The Coolest Promotional Products of 2017

We love promotional products at PA Promotions. We truly believe that using promotional products is the best most cost effective method of increasing your brand’s identity. Promotional Products add something extra, enabling you to create a personal rapport with customers and boosting your business beyond the reach of other marketing strategies. When thinking of Promotional products, we often think of just mugs and pens and t-shirts. As effective as these products are, there is a whole range of promotional products that you’ve probably never thought of branding, ones that could send your business into the stratosphere……quite literally with some.

MyFly Drone

Drones are very popular at the moment, with many flying out of the shops this past Christmas and into many a child’s (and man-child’s) stocking. As well as being a fun toy to play with in the park, drones are being increasingly linked to businesses who are making plans to use them for airborne deliveries. Why not promote your business by branding this fantastic promotional mini MyFly Drone and propel your brand to new heights?

MyAction Camera

Wearable attachable cameras are another very popular item at the moment, capturing footage that is almost impossible to capture on a regular camera. Be it biking, diving, snowboarding or a first person view of a wild night on the town (how funny would that be the next day?!), cameras such as the MyAction are brilliant and will be used again and again. How cool would it be for your customers to take your brand along on all of their adventures?

USB Pen Top

If James Bond had a pen it would probably be similar to this (minus a few metal melting laser beams of course). This USB top pen is a cool promotional item that’ll help your customers and make your businesses pen memorable in the literal and data sense of the word. Brand this pen and appeal to budding spies everywhere.

Life Saver

The LifeSaver is a superb promotional item with a truly innovative design. Clicking the Lifesaver into a cigarette lighter allows you to charge 2 devices with USB connectivity , a fairly standard car accessory I hear you say, but encased on the opposite side is a small safety blade, capable of cutting through a seatbelt if ever the unfortunate occasion arises when you need to cut yourself free from a wreckage. A practical, useful and cool product that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bear Grylls survival kit.

Crystal USB

USBs are fantastic promotional items, used in offices, schools, universities and homes the world over. This cool Promotional Crystal USB stands out from others with it’s beautiful futuristic almost holographic branding. Made with pure Crystal, logos are 3D laser engraved, glowing with a coloured light when in use. Add this to your marketing arsenal in 2017 and your branded memory won’t be forgotten.

Crystal Powerbank

Powerbanks are a very popular product at the moment. Capitalise on humanity’s inability to live without smartphones or tablets for five minutes with the coolest promotional powerbank on the market. This Crystal Powerbank uses a window to advertise your glowing 3D laser engraved logo in all of it’s glory. Boosting your brand and batteries with style.

2in1 Charging Cable

My favourite cool promotional product of the year. This brilliant 2in1 Promotional Charging cable really is a real game changer, being able to charge ANY smartphone or tablet. The innovative port fits both Micro USB and lightning ported devices with the same fitting, allowing the seamless transition between both Apple and Android.
The USB port end and device fitting end are both magnetic connecting in a perfect loop around a hooped keyring. This is an ideal promotional product to brand as it appeals to so many people and is sure to be shown off due to its sheer brilliance.

So there you have it. A pick of the coolest promotional products available from us in 2017. At PA we know which products work, choosing only the very best of the bunch to increase businesses brand identity to the fullest of their potential. We have an amazing range of items available and if we don’t have it we’ll do our utmost to give you exactly what you want or at the very least a close alternative. We’ll help you to think outside the box and push your brand where it’s never gone before.

All products mentioned are available now. Please contact us for details.

For any help or advice with regards to promotional products please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and knowledgeable team on
029 2079 0006

All products mentioned are available now. Please contact us for details.

7 Reasons why you should invest in Promotional Products this New Year

The first few weeks after the holiday period are always difficult. Being reacquainted with that early morning alarm just isn’t as fun as eating a square of chocolate for breakfast and subsequently stuffing your face with treats all day, is it? Those work shirts feel a little bit tighter this side of December and you’re wondering whether spending all that money on various nights out was really the wisest investment.

Like many New Year’s resolutioners you’re probably thinking about investing in a gym membership. According to various statistics, 80% of New Year’s gym membership holders quit within the first month; perhaps not such a wise investment to start the year with, especially if you’ll be one of those thinking up excuses not to go whilst paying monthly for the privilege.

With regards to business there is no better time to invest in your marketing strategy, especially in the form of promotional products. We know promotional merchandise might not be the most important action on your ‘to do list’ but we do know they are a proven smart way to communicate your brand and raise awareness amongst a diverse audience. Here are some reasons why you should invest in promotional products this New Year.

