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Feature Video

Paws N Claws

Red Dress Pin Works As Powerful Reminder

The Heart Truth hosts its annual Red Dress Collection Fashion Show during New York’s Fashion Week each February to warn women of their number-one killer. The show is always a huge success with thousands of attendees, many notable celebrities, media personalities and fashion designers, and the event gets a boost with the effective use of branding elements.


The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002, and each year at the fashion show, the hype and enthusiasm is tangible.


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Diet Coke sponsored the show, and its national promotional partner provided the branding. Banners and signs displaying the brand’s support of the Heart Truth could be seen throughout the venue, complete with spokespeople and reporters, all donning their brightest red garments. 


Brochures, pamphlets and other educational materials were handed out to attendees as well as the iconic Red Dress pin. According to Mariana Eberle-Blaylock, account director of social marketing at Ogilvy Washington, the Red Dress pin has become the organization’s staple promotional product throughout the years. 

“We give away pins at different campaigns year-round, but the fashion show is a big night for us,” Eberle-Blaylock says. “Each attendee gets a Red Dress pin and we always secure it to a postcard that lists facts and messages about heart disease. We change the messages to fit our audiences because every race faces different risks.”

Eberle-Blaylock notes that they translate all the materials into Spanish (heart disease hits Hispanic women especially hard). “The message is always customized to the audience, but the colors and symbols are the same in order to keep our Heart Truth brand consistent,” she says.


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Show attendees also received goodie bags of Diet Coke-branded products including a notebook, a straw and a bottle of the famous carbonated soft drink designed specifically for its partnership with the Heart Truth.


Although February is donned Heart Health Month, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute outreach continues throughout the year with social marketing campaigns and events. Red Dress pins, DVDs, cookbooks, fact sheets, posters and other marketing materials are distributed to communities worldwide and the organization grows every year with new partnerships and campaigns.

Promo Items Pump Up Album Sales

Making money through album sales is more difficult than ever, and strong radio play is no longer a guarantee of high earnings for artists. As it has gotten easier than ever to download a band’s new album, promotional products offer a way to encourage fans to buy the physical CD (or, increasingly, the vinyl record). 


In December, some major music acts used custom Christmas cards, including the card as a freebie for those who placed an order around the holidays. For DJ/rapper Diplo, those who bought his album received a custom T-shirt and pennant. For hip-hop group Three Loco, fans got a sticker and T-shirt.

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Singer/songwriter Josh Ritter worked with his distributor partner who designed lapel pins with a twist. Working off Ritter’s album art, which features a vintage aesthetic, the company created silver and bronze pins with an antique feel. Rock band Atom Strange went a more unconventional route, creating figurines of “Marv the Alien” – the band’s mascot – as well as alien stress balls to give out at shows.


Promotional products can help to enhance concerts and music festivals and attract more people to the event. Plus, a tour T-shirt or tote is kept as a memento, and for diehard fans, branded merchandise can turn into collectible items. 


During Rihanna’s 777 Tour, 150 journalists and guests who were invited on the tour plane received a swag bag packed with goodies including Skull Candy headphones, No Label watches and Rihanna’s own Nude perfume. The tote bag featured the tour’s logo, reading “7 countries 7 days 7 shows.”

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The tour itself received mixed responses from the journalists onboard, with reporters from Rolling Stone to New York Magazine complaining about lack of access to the singer and flight delays. The bags, however, got only rave reviews, with a number of journalists publishing photos of the prized promo totes.
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