Hot Potato Promo

  • Sep 11, 2023

We’ve never been fond of terms like giveaway or swag. Promotional products serve a lot serve a lot of purposes, and extending the reach of branding is certainly one of them. But when a program brings tangible results, that’s what gets our attention. One of the ways APTCO helps our clients is by searching out successful campaigns that others have executed. Here is one we've found that really worked. Sharing creative ideas that have worked for others is part of the culture in this industry.

Idea: Idaho potatoes have strong brand recognition, and Kris Robinson has had a hand in keeping it that way. The Boise, ID-based distributor has served as a consultative partner for the Idaho Potato Commission for about 20 years, devising branded merchandise solutions that garner results.

One of his most successful campaigns - this year's award-winner - was a savvy direct mail initiative that hit last January. The objective was to wish end-users a happy new year and to build buzz about Idaho potatoes on the eve of Idaho Potato Lovers Month, which is February. Equally important, the commission aimed to get recipients - generally produce managers and buyers at groceries and retailers - to sign up for the commission's monthly newsletter.

“There's a lot of competition in the potato business," explains Robinson. "You have potatoes grown in Oregon, Canada, Washington and more. We wanted to get people who make buying decisions excited about Idaho potatoes in particular, and to help the commission to keep engaging with those decision-makers over time.”

Products: Robinson came up with the perfect solution: A custom full-color box stocked with Idaho potato-related goodies. The box set the tone with its vivid artwork, which featured a truck hauling a big potato past Idaho fields and mountains. Inside, there was a plush toy of Spuddy Buddy - the Idaho Potato Commission's mascot, whose likeness appeared on products that included hand sanitizer as well. A USB charger for the car bore the commission's logo, and there was an Idaho potato-themed Dip Trip, which is a sauce holder that attaches to a car vent.

Other items included two bags of natural potato chips, a $25 gas gift card, a deck of playing cards, Idaho Spud Bars and more. The call-to-action centerpiece was the QR code on the box's under lid and related messaging, which invited recipients to scan the code to be routed to a website where they could enter a contest for a chance to win $500. To be eligible, people had to provide contact details that would sign them up for the commission's newsletter.

Results: 100%. That's how many of the recipients scanned the QR code and entered the contest - and thus the commission's e-newsletter list. "It's not too often you get ROI like that," says Robinson. Plus, the engagement showed that recipients had Idaho potatoes top-of-mind as the year got going and as Potato Lovers Month was about to kick off. "The client was overwhelmed by the success of the response," Robinson shares.

Idaho Potato promo

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