1. Your Competitors are already doing it – Don’t give your competitors the chance to outshine your brand by capitalising on the use of promotional products. Any business with a smart marketing strategy will put aside part of their budget to invest in promotional products; if that business is a competitor, they are forming a rapport with your potential customers. It’s a box that needs ticking and what better way to tick that box than with a pen that proudly wears your logo.

2. Show your personality – The use of promotional products is an ideal way to show potential customers your brand’s personality. It takes some companies years to create a positive impression. Drastically cut down this time by giving away free promotional gifts. Everyone loves a freebie and if a recipient thinks fondly of your company simply due to being given an item branded with your logo, they are far more likely to use your service. Give and, more than likely, you shall receive…

3. Its cheap and effective – Promotional products are arguably the most cost effective marketing tool available to businesses. Advertisements through TV, Radio and Newspapers can be expensive, burning through your marketing budget like a Ferrari with a leaking tank, and mostly, with less than impressive returns. According to a survey, 57% of people were able to recall an advertisement from a branded mug versus 32% from radio and 27% from TV advertisments. Invest in promotional products and make a long lasting and favourable impression.

4. Longevity – As well as being a cost effective method of instant advertising, more value can be placed upon promotional products when considering their potential longevity. TV and Radio advertisements last mere weeks or months then the expense is renewed when constructing the next campaign. Promotional products however have the ability to last as long as the recipient wishes. The key to longevity is branding attractive and useful products; ones that will be used again and again, keeping your logo in public view for the longest possible time. Pens, mugs, notepads, sports bottles, trolley coin keyrings, shopping bags, powerbanks, cables, any reusable product is perfect for branding.

5. Target audience – Appealing to your target audience is always the intention of a marketing campaign. Promotional products however have the luxury of appealing to the intended target audience as well as those outside of the target boundaries. Items like pens which are passed around on a daily basis may reach a potential customer who you wouldn’t have necessarily reached in other forms of marketing. Exposure is key when marketing a business and using promotional products exposes you unlike any other marketing form.

6. Incentives – Promotional products can be used as incentives within your own business. Corporate gifts and awards given to employees as a result of their hard work often leads to boost in moral and encourages competition in the workplace. Whilst perhaps not being displayed pride of place on the mantelpiece (unless you believe salesman of the month should take precedence over your children’s graduation photos), showing appreciation to your team is invaluable and will without doubt help improve your business.

7. So many choices – Another great thing about promotional products is the sheer vastness available. Whether you’re a window cleaning business with branded buckets, a salon owner with branded nail files or a coffee shop with branded mugs, the items and branding possibilities are endless. Our helpful and knowledgeable sourcing team at PA Promotions can supply and brand whatever you believe your company needs, exposing your brand in the most places possible and promoting you to the fullest of your potential.

So, there you have it. 7 compelling reasons why you should invest in promotional products this New Year. We here at PA only want what’s best for your brand. We truly believe that the best way to improve your business is to get your brand seen by as many people as possible for the longest time possible, and the best way is without doubt in the form of promotional products. Invest in promotional products this year and boost your brand to a whole new audience.

With 35 years of experience, our hardworking and friendly team are here to help you. Please call 02920 790 006 for any queries.

How are you? How is your business? How have you coped post Trump, post Brexit and post the loss of so many treasured celebrity heroes in 2016?

If you were to watch a compilation of 2016’s news headlines, it’d be a heart-breaking highlight reel of loss and despondency. It has unfortunately been an unforgiving, tough and gruesome year for many people across the globe; Who can forget the chilling image of that refugee child left to drown? Yet still the battles continue to rumble, innocent people young and old affected by atrocities completely out of their control.

Many events this year have shown life in an ugly unfiltered light, but on the flip side they have also shown the power of human kindness via the medium of social media. People have rallied together to send clothes, money and support to help the people in crisis through this wonderful, uniting tool. Even though we are witness to these atrocities and very raw photographic images it does also remind us of the power of social media to touch the souls of humans.

These are human focused examples but the bottom line for businesses looking to grow and develop in 2017, we think, is to focus on communication. Be it online, offline, face to face or over the phone focus on communication and you can’t go wrong.

Internal communications – if, like us you are a growing business and you have many new faces joining the team, make sure you give everyone a clear induction programme. It is very easy to forget how complex and mind blowing your business might be to a newbie, so give them a chance to shine. Set clear objectives, monitor their output and keep an open dialogue.

