Genius Ideas

See how these amazingly innovative companies used outside-the-box promo items to blow expectations out of the water and drive sales.


Fitness Company Shopping Bags – Germany

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In Germany, Fitness Company (now Fitness First)  gave its customers clever bags to create the illusion of lifting a weight while advertising for the company. These bags eventually became so popular that customers were going into the store and asking for them! According to MediaBistro, this simple campaign led to an increase in awareness for both the brand’s stores and fitness centers.


GNC Drawstring Bag – International


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Beyond branding a bag for GNC’s Burn 60 supplement, the company cleverly printed an image of a woman’s waistline along the top of the bag so that when customers pulled the drawstring, the woman’s waist would shrink. Rather than letting the cinching effect of draw string bags ruin their promotional efforts, GNC integrated it into their campaign in order to emphasize the effects of their supplement.


Justin Poulsen “Thumb” Drives – Canada


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With help from Canadian-based creative agency Rethink[PS1] , Torontonian photographer, Justin Poulsen created literal thumb drives to distribute his portfolio with. As a conceptual photographer, Justin prefers to build props for his shoots rather than rely on digital tricks. Using those skills, he painstakingly created “thumb” drives modeled after his own thumb, to showcase both his tactile and visual skills.



Broke Bike Alley Functional Business Card – Canada


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Another promotional idea cooked up at Rethink, this functional business card acts as a wrench, beer opener, and much more for customers of Broke Bike Alley. As a sequel to Broke Bike Alley’s first tire patch card (see below), Rethink and Broke Bike Alley knew they had to step up their game. With their second card, customers are inclined to carry it with them as opposed to losing it when they patch up a tire hole.

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Alzheimer’s New Zealand Eraser USBs – New ZealandPhoto Source:


Similarly to distributing a tool to clients, Alzheimers New Zealand distributed USB drives to create awareness.

Unlike a paper business card, this USB/eraser won’t be thrown out immediately and sends a clear message about their cause.



Hairy & Merry Dog Bowl – California


Photo Credit: Stacy Hall

While walking around Little Italy on a sunny day in San Diego, Promosapien’s own Head Honcho, Stacy Hall, noticed these bright red dog bowls situated outside what seemed like every other business.

Upon closer inspection, she saw that they were branded with a local dog grooming company’s logo.

Evidently Hairy & Merry had given their neighbours these dog bowls to promote their business while offering customers’ pets a chance to cool down in the California heat. It’s simple, humane, and a great way for the company to advertise their services.


Plungers Yaletown Plumbing Mini Plunger – CanadaPhoto Source:

As part of a guerilla marketing campaign, Vancouver’s own Indelible Design created these fun, mini plungers for Yaletown Plumbing.

The idea was to stick these suction cups on cars, windows, walls – basically anything with a flat surface – to advertise Yalowtown Plumbing’s business.

Passersby could un-suck a plunger printed with contact information and call Yaletown Plumbing the next time their toilets stopped flushing.


In an ever-changing world how can your company continue to “stick” in customers’ minds? Don’t let the competition “erase” you from the market — let our team bring your promotional campaigns to life so you can stand out like a “sore thumb”!

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