The Power of the Free!


The Power of the Free!

The Power of the Free

We are all big fans of stuff… especially when it’s FREE! Think about it— How much promotional “swag” have you accumulated over the years from college, sporting events or even a trip to the bank? We’re sure your office/home/car is cluttered in pens, koozies and notepads from the Holiday Inn or Joe’s Heating and Air.  

The question here is: As a business, how effective is funding and distributing free promotional goodies? 

Answer: VERY effective. 

Promotional items can be anything that contains a company’s branding or logo that can be distributed as a free advertising tool to a group of people. Some examples of promotional items companies might use are: business gifts, giveaways, sweepstakes and our favorite…company swag (t-shirts, hats, stickers, and other take-home goodies.).

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Companies have been building brand recognition for many years using promotional giveaways. An estimated 20 billion dollars is spent every year on giveaways and promotional products to increase brand awareness. And it’s working.

According to surveys and research conducted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association, there is evidence of a direct correlation between brand recognition and an increase in sales after giving away promotional products. Consumers are much more likely to purchase goods and services from a company after receiving a promotional item from them.

When choosing which product to use to advertise your business, it is important to keep in mind exactly your customer’s needs (and wants!) Here are some do’s and don’ts in choosing promotional products:


·      Choose something that your consumer will be able to reuse often. Like this super bright and clever tote we got from a tradeshow from Hippeas!

Photo courtesy:

Photo courtesy:

·      Catch their attention. Make your design bold, but stay on brand. You don’t want to be someone you’re not. Nobody likes a liar.

·      Less is more. Having your businesses name and the slogan or tagline associated with your business is plenty. 


·      Limit yourself to only one promotional product. Diversify a little and invest in several different types of swag.

·      Hand out cheap items. The product you distribute is a reflection of your company. So if you want people to think you are cheap, go ahead and get the crappy pen. But our recommendation would be do invest the extra few cents and get the good click pen with the gripper.

·      Use products that are easy to throw away. The purpose of your product is to get people to hold onto them for a time so your company stays top of mind. If consumers are throwing the product away, you missed the target. Not to mention you’re literally throwing your money away.

The use of promotional products is an excellent way to get your brand in the hands of your target market and increase brand recognition. Think of it like 80s music for example. When you hear that certain tune, your mind automatically goes back and recalls your younger, bigger hair days. Just like an old song, a quality promo item will keep your brand in the minds of your consumers and when they have the need, they’ll think of you.




Creative Space, Creative Thinking

Do you sometimes find yourself sitting at your desk, trying to get work done and get your brain to cooperate with you and you’ve got nothing? You take a quick walk. Have a snack. But there is still no spark to start you in the right direction. Maybe you can chalk it up to a bad day OR maybe you just need a workspace that can help inspire ideas. Of course this isn’t Beauty and the Beast— your pen isn’t going to get up and start writing for you. Your mouse isn’t going to start wagging its tail. And the coffee pot definitely isn’t going be pouring you a freshly brewed cup. (But wouldn’t that be nice?) However, there is something magical about working in a creative space. It can get you motivated to “get ish done” as they say. Knowing what you need to stay focused and motivated is the first step in creating your perfect workspace. To help you out a little more, here are some things to think about in your own office space:

How functional is my space?

Obviously if you have a hard time actually doing your job in the space you’re in, that is the first problem. This can be a huge hindrance to your productivity. Your job is hard as it is, no reason to make it even harder with a space that doesn’t work for you. Write down your must-haves to start working and then make those happen. Sometimes starting from scratch is the best thing you can do. 

Does my space meet my social needs?

If you work better when you get to collaborate with the people around you, a secluded office on the other side of the building probably isn’t the best place for your creative space. On the other hand, if you enjoy working by yourself or get distracted easily by Jim down the hall (who always strikes up a conversation every time he walks by your door) make sure you at least have the option of being able to close yourself off from your coworkers so you can get some peace and quiet. 