Invest in the skills of others – if HR, health and safety, and communications are not your strong point then don’t be afraid to buy in some advice. I always find the best person to use is one that has been recommended from a trusted source, nothing beats a genuine referral.

Try something new – don’t be afraid to embrace new ways of working, you might be pleasantly surprised. After all if you keep doing things the same way then you will only generate the same results…

Corporate social responsibility
– no matter how big or small your business there is no harm in introducing a ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ plan. Involve your team in decisions such as which charity to nominate for the year and agree the fundraising initiatives you will be comfortable supporting. These types of events can usually also double as a great chance for team building.

Social media is here to stay – this remains high on our to do list. We know we need to embrace social media but with a small team and lots of clients to service we don’t seem to use it as much as we should. For 2017, I am making it my New Year’s resolution to improve our social media output, so look out for more activity from us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

On a personal level, 2016 took our family to the other side of the world for a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to see family. On a business level we survived the time away from the office and as per every year in business really we have met lots of interesting characters and learnt along the way. I’m looking forward to 2017, we are setting clear objectives for our business, our team and ourselves and we look forward to catching those curve balls as they arrive.

Keep your online content topical and entertaining without getting caught by copyright

We all love those light bulb moments. That split second when the penny drops and that idea you’ve been chasing around the corridors of your cranium finally gives in to exhaustion. You’ve got the perfect song to use in your advert and the best image for your blog. But whilst you’re plotting your brilliant marketing campaign you’re being stalked by a shackle wielding enforcer whose laws must be obeyed; the laws of Copyright.

To avoid getting your bright ideas dimmed you must adhere to its rules or suffer the sometimes very expensive consequences. Here are a few ways in which you can use images and music when promoting your brand or business without the fear of having a guillotine hanging above your marketing assistant’s head.

Copyright Fair Use

All images have some form of copyright. In fact any music, written text or form of creative work by a human being has a form of copyright. Whilst copyright needs legal documentation and registration to be enforced, no action is actually needed to hold the right to copyright in the first place, unlike trademarks and patents which do. Still with me? Confusing isn’t it?

The important thing to understand is that almost everything has a copyright but the way in which you use something determines whether it applies to the Copyright ‘Fair use’ act. If you haven’t got permission to use certain content but your intentions adhere to the parameters of fair use, then it’s fair game. “So how can you tell if its fair use?” I hear you cry.

Purdue University has developed a useful table system which helps you check. Their website depicts their “Four Factor System”, which involves evaluating:

1. The Purpose and Character – why the content is being used and what is the intention?
2. Nature of the work – Whether the work is fact, fiction, published or unpublished.
3. The Amount– Whether it’s a large or small amount of the content being used.
4. Market Effect – How the intended use will impact the market for the original.

After digesting all of that you can apply your knowledge to this final table, which should allow you to determine whether the Copyright fair use act applies. If 3 or more ticks lie within the Favours Fair Use column then your content should be fine to use without permission.

Source: University, P. (2003-2009) Fair use. Available at: (Accessed: 13 December 2016).

This is not a fool proof method by any means but checking using this system could tell you whether you are allowed to use your desired content or not.

Creative Commons and Public Domain

Braveheart by Daniele Vianello, used under CC BY / Cropped and added text

When looking for images, the best way to ensure you don’t get ensnared by copyright is to use images from Creative Commons and Public Domain websites. These images have licenses that have either expired or have usage rights which allow you to use them usually through simple attribution to the creator. Attributing the creator in the correct way is very important; here is a great guide to attribution from Creative Commons.

Creative commons and public domain images are brilliant but beware, licenses differ. Some may not allow you to modify the original work and some may not allow commercial use. ALWAYS check the licenses carefully to avoid being stung.

Some fantastic examples of Creative Commons and Public Domain websites include: Wikimedia Commons, Flickr , Pixabay, Public Domain Archive, Good Free Photos, Free Range Stock, Pick up image, Pexels and Photogen.

Perhaps the easiest way to search for free to use images though is through Google‘s Image search. Simply select tools and usage rights and select ‘labelled for reuse’. You should be presented with hundreds of images linking you to free to use photo websites (still remember to check licences though).

So we’ve covered images, what about music?

When using music to promote your brand or business, many of the same rules apply. In order to use actual song lyrics for commercial purposes you must first obtain permission from the original creation. This will involve contacting music publishers such as the Hal Leonard Corporation or Alfred Music Publishing. Contacting publishers for permission is free but in order to obtain a license for a large marketing or advertising campaign, expect to be charged a fee.

