishbone paperweights, lab coast and miniature airlines seats as less helpful.
Some advertising and marketing executives said companies have lured potential clients with top premium items, including Rolex watches, a free flight on a private jet, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a $2,000 shopping spree and golf lessons. Another company created a buzz for potential clients sending a premium of a can of bees, according to the survey.
The Creative Group and an independent research firm surveyed 250 advertising and senior marketing executives among the national’s 1,000 largest companies.