Years ago, I used to be sent direct mail by a promotional giftware company. They did things like personalised t-shirts, pens, key fobs and mouse mats. The idea was that I’d order 500 ballpoint pens, each bearing the message ‘I write better than this pen! Kevin Mills 012 345 6789’, and send them to my clients and prospects. I never bothered because, well, because of lots of reasons, the likely complete ineffectiveness of such a sales technique being perhaps the most compelling.
But in the nature of such things, they kept sending me direct mail, often including free samples with ‘your name or slogan here’ printed on them. Then one day they announced that they could also personalise wall clocks, and would I care for a free sample? This appealed to me. I actually needed a clock. I was never going to order dozens to send to my clients or prospects, as at the time I only had about three clients and, as now, no prospects *pathos face*. But the promotional company wasn’t to know that.
A free wallclock. With ‘my name or slogan’ on it. And with no intention of ever engaging with the promotions company beyond getting a freebie out of them. Suddenly it became obvious what message the clock should carry.