Contacting and waiting for permission may seem laborious but unfortunately that’s how the music industry’s copyright law works. If you would like to mention a song however in a blog or campaign, there is no copyright law against using the artist’s name and song title. For example, Mentioning Noddy Holder’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ echoing from high street shops like a gravelly voiced choir in your December blog, is absolutely fine.

Much like that of images, the Public Domain contains Lyrics which can be used for any appropriate commercial or personal purpose. The selection won’t include any tracks from ‘NOW 95’, but many Christmas carols, folk Songs, hymns and children’s songs are available.


When promoting your business or brand in any form of marketing campaign, it is essential that you are educated in copyright law and how it protects certain content. We here at PA Promotions are dedicated to improving and boosting your brand and the last thing we’d like to see is you hit with a hefty fine due to using ineligible content. The best possible advice we can give you to improve your marketability online is to publish as much fresh, relevant and interesting content as possible, using the copyright safety methods discussed. This will see you boost your search engine optimisation improving your discoverability, allowing you to appeal to more people and ultimately improving business.


University, P. (2003-2009) Fair use. Available at: (Accessed: 13 December 2016).

Roni Loren. 2012. Bloggers beware you can get sued for using pics on your blog. Available at: [Accessed 13 December 2016].

The Book Designer, Helen Sedwick. 2015. How to Use Lyrics Without Paying a Fortune or a Lawyer. Available at: [Accessed 13 December 2016].

We love Christmas, but do we love Black Friday, Cyber Monday, pick a colour Tuesday?


Don’t get me wrong I love these crisp, cold winter mornings, and right now I’m looking forward to snuggling on the sofa with my children to watch Christmas films. Also I love a deal, I love to shop and I love to spoil my friends and family, but I felt this year the email marketing seemed to not just give us deals on Black Friday but also deals during the week before black Friday, during cyber Monday or the black Friday week which comes after black Friday… Woah, somebody stop the clock! How do customers feel? Is it just too much?

Or is it a fantastic, clever marketing tool which serves to satisfy customers with bargains and satisfy the businesses by seeing their shelves emptied as people gather to grab a bargain?

This Black Friday frenzy of shopping of course impacts on footfall into stores and online retailers see a significant boost in traffic, often to the point where the site will crash. But with the reduced prices, are businesses just shooting themselves in the foot? After all Black Friday season arrives before Christmas which means people are actually happy to pay full price for items. But given that this year Black Friday was bigger and more drawn out than in previous years I’m guessing that the retailers are able to make such a significant profit that they are able to continue with crazy discount offers.

So from this what can I learn and apply to my own business?

Discount ‘buy now’ deals
I have learnt that people whether consumer or business to business love a deal, they respond well to discounted items and react better if they are given a smaller time slot, a sense of ‘must buy now’.

How many emails is too many?
I have also learnt that if emailing clients try not to send too many emails as it will soon turn into white noise and they will just ignore you. Having said that if you send the right amount of emails, for example two a month, even if they don’t want to take you up on your deal, they will hopefully remember you and recall your business the next time they need your services.

Be prepared!
If you are going to launch a truly outstanding deal, which is unbeatable value then make sure you are prepared for this demand and able to satisfy it without your website crashing or your mail room not being able to handle the shipping requirements.

Don’t undervalue yourself or your business

In our line of work, like many businesses, we operate in a highly competitive arena, whilst we know that we provide an excellent service, how do we make sure our customers know this? Promoting discounts may generate a certain type of interest in our business but is this long term? We want to work with businesses that appreciate our service that value our products and trust that our prices are already reasonable because we don’t have huge margins, each item is fairly priced at the start. I think the best advice is to only discount those products that will soon be discontinued and may even be removed from your business lines.


Here I’m excited to report our office is starting to look a lot like Christmas, the tree has popped up, we have just placed our drinks order for the Christmas party, and our bespoke Christmas cards will be hot off the press tomorrow. It is an exciting time of year, I hope that your 2017 business plans are starting to take shape and you are feeling ready to embrace the holiday season but also tackle business growth in 2017. Enjoy this Christmas build up, after all ‘tis the season to be jolly, regardless of what ‘colour’ day it is.

