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Editor-in-Chief's Letter

Driving Serious Fun

You could say that we literally drove the message home that promo products are seriously fun as ASI showed off the industry’s first Art Car at ASI Chicago in July.

ASI employees, headed by PR Manager Dawn Shurmaitis, decorated a 2002 Mazda with popular promotional items like stress balls, keychains, car magnets, mouse pads and pens donated by ASI member companies and then drove the car over 750 miles from its headquarters outside Philadelphia to Chicago. The car was on display at registration from July 15 through Thursday, July 17 at McCormick Place. The debut of #asipromocar was a big hit and we’re not just tooting our own horn. Show attendees loved it. So did the media. So did fellow drivers sharing the roads.

Anyone attending the Chicago show could actually sit in the Promocar and take photos. Goals of the Promocar campaign – with the tagline, “Driving Serious Fun,” – were soundly met. We generated buzz through a social media campaign, showed off the industry’s creativity in Chicago – a city known for its art – attracted media attention, opened discussions about the industry and promotional products and, last but not least, made people smile.

As our President and CEO Tim Andrews said, “There’s no better time than summer to tackle an offbeat project, all in the name of fun. In that spirit, ASI created an ’Art Car’ to drive attention to our industry’s creativity. Think of it as our ’moving billboard’ advertising the industry.”

In case you didn’t know, Art Cars can be any type of street-legal vehicle decorated or painted by its owners. The tradition dates to VW buses decorated by artistic hippies in the ’60s all the way to mutant vehicles on the Playa at the annual Burning Man festival.

All told, the ASI Promocar project took nine willing employees, 10 tubes of silicone glue, six rolls of painter’s tape, 50 pairs of gloves, two cases of bottled water, three cans of Rustoleum paint mixed with playground sand to resemble asphalt, lots of very loud rock and roll, six fans for ventilation, a drill, a sander, a sense of humor and a ton of patience.

Cheers to all who steered this campaign!