Taking Promotional Products to the Streets

ASI Promocar makes eight-day cross-country trek.

To Dawn Marie, advertising should be more than an interruption during a football game or part of the scenery on your morning commute. The public relations manager for the Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI, believes in promotional products, which she says can be fun, personal, and functional all at once. The goals for her “Driving Serious Fun” campaign, in which she and her boyfriend drove a promo-covered 2002 Mazda across America in April, were exactly that: to motivate people to recognize the value of promotional products via face-to-face interactions accompanied by a bit of spectacle, laughter and, of course, swag.

Covered in branded pens, keychains, gloves, USBs, stress balls, flip-flops, Slinkys, and more, the ASI Promocar covered 3144 miles across 13 states in just eight days, only losing six items along the way thanks to GE Silicone II caulking. A conversation starter if there ever was one, the car and its passengers encouraged onlookers to consider the effectiveness of promotional items – a $21.5 billion industry.

Marie interviewed strangers, handed out (and collected) free stuff, and answered the question “Why’d you do that to your car?” probably thousands of times, never looking back or letting the naysayers get her down. “I know some industry people, and co-workers, think the Promocar is silly,” she says. “[It] certainly won’t change the world, but it gave any number of road-weary travelers something else to write home about” – perhaps with a brand new ASI-branded pen.

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