Celebrity Branding – Promotional Pulling Power of Famous Couples


After 14 years one of the most recognisable Celebrity Brands has fallen to an irreconcilable demise; ‘Brangelina’ is no more. Angelina Jolie’s decision to divorce Brad Pitt, a decision vehemently criticised by the female collective of the PA Promotions office, has shocked the entertainment World. ‘Brangelina’ were THE golden superstar super couple on the red carpet; a strutting jewel-clad juggernaut feeding off the camera flashes like a powered up Mr and Mrs PacMan. Singularly, Pitt and Jolie were stars, collectively they were MEGA stars. It’s interesting how an amalgamation of two famous Hollywood personalities, can propel them into a marketing magnet, breeding a new nickname, a new image and more often than not MORE MONEY. Here are a few of the most recognisable Celebrity Brands from the last decade.

Posh and Becks

The Beckham’s are simply Celebrity Brand royalty. The dynasty of Beckham, built upon the biggest name in football (metaphorically, former Celtic striker Jan Vennegoor-of-Hesselink is actually the biggest name in football) and the bobbed haired, sour faced Spice Girl, has a staggering estimated fortune of $771Million (£594Million), literally richer than the Queen who has a mere estimated £340 Million. The Beckham’s show how the union between two fan bases, in that of sport and pop music, leads to propelled self promotion as they became and arguably still are the most famous couple in Britain.
After earning millions through a glittering football career (His LA Galaxy contract was once reported at being $1Million a week) David retired from professional sport, but instead of investing in a pipe, slippers and rocking chair, he invested in numerous business ventures; Modelling, Fragrance, fine whiskey, soccer academies, you name it David Beckham has probably invested some part of his fortune in it. Victoria, more fashion-centric, has developed a successful clothing line and their children Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper are models in waiting.
The Beckham brand has grown many branches in both the business and the family sense but the roots are still firmly grounded. This was seen with Brooklyn working a weekend job at a West London Coffee shop to earn pocket money. His Dad is David Beckham and he needs pocket money?! A genuine attempt to teach his child the value of money, or a very clever PR stunt; its moves like this that makes brand Beckham likeable, powerful and very usable.

Kim and Kanye

Much like David and Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s amalgamation of fan bases is another marketing mega magnet. Kanye West already an established musician had a hugely successful brand, selling out world tours and collaborating with the crème of the music industry. This joined with the popularity of a reality TV ‘star’ with over 40 million Twitter followers creates a promotional machine of some scale. However, some have deduced that Kanye West’s association with Kardashian has been harmful to his career, citing the ridiculous video for Bound 2 as a low point. The much ridiculed and parodied video focuses more on the ‘KIMYE’ brand than actual musical content, perhaps showing how celebrity couples shouldn’t promote themselves.
Regardless of your views on ‘KIMYE’, their self promotional efforts have resulted in a lot of money gathering an estimated fortune of $250Million. Just goes to Show that publicity, no matter how utterly bemusing, can be good publicity.

Bey and Jay

Never too far from the top of the Celebrity Rich List, Beyoncé and Jay Z are quite simply the ultimate celebrity power couple. Both were already global superstars before falling crazily in love and joining forces in 2002. Their estimated fortune of a whopping $1 Billion is largely from their empire of music fans; their live shows grossing up to $2 million per night. Jay Z has flourished as a businessman, owning bars, clothing lines and founding his own Roc- a-fella record label and Roc Nation entertainment company. Beyoncé, with her own range of clothing and fragrances also holds a strong business empire clasped within her ring bearing hands. The announcement of Beyoncé’s pregnancy with a subtle tap of her baby bump after a live TV was an example of intelligent self promotion, solidifying the ‘Bey and Jay’ brand as the world rejoiced at the happy news.
Beyonce’s Pregnancy Reveal


Promote Yourself With PA

Our Promotional Products married with your logo is a power couple waiting to happen. A relationship with us may not have some of the perks as one with Brad Pitt or Beyoncé, but we can help your star to shine the brightest in a sky of other brands. Who knows, with enough promotion, you could be living next to Beckingham Palace!

Call us on 029 2079 0006

What Freshers Want – A Guide To Supplying Freshers With The Proper Tools

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Summer’s over. The nights are drawing in. That t-shirt suntan is slowly fading back into the skin you were wearing in March and people are already speaking about how many pay days are left until Christmas. But what’s this? The city’s streets are filled with tall, questionably dressed post-pubescents, wandering around trying to find a cash point to drain so they can down Jägerbombs? Oh of course, it’s Freshers Week! Freshers week is two weeks of complete debauchery and blurred mystery that everyone wishes they could (or couldn’t) remember. Student Unions across the country throw freebies at students upon arrival but, really, how useful is a fridge magnet and a badge saying “I LOVE (insert university initials here)”? Here are some items that PA Promotions can advertise your brand on that WILL be of use to students during their opening two weeks of University.