Does my space meet my psychological needs?

The way you decorate your office should ultimately reflect your taste and be an expression of who you are (and not freakin’ Jim down the hall who “likes Helvetica better.”) If something about your office doesn’t put a smile on your face or get you excited to be at work when you walk in, change something so it does. Being in the right mood when you’re working will contribute to the strength and success of your work.

Does this lamp make my office look fat?

If your needs are the beast, your space can be the beauty. Next thing you know, boom, you have a handsome prince on your hands and the copy machine is busting out into song. Either that or Jim down the hall has his wife on speakerphone again (close your door Jim.) Having the right space is all about what you need, who you are and what you do for your company. You may not have free reign to hang things from the wall or move things around, but you can definitely find small ways to bring your personality into the space you spend the majority of your time. So don’t let your office building’s restrictions stop you from asking yourself these questions and taking matters into your own hands to create the space that will inspire you.

Fortunately for us Revelers, we have the green light to customize our own space because we know it can boost the productivity and moral of the whole agency. We also believe in creating an environment throughout the shared space of the office that the whole team can be proud to call their home. We love showing off our space to our clients and friends so here’s a little glimpse of our creative space that will hopefully inspire you to make some changes in your own space.


Saying Goodbye to Revel


Saying Goodbye to Revel

When I started as an Office Assistant at Revel Advertising I had no idea how advertising worked, how an agency functioned, or even what a creative department was. I felt like I was majorly in over my head. I never could have guessed how much I would learn in my role and how much I would come to love this place in the time to follow. And I also would never have guessed the number of ridiculous/ hilarious things (inside and outside the office) that I would witness from my view at the front desk.

If graduating and leaving my life at Missouri State wasn’t hard enough, adding Revel to the list of goodbyes made it a thousand times harder. It isn’t easy to say goodbye to a group of people that taught me more than I could’ve ever imagined in such a short period of time.

So many times we’ve joked about how our team is just like a family. Each individual member has been such a huge part in shaping my time at Revel. I have to give a shout out to each person’s unique quirks and personality traits that I am going to miss the most (to add to the laundry list of things I am going to miss about this crazy family.)

Nicole isn’t just a normal office mom, she’s a COOL office mom. She has taught me to work hard and to put in the extra hours to attain your goals, never forgetting to celebrate the small victories along the way. Her example as a leader has shown me that you never have to give up kindness to be successful. She has also taught me more about essential oils than I think anyone else could! Thanks for always trying to heal me with your remedies Nicole!

Some of my favorite things about Amanda are that we’ve bonded over our obsession with cute glasses and our favorite coffee mugs and creamers. She also has shown me what it means to “see beyond yourself,” one of our core values, and to never hesitate to give time to teammates when they’re struggling. Thanks for always helping me out!

Cameron is always one of the best dressed in the office, but never wants to have his picture taken (see photo below)! He puts up with us always picking on him and laughs along, like when he takes his daily banana breaks even though we tease him about it constantly. He’s taught me to appreciate great design, how to keep succulents alive and the importance of lunch-time walks to get some fresh air. Thanks for always keeping me company during lunch time, Cam. 

The biggest lesson Chris has taught me is that you should never put a limit on creativity. He is never afraid to share his ideas when they pop into his brain, no matter how big or small. No matter if it was at him or with him, Chris always gave me something to laugh about at work. Chris- thanks for showing me that you should never take yourself too seriously!

Megan’s trust in me as my boss has given me a huge sense of independence, something I lacked before. Her support and strategic mind always helped me see that any issue could be overcome. On top of that, she’s shown me what it means to be a true Harry Potter super-fan, to embrace a little office profanity and to balance life while becoming a dog-mom to Murphy (I'll miss you too, Murph). Thank you for your example Megan, and for providing us all with puppy time when we need it most. 

