Best Distributor Self-Promotion Campaign
Best Distributor Self-Promotion Campaign
Distributor: Brand Fuel (asi/145025)
When it comes to a gold-medal promotion, green is the way to go, as Brand Fuel Inc. (asi/145025) recently demonstrated to its clients. President Danny Rosin, Vice President Robert Fiveash and Marketing Coordinator Meredith Linden put their heads together to come up with ways to make their 2009 thank-you/catalog mailing more eco-friendly.

“Just as the ‘green’ theme was gaining ground and people were starting to see that it was not another fad, a representative from Fabriko (asi/53450) wowed our sales team with their drawstring Ship-N-Tote Bag,” Rosin says. “We agreed that the bag would not only be a good change from the typical branded box, but that it was also a unique tool that would provide our sales team with opportunities for client touch points, help generate business and provide ROI.”

After being used as a mailer, the bag turns inside out to serve as a drawstring sling pack. In addition to catalogs and a cover letter on recycled paper, Brand Fuel stuffed it with a SanMar (asi/84863) tee printed with earth-friendly inks, a corn-material pen from Bullet Line LLC (asi/42424) or Leed’s (asi/66887), a 3M (asi/91240) notepad left over from a previous promo, and an “I’m a recycler” tattoo from California Tattoos Inc. (asi/43530).

“Our greatest challenge was to create a unique, eco-friendly package that was cost-effective and appealed to our client base,” Linden says. “By selectively choosing products for the mailer and leveraging self-promotion pricing with suppliers, we were able to achieve our goal.”

Brand Fuel’s sales team appreciated the mailers because it gave them an opportunity to get in front of clients and generate business – and recipients responded well, too. “Not only do our clients love the idea,” Fiveash says, “but many were impressed that we invested in marketing to them during these hard economic times.”

Rosin notes that they selected a targeted audience for the annual marketing mailer. “The management and the marketing team worked with each of our sales representatives to generate a list of clients and prospects who have purchasing power and the potential for high sales volume,” he says. “This exercise required our sales team to update client information in our customer relationship management program, ensuring that the packages only reached our target audience. Getting updated client contact information was an important bonus.”

In one month, the company had 28 inquiries from clients and two orders placed from their self-promo piece. – MB
Best Client Promotion:
Distributor: The Compleat Company (asi/166102)
The soul patch has always been an edgy form of facial hair. Popularized among jazz musicians in the 1950s and ’60s, it may have been invented by brass players who found that a well-placed patch of hair below the lips helped keep their mouthpiece comfortable while they were playing.

The look retains some of its élan because not every man can grow hair in the area below his lower lip. Others aren’t sure they can pull off the look. But on April 12th, 2008, Seattle Mariners fans of all persuasions got a taste of what it’s like to sport a flavor saver. The club distributed 20,000 faux soul patches to fans as a tribute to popular pitcher J.J. Putz.

The Mariners’ marketing team came up with the concept and turned to The Compleat Company (asi/166102) to execute it. So where does a distributor find faux facial hair? Compleat Vice President E. Glenn Leimbacher isn’t quite giving it away, but he does say, “We have a trusted partner who assists us with sourcing, factory selection and communication/language overseas. He researched and provided us with samples to work from.”

The Puget Sound Business Journal highlighted the soul patch promo in a pre-season article about Mariners’ marketing efforts, and the night of the giveaway was a huge success.

“It was a fun night,” Leimbacher says. “Thirty-seven thousand fans, 80 degrees in Seattle in April, and lots of great jumbo-screen shots of fans of all ages with these on.” Several news outlets and sports bloggers had warm and fuzzy things to say about the soul patches, including, which featured the promo in an article called “The Best Stadium Giveaways of 2008.”
Best Client Promotion
Best Supplier Self-Promotion Campaign
Best Supplier Self-Promotion Campaign:
Supplier: Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788)
You might think that “organic” and “simple” go together. Not so in today’s complex world. When Counselor Top 40 supplier Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788) started researching organics, they found there was a lot to learn – and they realized their distributors would need a quick way to get educated about the category, too.

To help out, the supplier designed an organics certification kit explaining the differences between traditionally-grown cotton and organic cotton. “We tried to make it very simple, comparing the processes and the benefits,” says Mary Ellen Pahlka-Hudicka, director of marketing communications.

Bodek and Rhodes then designed a certificate and a decal that its clients could display to show they are the experts in the area, and they carry goods that are certified organic. The key was designing a program that helped distributors to position themselves as valuable to their own clients because they have the expertise in eco-friendly apparel. “The certification is a big part of the process and the value, so it was important for us to give them a vehicle to showcase it,” says Pahlka-Hudicka. “Many lines claim to be certified, but only those that can provide the actual certificate for growing and processing are authentic.”

During the next five national industry trade shows, Bodek and Rhodes trained almost 3,000 people in their booth, surpassing the company’s goal by 1,000. They also sent the organics kits to most of their database of active distributors, sending some of their customers a sample shirt along with it.

What sort of response did the mailing get? “Incredible,” says Pahlka-Hudicka. “So many of our clients said they immediately posted the certificate and the decal, and hits to the Web site mentioned in the kit have been phenomenal. More impressive, the sample mailing has already generated some sizeable orders.” – MB
Best Innovative New Product
Supplier: Sweda Company LLC (asi/90305)
Winning Product: Pick Your Own Person USB Drive
This highly creative and unique product was the runaway winner in our online vote for the most innovative new products of the past year. This item, from Sweda Company LLC (asi/90305), is a customizable-person USB drive. The character’s head detaches to reveal the USB drive that can connect to a computer. It supports Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP/MAC OS/Linux and is compatible with USB 1.1 and USB 2.0. It’s even RoHS compliant and can be customized in a variety of ways.
Best Innovative New Product
Best Counselor Ad - General
Best Counselor Ad – General
Supplier: Acrylic Idea Factory (asi/30993)
This brightly-colored ad really caught the eye of the judges with its simple and clear message.
Best Counselor Ad – Insert
Supplier: Canyon Outback Leathergoods (asi/43766).
The judges loved the clarity of the opening page of this insert, as well as the large amount of information laid out in an appealing manner on the following pages.
Best Counselor Ad - Insert
Best Counselor Ad - Distributor
Best Counselor Ad – Distributor
Distributor: iPROMOTEu (asi/232119)
Yumm! Our judges were enticed by this ad because of its appealing image and a headline that perfectly complemented the artwork.
Best Advantages Ad
Supplier: Bag Makers Inc. (asi/37940)
Readers flocked to this ad in 2008, as the eco-friendly-bag boom fully took hold.
Best Advantages Ad
Best Counselor Ad - Wearables


Best Counselor Ad – Wearables
Supplier: Bodek And Rhodes (asi/40788)
Green was the word for this ad in the minds of our judges. An attractive design and clear messaging made this a stand-out.


Best ESP Online Ad
Supplier: 3D Sparkle (asi/91238)
These two online ads (this one, and the one below) garnered much attention from distributors, as they lead their counterparts in click-through rates.

Best ESP Online Ad
Best E-Mail Express Ad
Best E-Mail Express Ad
Supplier: American Printing Industries (asi/35597)
These two online ads (this one, and the one above) garnered much attention from distributors, as they lead their counterparts in click-through rates.

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