This week and next week, ASICentral.com is offering full coverage of the promotional product scenes at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. This week we are in Cleveland for the RNC. Next week we will be in Philadelphia for the DNC. Visit ASICentral.com throughout both weeks for articles and photo galleries of the promos at these major political events.
The 2016 Republican National Convention has wrapped up in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, leaving us with a presidential nominee, plenty of new memes and suitcases full of promotional products. From the standard assortment of hilarious t-shirts, hats and pins to the unique array of kippahs, Trump Flakes and Trumpy Socks, vendors mobbed every corner trying to catch folks’ eyes.
Ally Elias focused on catching customers’ noses. The founder of Aqua Boot Camp offered limited edition air fresheners: “Trumptation” and “Melonia.” Specializing in sugar cane, Elias says “Melonia” is a sophisticated fragrance which includes passion fruits and honeysuckle. “Trumptation,” on the other hand, is more crisp, clean and conservative, taking away the odors of disgust, disappointment and failure.
“It makes America smell great again,” Elias said. She developed the scents as a way to eliminate the smell of chlorine for Aqua Boot Camp’s water aerobics program. “We’ve had so many people come over to spray them,” Elias said. “It’s been great publicity for our new company.”
Douglas Cameron and Tommy Noonan of DCX Growth Accelerator, a Brooklyn-based creative advertising and branding agency, specialize in publicity. They launched a guerrilla marketing campaign in 2015 to raise awareness that local bodega Jesse’s Deli would be closing because the owners jacked up the rent 150%. The campaign, “Artisanal Landlord Price Hike Sale,” featured colorful posters for regular deli items, re-branded with sarcastic names like “house-made sustainable hoagies” and “air-chilled Budweiser beer flights,” and ridiculous price increases of the original cost.
This year the advertising duo shifted their attention to Donald Trump. “We wanted to do something to dramatize the growing wealth divide in the U.S.,” Cameron said. “We wanted to attract attention and thought of something we could put opposite the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.”
Their idea? The Trump Hut: a 6-foot-wide, 5-and-a-half-foot-high hut made of straw from Oaxaca, Mexico, shaped like “The Apprentice” star’s trademark hairstyle. Constructed and sculpted by Mexican-born American artist Roxana Casillas, the $3,000 portable structure was transported by U-Haul from Brooklyn to Cleveland. “We’re allowed to put it in various places because it’s political art,” Noonan said. “From a visual perspective, it’s been enlightening because we’ve put it next to fairly high-rent real estate locations, dramatically illustrating our message.”
Cameron and Noonan plan on using Kickstarter to fund more Trump Huts so they can place them next to and across from various Trump properties. “It’s just a luxury protesting hut that you can go inside, live in, or drink champagne in and talk politics,” Cameron said.