Shelby has always been my right-hand gal in the Revel office. She’ll always split a cookie or donut with me when we both know we shouldn’t eat the whole thing. She’s always been the social media partner I turn to when I need to take an artsy Instagram photo. Shelbs, thanks for being the best partner in crime in everything we do here!

Pretty soon my Revey’s will be packed up and there will be new face behind the front desk. Although I am only a very small piece of the incredible success in Revel Advertising’s future, the work family I’ve gained will always be a big piece of my life in Springfield that I now have to say goodbye to. To the Revel team— thanks for giving me an awesome example of comradery during the past few years to take with me on my next adventure. I am going to miss you all so much and won’t ever forget the things you’ve taught me! 

To learn a little more about the face behind the front desk and Revel’s social media, read Kelsey’s “Get to Know a Reveler” post.


Nobody Reads it Anyway


Nobody Reads it Anyway

We all know it, copywriting can be hard. Coming up with catchy slogans and struggling with writer’s block for hours, it’s exhausting. Is it really worth it?

A recent study from Microsoft says we now have the attention span of 8 seconds….which is less than a goldfish. (Sad, but true.) So from an advertiser’s perspective, how do capture your part of those 8 available seconds and cut through the clutter of an over-marketed society?

The answer is easy, right? Imagery. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, so why muddy up your advertising with words when you can have an image to do it for you? Plus, the “written word is dead” or so they say. And nobody will read it anyway.

Just take a look at how the written word has changed in recent history. It went from pages of handwritten letters, to short, quick emails, to even shorter text messages and now, your text messages are now using images with emojis. Honestly, it’s a miracle you’ve made it this far in this blog.

Advertisers have made the shift as well. We used to see ads loaded with text. But that was before we could focus longer than our pet goldfish…ah the good ol’ days. There is no way you’d see an ad like that now.

Why? Because nobody reads it anyway. So is this fact or fiction? Our marketing team put this to the test to see if words really do matter. Let’s test a few examples.

First up is this city-based ad. Without the words, one could wager a guess it was about exploring the great outdoors, getting out of the city and climbing an actual mountain instead of the subway stairs. Now click over to the next slide.

Well, it’s not about vacationing at all. It’s about handicap accessibility. Those 5 words, “For some, it’s Mt. Everest” changes your complete perception of this ad. Just 5 short words and you have suddenly changed the way you interact with this ad.  

So in this case, words actually do matter.

Next up we’re taking a turn down a more serious road with this image of a young boy who has obviously been abused. It’s a super powerful image, no doubt about that. But does this image really say it all?

Put the words back in and suddenly, you find out that this boy has “his mother’s eyes.” He’s surrounded by abuse. His mother is being abused. For all we know, if we don’t do something, this child is in for a lifetime of abuse. And it’s all because of that short sentence that had the power to connect us either further with this message and even gives us the urge for action. So in this instance, it’s a good thing words matter.

Up next is a stark contrast between a lush forest and one that is barren. The image captures your attention just by seeing the two side-by-side, but what if there was a way to make this stand out even more? And what if it all it took was to add in two, clever words?

Do you see how much those words helped to get this ad noticed? Humor. Whit. Impact. You didn’t get that from just the image, did you? People might actually read this because these words are cleverly creative and effective. 

Sometimes obvious imagery can still hinder the way an ad is perceived and you run the risk of people not fully getting your point. In this ad, without the words, we can see this a smoking ad. With the play on crayons as cigarettes, maybe it means the smoking age is getting increasingly younger. Or maybe it isn’t. Without words, you are leaving this solely up to interpretation.

When you add the words back in, we see it is actually giving you a statistic for a very specific group of children who are affected by smoking. It’s speaking to a target demographic and is extremely impactful. The words and the image compliment each other beautifully in this ad.

Lastly, sometimes it’s just obvious that words make the ad. Take this ad for example. Without the words it leaves you wondering, “why the hell is a water company sponsoring a half of a bench?”.