Right. Let’s get the Cliché out of the way. Students are going to need hangover survival kits because they are students and getting drunk is what they do. Here’s what we can provide students who’ve sunk too many snakebites whilst belting out “Mr Brightside” on the night before enrolment day.

Hangover Kit


With mints, face spray, wet wipes and a cooling gel eye mask, this hangover kit will set a poor, hungover fresher back on the path to righteousness after a night of debasement.
Bespoke sets can include Alka-Seltzer tablets or coffee sachets, subject to minimum orders and availability.

His and Hers



Another useful kit in a box. This his and hers ‘Hotel Kit’ contains a razor, shaving cream, a toothbrush, aloe vera cream, shampoo, refreshing wipes and foot gel. Everything a fresher needs to make his or herself look slightly less dishevelled.

Universal Travel Mug


Caffeine. A student’s best friend. Especially when summoned to a lecture at the unholy time of 9.30am! This Travel mug is perfect for chucking a beverage in first thing in the morning and chaperoning them on their quest to the lecture theatre.

Silicone Food Saver


This is a tool that could be used with the Universal Travel Mug or any other mug, tin or jar. This little beauty keeps a student’s noodles, soups and any other concoction of hangover recipes in an air tight capsule of goodness. Perfect for sealing the top of an open can of beans after a full English or for that rushed hungover breakfast on the bus, when the sheer thought of having to chew food pulses the stomach like a rusty blender.


Trolley Coin Key Ring


You’ve never got a pound when you need one. Whether it’s for a trolley to shop in the local cheap German supermarket or for a gym locker, this handy little lifesaver is always there for even the poorest of students.

Re-usable Shopper Bag


Every penny counts. Students can start saving those five and ten pence pieces by using one of these handy little shopping bags. The bag folds up into a tiny little draw stringed pouch so there’s no need for a student to feel conscious about being seen with an unfashionable Bag for Life. This could also be placed on your head for a makeshift poncho/ hat if it rains.

Tube Squeezer


This is a superb gadget, allowing students to get every little droplet out of their toothpaste tube, moisturiser, UV paint, or whatever tube product they own. Go on, do a Ross Geller and get everything you can!



Eye Mask


Although caffeine is a student’s best friend, partying and pulling all-nighters to finish projects will eventually turn even the most radiant of people into a light sensitive moaning zombie. SLEEP is important. If an all-nighter is required, this eye mask will help unload bags underneath tired eyes when dusk rears its ugly head.

Alarm Clock


After descending into the deepest of sleeps using the eye mask, an alarm will be needed (if a fire drill hasn’t already made you jump out of your skin like a scared Scooby Doo). This classic alarm clock will resurrect even the most comfortable of sleepers; even when their phone is as dead as them.

Telescopic Umbrella


This one is especially for students in British universities. It will rain. Probably on important days like getting your student ID photo taken. Students can avoid having to produce a picture of themselves looking like Tabitha from The Ring to student discount retailers by leaving this telescopic umbrella in their bag.

Bottle Opener Key Ring


Up there with sliced bread and the Hadron collider, bottle opener key rings are one of man’s great inventions. This is an ideal product for students, enabling them to pop open a beer’s pesky bottle cap whenever the opportunity strikes. It also prevents them from snapping their teeth, because even Beyoncé would find it hard to pull off a gummy graduation picture.


Image Courtesy of Buzzfeed

The Man With The Golden Ticket – Celebrating Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday


Many authors have left legacies. Charles Dickens will always embody the image of a Victorian Britain, with dramatic scenes on frosted cobbled streets. George Orwell will always resonate with a dark dystopian future where mankind is subjugated by a totalitarian regime, and Jane Austen will always be associated with the frilly-dressed aristocratic pomposity that I and many other English Literature A-level students had to endure during the summer of 2010. But one author’s legacy that cannot be mistaken for another due to his purely recognisable brand, is Roald Dahl.

Dahl’s Story

Dahl was born on September 13th, 1916, in the Cardiff town of Llandaff a few miles from our office here at PA promotions. At the age of 9, Dahl was sent to St Peter’s boarding school in Weston- super-Mare. Dahl did not enjoy his time at boarding school, but rather than upset his mother with words of misery in letters every week, he instead told whimsical tales and tried his best to entertain her, sewing the seeds for his career as an author of fiction.

After graduation at Repton boarding school in 1932, Dahl craved adventure and led a life of exploration for all to envy. He completed an expedition to Newfoundland, moved to Tanzania, joined the Royal Air Force during WWII and worked as an assistant air attaché in Washington, D.C.

