Paula Toal

Festival Goody Bags

Festivals can be a heavenly place for a marketeer.  Where else can you find a relaxed, receptive and captive audience who share the same demographic and music or cultural preferences in one place at the same time?

If you are attending a festival this summer, take it from me that you are hot property indeed!

Whilst the festival organisers of many of the larger UK festivals often set strict publicity rules – only allowing sponsors to benefit from the marketing opportunities; there are still plenty of canny marketeers who will try to engage a festival-goer with their brand at any cost.  Experiential agencies are especially good at this.  Experiential marketing is especially prevalent at festivals and I have to say, I love everything experiential.

Giving out promotional goody bags at festivals is a simple and effective way of getting your brand visible but in a less overt way.   A bag full of useful and pertinent goodies will always be welcome by any festival- goer.  All you need to ensure is that the items chosen are relevant to the age, gender and profile of the audience.

Don’t forget too, that nobody wants to be lumbered with large giveaways, so aim to provide small items and consider how they will be carried around at the event. A bag which is lightweight, unobstrusive and easy to carry are the key considerations before you start to think of what should go inside.

Branding the items is obviously a marketing-must but to be more memorable and to create talk-ability, why not add a bit of humour by adding unusual items?  We especially love promotional toilet paper, promotional fly swatters, promotional flip flops and promotional wellington boots.

Maybe this crazy bunch need a goody bag full of shower gel?

Refer to the event alongside your branding too, to avoid blatant advertising which can be off-putting.  This can be easily addressed by using clever or witty one-liners relating to the event.  Perhaps you could create your own branded ‘music’ quiz or game, which again relates to the festival.  To extend the giveaway, follow on from this by linking these to a competition that requires the recipient to respond instantly online, such as providing QR codes which they can easily scan via their smart phones.

As regards promotional items for the goody bags, the possibilities are endless.

Take a look at some of the items here that could be considered – most of these items can be branded too:

  • Water, juice, smoothies
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhats
  • Ear plugs
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Tissues
  • Wash gels
  • Lip balm
  • Miniature torches
  • Rain ponchos
  • Glo-sticks
  • Travel toothbrush and paste
  • Head boppers
  • Chewing gum
  • Mints
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Condoms
  • Toilet seat covers
  • Emergency blanket
  • Mini first aid kit
  • Hangover cure
  • Hand held fan
  • Whistles
  • Sleep masks
  • Hair ties
  • Shewee (ladies portable toilet!)
  • Compressed towel

If you want to know more about goody bags for festivals or indeed any marketing event that you have coming up, please contact us TODAY on 0161 222 8981 or email us on


Novelty Gifts

Novelty gifts are not just for Christmas.  They can make fun goody bag

fillers for staff rewards, incentives and even new business campaigns.

Take a look at some of our favourite novelty gifts this month….

novelty gifts



Large foam 'Like' hand

Large foam ‘Like’ hand

For more information about any of these novelty

gifts or corporate goody bags, contact us today on

0161 222 8981 or email us on


On the scent of a promotional winner

Scented pens have been around for a good few years now but never have they been as impressive as these.

The big brands opt for scented pens


Manufactured in America, these pens have extremely authentic scents which will be active for up to a year, unlike many scented pens that only work for a number of weeks; if that.

In true American fashion, the range of scents available is vast and original with a scent to appeal to everyone – not just the bunch in the playground!

The scents are embedded into the tip and grip using a highly sophisticated process and all the materials used in the production of the pen are crafted using renewable and natural resources. Promotional pens can sometimes be a bit hit and miss with quality but these ones are sturdy and of the highest quality. I can guarantee that.

With the option to have them branded with a logo in a simple 1+ colour print or a full colour wrap, there’s plenty of scope to make these pens work well as a nifty marketing tool.  You might use them promotionally as giveaways or to reward loyalty. Perhaps you might use them for an impulse-buy, revenue generator? However you choose to use them, you have little to lose.

We have just created a batch of 4 different scents for a newly opened frozen yoghurt chain.  They intend to use them promotionally as giveaways and then eventually to sell them to help boost sales.  Looking forward to seeing those sales figures!

Scents in the promotional pen range:

  • Fruit punch
  • Caramel
  • Doughnut
  • Choc chip
  • Floral
  • Strawberry
  • Coffee
  • Bubblegum
  • Watermelon
  • Vanilla Dream
  • Birthday cake


Non-branded scented pens are also available for retail sale with a further number of scents available such as: pizza; bubblegum, popcorn, candyfloss, toffee apple, gingerbread, candy canes, cupcakes and many more…

For more information contact us today on 0161 222 8981 or email us on

Hello Summer!

Whilst the British Weather may be a little hit and miss at the moment, there is no doubt that as ‘dates’ go, we are indeed in the heart of British summertime.