With the words however, it connects everything perfectly. “Use only what you need.” This ad is a copywriter’s dream. Short. Relevant. Cleverly executed. What more could you ask for in an ad that is meant to get people talking?

So what did we learn from this? Give your audience more credit. And your copywriters. Words do matter, and people are going to read them. A picture isn’t worth a thousand words. In an ad, it’s worth 500, at best.

Need some help finding the perfect meaningful words for your brand? We’d love to help. Give us a shout at



Generational Marketing: Kids and Their Buying Power


Generational Marketing: Kids and Their Buying Power

The “Kid-fluence”

Have you ever thought about the purchase power that children have? We all know that once kids are in the picture, it’s ALL about them. Kids have a direct influence on where the family goes to dinner, the groceries they buy, even the vehicle that the family drives. The ‘pester power’ of a child is even stronger than the influence of parents wanting something for themselves. One marketing study even found that 52% of three-year-olds and 73% of four-year-olds often, or almost always, asked their parents for specific brands. You’ve seen it too. You are at the grocery store picking up your box of Wheaties and down just a little ways, temper-tantrum ensues when the Cap’n Crunch with Extra Berries didn’t get added to the cart. (We feel ya there, kid.)

Societal changes such as the shift of mothers working outside the home and increase in single-parent families also have given children more responsibility, and more direct-purchasing power. This influence over decision-making comes down to billions of dollars a year of ‘kid-purchase power’. In fact, the CFC reports that children under the age of 12 influence $500 billion in purchases per year. While that may seem overwhelming, there are a few tips and tricks to be successful at marketing to children.

#1 Make it Pop

It shouldn’t be as secret to anyone that kids love to be entertained. They gravitate towards anything that can hold onto their attention for more than a few minutes (and we know parents love when that happens too). To get this generation’s attention among the 30,000 advertisements they see per year, you have to be FAR from cookie-cutter.

A great way to stand out is to give them a chance to interact with your brand and, heck, even become a part of it! Target hit this bulls-eye last year with their back-to-school campaign. Who knows the mind of a kid more than a kid, right? Their commercials were directed, styled and written by kids themselves. Not only did this ad series show commercials brilliantly thought up by kids, but it shared the stories of the children who created them, providing a chance for audiences to relate to their lives.

#2 Make it Ethical

When marketing to children, it’s important to remember how impressionable they are. You don’t want to be the one responsible for corrupting future generations with your advertising tactics, or exploiting the vulnerability of children. (Or at least we desperately hope you don’t!). Marketers have the power to use their dollars to not only advertise but to teach strong lessons to children, while creating some brand awareness at the same time.

After their stint of bad publicity with food cleanliness scares, Chipotle took a stance to promote clean eating and the importance of food safety. They slyly marketed the organic nature of their food products and ingredients with the series ‘RAD Lands’. The series’ underlying message is aimed to teach kids about making healthier decisions with their diet. Making better choices about diet is a message children will hold onto and they don’t even realize they’re being taught. They learn a lesson, Chipotle gets a sale. Win-win.

#3 Create Life-long Customers

No one is born with a particular flavor for one brand over another. This is taught to them, conditioned in them by marketers. A baby doesn’t come into the world thinking that Nike brand tennis shoes are their favorite. You can beat these brands out, if you can catch the eye of the consumers during their most impressionable times. And you’ll create a customer for life at the same time.

Take lessons from the brands like Target, who let the kids take the reigns and generate their own content. Beat out these big brands and generate your own brand ambassadors from a young age. Use them in your market research, and gain and understanding of their likes and dislikes.

Being at top-of-mind awareness requires you to get on your consumers level—both physically and mentally. Know where they are, where they spend their time and the social platforms they may choose to engage on. But you need to learn to speak their language too. Your campaign is no good if you can’t talk their talk.  

Do you have a specific target market that you’re trying to reach? Give us a shout and see if we can help at!