Whilst in America Dahl met established author, C.S. Forester, who influenced him to start writing. In 1942, Dahl wrote his first children’s story The Gremlins. Not being particularly successful, Dahl focused on literature focused towards adults. That was until he became a father.

Dahl married film actress Patricia Neal, with whom he had five children. Dahl used his ideas for children’s books as bedtime stories. Rave reviews from his young critical test audience encouraged his return to writing children’s fiction and in 1961, James and the Giant Peach was published, to much critical and commercial acclaim.

Preposterous success followed with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in 1964, succeeded by classics such as Fantastic Mr Fox , Danny, the Champion of the World, The Twits, The BFG and Matilda . Over a six decade career he wrote nineteen children’s novels and numerous other short stories. Hollywood films and stage adaptations of his works ensued solidifying his brand of creative genius in platforms to be admired by all. On November 23, 1990, Dahl died of a blood disease in Oxford at the age of 74.

The BFG reading Dahl's Dictionary of Gobblefunk

The BFG reading Dahl’s Dictionary of Gobblefunk


Dahl’s Brand

When one thinks of a witty, funny children’s author, Dahl is the name that springs to mind. Dahl’s stories produce magical and mischievous characters in worlds of pure imagination, brought to life with the free flowing ink blotches of artist Quentin Blake. The combination of Dahl and Blake is synonymous, perfectly complementing each other’s creative brand. Dahl’s brand even ventures into creating his own language; the scrumdiddlyumptiously named ‘Gobblefunk’. Trogglehumpers, snozzcumbers and snozzberries are all tools of auteurship used to define Dahl’s work as his and his alone.
However, as unique as Dahl’s work is, his brand lives on through admirer and fellow children’s author David Walliams. The humour, wording and even characters (Mr Stink and Dahl’s Mr Twit anyone?) in Walliams’ work have all quite clearly been inspired by that of Dahl. Walliams like Dahl has had tremendous success with his works showing that brilliant brands breed success.


We here at PA promotions understand how branding can resonate with an audience. We understand how to promote your business so that people can feel that same warm feeling when they see your brand as when they see a Quentin Blake scribbled drawing accompanied by the ‘whoopsy whiffling’ witty, Gobblefunked words of the Great Roald Dahl himself.
If you believe in your brand, we will believe in you and do our utmost to make sure you stand out amongst your peers. Remember, “It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself”, Danny, Champion of the World.

If you fancy celebrating Roald Dahl’s literary brilliance visit Cardiff on 17th-18th September for Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected.

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PA Loves Promotional Products Week

That time of year has come around again and Promotional Products Week is here! Along with the BPMA, we are proud to be celebrating all things promotional. From the weird, wonderful, effortless and timeless ways in which you can use merchandise to shout loud for your brand.

What is Promotional Products Week you ask…
Promotional Products week is as it says on the tin, a week in which we can raise the profile of promotional products and show the strength that useful merchandise can have within your marketing mix.


Give your customers something they need
If you give your customers something they need on a daily basis with your brand on- the outcome is simple: constant brand awareness. Whether it’s a promotional trolley coin, keying for your customers house keys or a carrier bag to help out with the bag tax… give them something useful!

Don’t forget your employees
Although its great to give your valuable customers some goodies, don’t forget to invest in your own promotional activity. Get your employees on to the brand bandwagon and excite them about your brand. After all if they are shouting proudly it gives off an amazing impression for your clients. Jazz up the office with some branded pens, mouse mats, mugs and dairies. The options are endless!

The importance of promotional products:

Not only are promotional products a more traditional take on advertising, but they’re tried and tested: they WORK! That digital marketing campaign you set up to target a younger audience may be measurable but giving someone a gift whatever their age is priceless. What’s better is the recipient will instantly associate happiness with your brand and that’s all down to your promotional merchandise. There’s no denying the power of promotions. It’s certainly something to be celebrated and that’s why we are on board to get stuck in this Promotional Products Week!

Engaging Vs Innovative

Combine your next online marketing campaign with promotional products. Engage your customer with innovative thinking. Take Innocent drinks for example, not only is their social media presence unique and witty but they actively participate in offline advertising too. From the epic knitted hat charity awareness campaign to kids into the garden easy grow seed campaign. Everything they do socially has a firm angle to promotional merchandise.