We stoic Brits are well able to manage the fickle ways of our national weather.  We have had many years of practice and – whilst this year seems to be pushing the boundaries somewhat – we live in hope that we might be able to surface with our buckets and spades sometime soon.

The humble plastic bucket and spade…  an image; iconic of traditional British summertime is – as wellies are to winter.   Past and present, buckets and spades evoke happy memories – carefree and sunny days in the company of friends and family. Lazy days on the beach eating ice-creams, donkey rides, paddling and returning home later tired but bursting with happiness after the events of the day.

If you are an event planner – capture these emotions for your event and you have created the perfect atmosphere and your event certain of success.

Buckets and spades can be an excellent alternative to the usual goody bag, especially if the theme is ‘summer party’ or you are having an outdoor event.  They also cost much the same as a quality branded gift bag but the effect that they have would be entirely different.  Imagine the tables of a summer event filled with colourful buckets filled with summer related gifts! 

Buckets and spades can be sourced in all sizes and colours (including pantone matching on larger quantities) and we can brand both the bucket and the spade with your logo if you wish in up to 5 spot colours.  The spade can be attached on the side, tied with branded or co-ordinated ribbon.

The buckets themselves can be filled with anything that suits the occasion or theme.  Here’s a few ideas:

  • Miniature champagne with chocolates
  • Cocktail, shaker and cocktail recipe book
  • Pimms, lemonade, a fresh lemon and a pair of sunglasses
  • Summer essentials kit containing sunscreen, flip flops, fans and a travel book
  • Fun in the sun kit containing fake tan, novelty sunglasses, inflatable beach toys

If you are planning a summer party or event, why not consider using buckets rather than bags?  For more information, contact us today on 0161 222 8981 or email us on


Promotional Pedal Power

Sadly, these wouldn’t fit into a goody bag but they would work fantastically well alongside them for health, sport, fitness or wellness campaigns!

Orangina branded bike

Branded promotional bikes are a superb, cost-effective marketing tool and offer a novel and fun opportunity in which to build awareness for your brand or event – or simply to communicate a specific marketing message.  They are a must-have for outdoor events such as festivals; health road-shows; community campaigns; competitions; incentives and educational projects.

The bikes themselves are expertly manufactured in the UK by a company that supplies bikes to many of Europe’s biggest multiples.  The range is vast too, with bikes for children, teens and adults; entry level and professional top-end performance bikes.  Our favourite is the cool, folding, electric bike which has a small re-chargeable box under the seat that can be plugged in anywhere – perfect for cycling around cities where parking is at a premium.

The cycling market has grown 28% in the past year alone and there are some 13 million active cyclists in the UK, so demand is high.  Moreover, the average life expectancy of a bike at between 10 – 12,000 miles, means that your brand could be pedalled and admired for years to come – and be seen by thousands.

Treat the team to a branded bike as a summer performance related incentive

Bikes can be purchased from units of just one and there is little that they can’t do in terms of application of your brand.  With summer around the corner; why not treat all your staff to a corporate branded bike each?  They’ll be cheaper than a gym membership, likely to be used more frequently and kept longer than twelve months.

Range Rover

For more information about these branded promotional bikes, get in touch today on 0161 222 8981 or email us on


Pop-Up Promotional Hats

These promotional hats are one of our favourite 2012 summer giveaways.

I was handed one of these at a music festival in South Devon last year.  I was very taken with them and I have kept mine, with the intention of using it again this year.

The weather at the festival was very sunny but at times we also had a little rain…. good old blighty, eh?  These hats were ideal as they kept our heads dry from the drizzle and provided added protection when the sun came out.  The hats also managed to fit two adults comfortably and children of 8 and 9.  Not surprising, the children especially loved these hats.

The cowboy hat shape is also a popular style and given that they are unisex, they were used by most people throughout the day.  This was an excellent result for the drinks manufacturer who supplied them free of charge, as their brand was highly visible during the entire event.  The hat’s zipper bag was also useful, as there was plenty of room for a few other bits and pieces – I was able to fit in a small sun cream, lip balm and my mobile. The long handle of the bag also makes it easy to wear around your neck and is very lightweight – so it won’t get in the way of anyone wishing to have  an active and fun day.

One size fits all and a variety of colours

Both the hat and the bag are brandable and one size fits all for the hat.  The hat folds down easily to be stored back into the bag and both are made from a nylon material and folding mechanism akin to small pop-up tents. They are available in a varied mix of colours and lead-time is just 3 weeks.

If you are looking for some promotional hats for an outdoor event of any kind, what not try these?  Get in touch today for more information on 0161 222 8981 or on

The History of Monopoly





The History of the Monopoly Game

is fascinating….

