September 23, 2010

Thrilling Promotional Materials, as Opposed to the Other Kind

Paul bought me two pounds of assorted promotional pens from American Science & Surplus, which went a good long way to repair any lingering bad feelings from our fight from the other day---especially since, unlike a bouquet of apology flowers, these were ordered ahead of time out of pure thoughtfulness, when he hadn't yet realized he might be motivated to act thoughtful in order to smooth things over.

I wish I could take photos of the pens to show you, but the children have misplaced my camera and it's been long enough now that I actually ordered a new camera (I bought this one) (and I'm keeping it in my purse where they can't get to it). You know what would be fun? Dividing a house up like a cow field and letting people choose a square where they bet the camera is, and then having a prize for the winner (maybe some pens!). Except, unlike waiting for a cow to poop, we might have to wait until the kids move out to find that stupid camera.

Anyway, the pens. What they are is promotional pen rejects---the ones that didn't meet quality control for the promotional printing on the barrels. There are about 50 pens to a pound, so I have about 100 (Miss Zoot will envy my pen riches). I would say my favorite so far is an orange one with black polkadots that says "OMNIMOUNT" and "1-800-MOUNT-IT". I have a nice big handful of those. But I also have a few red-and-white Iowa State University pens, a whole bunch of pens that make me look like I stole pens from a bank, and a whole bunch of pens that make me look like I stole pens from a CHURCH. That would be a bold move, huh?

Oh, wait, new winner: FUNERAL HOME pens. I think I would prefer NOT to see a promotional pen at a funeral home. Plain black businesslike pens would be better, I think, not only for the dignity of it but because I don't want to think about anyone PROMOTING a funeral home. But for my own pen mug, I want the funeral home promotional pen.


Speaking of promotional, I hope to have lots of future experiences to prove me wrong, but at this point I'd have to say there are few things as satisfying as owning things with one's OWN advertising on them. From the expression "Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt" I glean that THE T-SHIRT is a crucial part of fully experiencing an experience. And now I have been there, done that, and paid too much for a t-shirt designed by a total amateur:



I also made a bumper sticker:


Hee!

(Both screen shots from Zazzle.com.)

Anyway, I fully recommend this. It is EXPENSIVE, but then you have your OWN t-shirt or whatever, with your OWN slogan on it! It is super-fun, and it really is startling to see it---I'm sure Angelina Jolie feels the same way when she sees her billboards. And you can do many, many versions as you try to figure out what looks nice.

AND, Zazzle has sales pretty often: I got the shirt when they were doing a deal where it was a 4-hour 50% off shirts sale, so it was still pretty expensive but easier to deal with. If you register, they'll send you emails about the sales. And heavens, NO, they have not asked me to write this or paid me to talk about it or given me anything for free or ANYTHING---if they had, this would be over on the reviews blog.

22 comments:

Saly said...

I have a promtional Viagra pen that I keep in my purse and love to whip out like at PTA meetings and things. Fun times. My problem with those pens though, is that they always write in black ink, and I am a blue ink sort of gal. I think my writing looks much better in blue.

Erica said...

I always like the prescription promo pens for anti-crazy meds. I use a Prozac pen all the time. I think it sends the right message: Mess with me and I'll probably stab you in the neck with my pen. I'm cuh-razy!!!

I must now go and make t-shirts I cannot afford. Thanks for that, pinehole.

HEH!

MonkeyBusiness said...

My dad is a minister, so he attends/performs alot of funerals, and the promotional funeral home material always seems to be nail files. I don't know if he stuffs his pockets with them or what, but my parents have about a hundred at their house, so I take a few when I am there. Then I am the creepy chick with funeral home nail files. But it's kind of hilarious I think - who picked nail files as funeral home promos? Weird!!

Sally said...

For some reason, we used to have a lot of septic tank cleaner company pens at my house. They ALWAYS grossed me out. How can they not have poop on them?

Also, next time zazzle has a sale, I might need that "today's goal" mug. It will make my mornings better.

Mimi said...

You are cracking me up. Please tell me that you'll put the bumper sticker on your car.

Alice said...

i love it!! am pretty sure i require some "don't be a pinehole" sundries.

Snoopyfan said...

Wait a minute! You have Iowa State pens??? I went to school there! What can I do for you to get you to send me one?

Caitlin said...

Don't be a pinehole. OMG. I want this for to display on the wall of my cube!!

Also, the mug! For to remind myself that the weekday afternoon tea is supposed to SOOTHE.

I hear you Swistle.

Brooke said...

The awesome thing about Zazzle is that your can make money without even trying. I made a shirt for my daughter and checked the box that said I would make it available for others to order, and I made $14.44 when other people bought my shirt. I got my daughter's awesome Harry Potter binder for $9 because of my credit.

Clarabella said...

My favorite promotional pen is from an, ahem, adult store where we purchased all kinds of inappropriate & phallically-themed favors for my sister's bachelorette party. The pen looks innocent enough, but if you read it, it says something like "The person using this pen stole it from XXX X-treme Adult Shop," or what have you. It's awesome.

Swistle said...

Snoopyfan- They also say "Institute for Transportation" on them. Does that ruin it? If not, it would be so fun to send you one! You can have a "mounting" (heh) pen too! And maybe a church or bank one?

Caitlin said...

heart*

Jodie said...

You know Cafe Press does the same thing with t-shirts, mugs, and other stuff and you could open a store---just saying....

d e v a n said...

Love the pinehole one! heee!
My mil is an office nurse who often gets pens from drug reps. It may be juvenile, but every time I see my distinguished, deacon in the Catholic church, VERY reserved fil writing with a VIAGRA pen? It cracks me right up.

Julie said...

Not that you need confirmation, but my cousin, who is a professional photographer (darn that those talent genes didn't spread further across the family tree), recommended that very camera to me this summer. Glad to see someone took that advice, even if you didn't exactly know about it!

Snoopyfan said...

Swistle-I don't even know what that means, but I would still love one! :) emailing you right now....

Mary said...

Next time you lose something important like the camera, offer a financial reward. In this house, it's $10, that's really big for them. I say, bring me the lost item and I will give you $10! Almost always, I have it back in five minutes. If I felt the system was being abused I would stop, but so far, they just carry stuff off and forget about it.

Mel said...

Mary - OMG what an awesome idea. But I'm going to modify it a bit. My youngest can't find anything, even if it is right in front of her face. I'm thinking it's because I've always done the "let's find it together" thing. Now I'll say "If you can find it by yourself." PERFECT

Swistle - "Don't be a pinehole" hahahahaha

Melissa said...

Oh my gosh, pens by the pound?! I'm an accountant and have to take continuing education. The best part is the sponsor's tables with free pens. I come home loaded up. The idea of pens by the pound makes me giddy.

(Love your t-shirt!)

Bethsix said...

I don't know how I've never met Miss Zoot before. Isn't it funny how our little bloggy worlds are all different?

"I now worship at the alter of my DVR which allows me to pause live television. There is no greater miracle than that." BWAHAHAAAAA! Yesss! (said like Ed McMahon's SNL character)

Stimey said...

Promotional pen rejects? That's so cool. I would never even guess that you could purchase such a thing. My favorite pens are always promotional pens, so this would be right up my alley!

Congrats on the excellent tee! I made Stimeyland ones too at some point, but I feel weird wearing it. I don't know why.

Emily R said...

For a long time I had a keychain from a funeral home. It was in the shape of a little coffin.