This year we love our Ellie the Elephant promo toy. She’s made herself at home at the office that’s for sure. So #promoteyourbrand today with promotional merchandise. If you want it we can brand it, we give our upmost effort to find you the perfect promotional product. Call us on 029 2079 0006 or email us on


Hello September

Hello September, hello quarter four, and hello to a whole new beginning for me, our family and our business. Our youngest boy started school yesterday, gulp! He was brave and exhausted in equal measure. I’m now able to dedicate more time to our fourth baby – the business, which is exciting as we are getting set to launch our biggest event ever in November in partnership with a corporate giant, and also plan to launch a whole new revenue stream in January. So if I’m honest I also feel brave/nervous and exhausted in equal measure.


As a business so far 2016 hasn’t been without its up’s and down’s but we have learnt lessons, developed a better understanding of our growth potential and feel super excited to be driving forward lots of new initiatives.

We now have a fabulous revamped office, it is amazing the difference some beautiful new desks and a fresh coat of funky paint can make. In tune with this we are on the cusp of a fresh and funky rebrand which will reflect our core business values. We are welcoming September with open arms and also welcoming Aaron Healey who will be your contact for all things visual as he looks after our artwork. Next week is set to be a very exciting week as our inaugural industry ‘PR highlight’ arrives in the shape of ‘Promotional Products week’ which runs from 12-16th September. Watch this space to see where our mascot ‘Ellie the elephant’ gets to and also how much money is raised for a fantastic charity Pancreatic Cancer UK.


Brave Jo, your trusted Senior Account Manager threw herself out of an aeroplane in August to raise money for Cancer Research UK the only trouble is she enjoyed it so much she may now take it up as a regular sport! Gulp…


What are you planning this September?

Are you getting ready for a hectic exhibition season, preparing for Christmas corporate chaos and making sure you hit your targets for year end? May the force be with you all.

If you are getting set for an exhibition, we wish you the best of luck! To help you we have created an expo product bundle, call and speak to Tom about the amazing deal we are running throughout September 02920 790 006.

Remember there is so much more to a successful exhibition than you might at first think. Here are our five top tips;

Don’t be shy – as soon as you know you are exhibiting at a show tell everyone, add it as an email footer, put it on your website, tweet about it, add it to your LinkedIn profile and phone people, email people share your news.
Smiles will be returned – whatever the product or service when it comes to capturing your prospects attention at an exhibition a warm smile, and a smart giveaway can move mountains in terms of being both an ice breaker and a pull towards your stand.
Don’t leave the details to the last minute – as soon as you commit to an event, hold a brainstorm, agree who will man the stand, how you want it to look, how you will capture the leads and deal with the follow ups… and I repeat tell everyone what you are doing.
Stand out from the crowd – fine tune your company ‘unique selling points’ so that you are fresh and ready to impress the potential clients. Consider how you need to look to stand out from the crowd, is it about using the best technology to highlight your gadget, or having the happiest most motivated team to welcome prospects to the stand? Remember fail to prepare and prepare to fail…
And what happens next – once you have invested your time and energy in exhibiting make sure you have a fool proof plan for managing the opportunities after the show. We always call prospects as soon as possible to show that we are keen, if we need more time for completing quotes we tell them, keep the dialogue running. Don’t’ forget wear comfortable shoes.

Christmas IS coming…

I hate to mention the C word, but it’s a fact that after September comes Christmas, a special time of year but also a bonkers busy time of year for most. Whether you’re a scrooge or a Christmas fanatic there’s no escaping that Christmas is coming. Now that you are in the back to business mode after your holiday it would be wise to start thinking how you can prepare your company and get ahead of the Christmas game. After all the office have probably been discussing the Christmas works do for quite some time…


Don’t treat your New Year office supplies like your Christmas presents and leave it all to the last minute plan ahead and save the stress. Our most popular products for the New Year are of course diaries and calendars and desk organisers. But they sell out fast so save the disappointment and get yours organised while we have our full range of stock.

We suspect the top product to kick off in 2017 will be our Diaries. If you need a reliable gift with year long brand exposure don’t forget the trusty diary. We recommend our Castelli range, these diaries are available in A4 which doubles up perfectly for that all important daily to-do list or for meeting action notes. Not only are these diaries superb quality but durable and just plain gorgeous. Give us a call on 029 2079 0006 and chat to one of our friendly sales advisors

Promotional Pocket Diaries

As we say bon voyage to our holidays, hold on tight as this quarter is likely to pass by very quickly. Good luck with your year end planning, corporate Christmas shopping and off course prepping for your presence at a lead generating exhibition.