It can be traced back to 1904 when an American woman, named Elizabeth  J. Magie Phillips, created a game through which she hoped to be able to explain the single tax theory of Henry George [Henry George was an American political economist in the late 1800s].  The game was intended to illustrate the negative aspects of concentrating land in private monopolies.  Her game, was called ‘The Landlord’s Game’ and was commercially published in 1924; just in the US.

This is interesting….

In 1941, the British Secret Service had John Waddington Ltd, who was then the licensed manufacturer of the game outside the U.S., create a special edition for World War 2, ‘prisoners of war’ that were held by the Nazis.  Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money, and other objects useful for escaping! They were distributed to prisoners by secret service-created, fake charity groups.  I am astonished on how they got away with that…. and, I’m afraid I have no figures for you on how many people made their escape using the hidden tools!

After the war, a lengthy court process ensued relating to the trademark and ownership of the term ‘Monopoly’ and  it wasn’t until the late 1970s that it was resolved, making way for the game to then be created as the game we know today.

Monopoly is one of those huge board-game success stories that is too big a success story for anyone to ever try to compete with.  Demand for the game has never waned and is still growing in demand today globally, after many decades of sales.

Naturally, the game has seen many modifications over time. The biggest change for Monopoly though, is how it has been re-worked commercially, with limited and special editions created for cities; regions; countries; landmarks and brands all over the world.  The US is flooded with state, landmark and corporate editions.  Monopoly is a lucrative game and has come a long way from it’s humble beginnings.

Virgin's branded money version

You can NOW have your own branded Monopoly game – available here in the UK.  You can pretty much design your own, down to the board design, the outer box, customizing your money and the chance and community chest cards.   Many big names have already taken up this opportunity, such as Virgin, Wrigley, Vodaphone, and even Harrow School.  Minimum quantities for a bespoke version is from 1,000 pieces.  These are perfect for corporate gifts, events, staff rewards, marketing campaigns and even for re-sale.



For further information, get in touch today on 0161 222 8981 or on

Cool Promotional Messenger

The UK promotional goods industry is fit to bursting with a plethora of different promotional products.  The industry itself is huge and highly competitive.  Last year alone, some £722 million* was spent on promotional products in just the UK. That’s big business.

We have our favourite promotional goods here – the ones that we think work harder, have impact, are valued and kept.  It is rare that we see something NEW that really does turn our head.  But this ‘cool’ little operator, most definitely has!

Introducing the LED 6 message Ad-fan!

Superb fan promotion from Swatch

This fan has big impact.  It is budget friendly and it delivers your message over in a clever and memorable way, with scope to get a larger than average message across to your target market…. all whilst keeping your customers cool as the message is delivered.

These fans can rotate up to 6 different messages in an LED, rotating light colour of your choice.  And, with each message having up to 18 characters…. you would have a total of 108 characters to play with!

These fans are also a low minimum quantity of just 500 pieces and you can even have the handle pantone matched on higher quantities.  Handles can also be branded with your company logo from 500 units plus.

Copy and paste this link for a full demonstration:

Ideal for Sports events, festivals and marketing campaigns


For further details about keeping your clients cool whilst delivering your important marketing message, contact us today on 0161 222 8981 or email us as

*Source: BPMA

Goody Bags to Rescue Sales on The High Street!

The austere conditions on the high street at the moment following the sad demise of some long established major players must be making our other UK’s retailers very nervous about their future. 

Are we becoming immune to the temptation of the cliched Sale?


Consumers are holding back, spending less and need a very good reason to go into a store or onto a website to part with their money.  They are also becoming wise to the often mis-leading and clichéd mid-season sales and half price promotions that many players within the furniture business are especially guilty of.  Consumers want more transparency; good old fashioned service; a genuine incentive to buy and a good deal when they do.

I am surprised about how few retail marketing teams and CRM managers use goody bags as a marketing solution.  Perhaps it is the term ‘goody bags’ that seems a tad frivolous and therefore are not regarded as potential contenders in the polished and results driven marketing world.  Maybe it’s because they think that the competition are not doing goody bags so why should they. Or it could be quite simply, that the option never comes to mind.

Whatever the case, ask a consumer what a goody bag is; and they all know. 

Everyone Loves a Goody Bag

I will never forget being outside a large Disney Store at the Trafford Centre in Manchester and there was a long queue out the door.  Apparently, word had got round very quickly that they were giving out free goody bags, so the queue was growing fast.  I saw people coming out of the store with their little plastic bags and I asked someone if I could take a look at what they had.  The goody bags contained 2 or 3 tiny Disney character pen toppers. That’s all. …nothing spectacular.  However, people of all ages were taking their time to queue to get them.  I spoke to a few people in the queue and the majority didn’t even know what they were getting but it was free so they wanted one. 

The store was a magnet and people were going into that shop that would not in normal circumstances.  To them, they were getting an unmissable [free] deal and the generous and welcoming service messages that the store was conveying was making more people join that queue.

How to make a Goody Bag Pay in Retail

Well executed and highly targeted goody bags can be very effective by engaging directly with customers, influencing their behaviour and increasing footfall and transactional spend.

Goody Bags can be an excellent return on investment


A goody bag need not be expensive and a budget can easily be produced by looking at your margins.   There are many ways in which you can monitor your return on investment too, unlike many other soft marketing campaigns that often get awarded big budgets but offer poor forms of measure.

Every retailer and e-tailer will have very differing needs with each requiring a bespoke approach to meet their own objectives.  Here are just a few tips for any retail and e-commerce goody bag campaign:

  •  Goody bags can be a marketing solution for all types of promotions:  for a simple data gathering exercise; rewarding customer loyalty; recommending a friend; signing up for a credit account; to influence an increase in a transactional spend; driving customers to visit a store; social media campaigns; preview events and much more.
  •          Additional giveaways within the bags should be something practical that they will use and are able to keep.  Instant disposable items such as confectionery and food items branded up are a waste as they get eaten and your brand is quickly in the bin, unless of course, the objective of the goody bags is to encourage trial of a food or drink product. Research your target market and give them what they will want, value and hold onto. 
  •        Social media is an ideal FREE platform in which to build awareness of your goody bag offering so ensure that you feature your goody bag promotion on your Facebook page and tweet about it regularly on Twitter……especially effective for campaigns aimed at the teens and twenties.  Clever viral campaigns to promote the offering on You Tube can take the exposure to exceptional levels.
  •     Include money saving vouchers or further promotions within the goody bags that have staggered dates.  This way you will get repeat business or you can support a seasonal campaign such as pre-Christmas trading.  This is also a valuable tool for calculating your ROI.
  •        You can charge for goody bags too.  Consumers within certain industry sectors would be more accepting of this, such as fashion, beauty and sport.  A discounted, highly desirable goody bag would still generate the results you need.  For instance, if Top Shop were offering girls branded goody bags with Top Shop branded lips glosses, files and bath bombs for £4 on purchases over £50, you would increase the average transactional spend and make a high margin on the goody bag too.  You would also boost footfall and, if you were to link this into a social media campaign, your results would soar.  If your staff are going to be handing them out away from the store, ensure that they have a firm brief about the profile of the people to whom they should be given.  Where possible, encourage an exchange of name and email address in return for the goody bag to data capture names for the future.
  •  Brand the bag and the items within the bag with as many contact details and messages that you can fit on.  Social media addresses and use of QR codes are becoming increasingly important.


If you are interested in using goody bags for your next promotion, get in touch TODAY on 0161 222 8981 or email The Bespoke Goody Bag Company on

Round of Applause for Top Marketing Product!

It fascinates me how our major sporting clubs today manage to exploit every conceivable marketing opportunity known to marketing-man.   It seems that no wall space, seat, drinks cup or door is now sacred. They see a marketable space or opportunity and whack a price on it!

well executed designFew have the colossal funds required to secure shirt sponsorship.  Maybe your funds are closer to sponsoring the half-time pies? I personally would forget the pies though….  get yourself some of these and then you can really compete against the major sporting advertisers!
These Marketing Managers’ dream handouts are the modern day replacement for the footie rattle but with a superb branding opportunity added that really is hard to beat.  Quite simply, they’re a hand-held, clapping banner and noisemaker in one.

How could something so simple be so good?


folded and ready 2 clapThe clapping sound that they make is loud and effective and they build crowd participation and excitement.  They are also visually appealing to all ages and genders and have a huge double sided area in which to print your message, brand or promotion.

And that’s not all:

  • They are made in England and take just 5 – 7 days to turnaround….. so ideal for last-minute events
  • The minimum order is just 500 units and the cost is amazingly budget friendly
  • They are made from recycled material and are biodegradable
  • They can be printed in up to four colour process on both sides of a huge print area
  • They have the flexibility to build in vouchers and tear-offs
  • They are supplied folded and ready to use
  • They are the perfect product to build crowd participation and excitement both visually and audibly
  • They are ideal for clapping along to chants and songs at sports events and concerts
  • They have a high perceived value and fans keep them as momentos


great design - rugby world cup tickets


This clever patented design is made from a high quality card and is supplied printed and concertina folded, ready to be handed out.  They’re dual use as well – to create a clapping sound and to use opened to hold up for visual display at games and music festivals.  Be clever with your design and your marketing message could be seen by millions!  Just perfect for all sporting events, music festivals or even for the 2012 Jubilee.

Pop them in a goody bag along with branded whistles, face paints, hats and streamers and you’re on to a winner!

I love this product and it really is a no-brainer.  Get yours ordered today by contacting us on 0161 222 8981 or email us NOW on