From pens to pepper pots, Incentive ’96 provides a unique shopping list
of gifts and gizmos. Robin Cobb takes a look at just some of the exotic
ideas on display
A new tweak to the ubiquitous computer mouse mat is provided by B&H
Liquid Crystal Devices. A full-colour illustration, logo or message is
revealed where the hand touches the mat and remains in view for several
Two unusual clocks are featured by Archway Promotions. One is a torpedo-
shaped balance clock. With another, the time is shown suspended in mid-
air. The novel effect of the Time 2000 clock is achieved through
fluorescent light traced in the air by a swinging pendulum.
Conquer Partnership has been appointed sole producer of limited run
promotions using models from the Matchbox brand. New in Conquer’s own
Adtruck range is an articulated lorry with three-axle trailer and modern
Corgi Classics is introducing a new range of quality vintage trucks and
vans with interchangeable parts.
Fish swim among cameras in a cold water tank on the stand of Concord
Camera, illustrating its underwater models. With an output of 25 million
units a year, Concord claims to be the world’s biggest camera
manufacturer by volume.
Prices range from pounds 2.50 to pounds 25, with discounts for large
orders. Among the lowest cost models are single-use cameras. According
to sales promotion manager David Hedderman, sales of single-use cameras
for promotional purposes have been doubling every year for most of this
How about an alarm clock that wakes you by speaking the time in a naff
squeaky voice, followed by the sound of a cock crowing? Dedicated
insomniacs can switch on a feature that will vocalise the hour
throughout the night and day. Or there can be an audio time report at
the press of a button.
No less irritating is a calculator which insists on repeating aloud each
numeral and calculation pressed. Then there are time-speaking pens and
All these, and more, are offered by EMC Advertising Gifts for campaigns
with a sense of humour. They may not be regarded as essential
utilitarian products but they are indisputably talking points.
Stylish sunglasses which incorporate in-ear headphones are suggested by
GB Consultancy. These have blue mirror or smoked lenses to protect from
glare and ultra-violet light. The audio attachments can be plugged into
personal stereos and radios.
The unit price, depending on quantity, is between pounds 8 and pounds 9.
‘We anticipate doing some very good business with these innovative
products,’ says director Neil Dawson.
Just-published by Peter Haddock, The Children’s Road Atlas is designed
to keep youngsters engrossed during car trips. The illustrated atlas
highlights theme parks, castles and other places of interest to
youngsters, enabling them to trace the journey. It also contains puzzles
and games on motoring and geographic topics.
Image on Food provides biscuits imprinted with customised slogans. ‘Our
biscuits are an edible Trojan horse,’ says marketing director Sarah
Hopcroft. ‘When other mailing shots are thrown away, we can almost
guarantee to get the message onto the buyer’s desk.’
There are also customised packs of muffin, mud pie, pancake and
gingerbread mixes. An icing kit is provided with ready-to-decorate
gingerbread men, enabling recipients to create their own characters.
A reuseable personal alarm the size of a credit card is offered by
Jogalite UK. There is also a card-size memo recorder. Both can be
printed with company colours and logo.
Another memo recorder is in the form of a keychain. It can be used, for
example, as a reminder of where car has been parked.
Regulated by radio signals triggered by an atomic clock in Germany, a
range of clocks from Kundo Staiger UK is said to be accurate to one
second in a million years. Managing director Paul Turnage admits that
since the technology has been around for only a few years, this is
somewhat difficult to verify.
The latest versions are compact models with smaller movements than the
early prototypes. Ideal premiums for businesspeople who are into the
extremes of time management.
Spice of life
After it proved to be a surprise big-seller in its Christmas catalogue,
Silver Direct is hoping the idea of a pocket peppermill will catch on in
the promotions field.
It was inspired when managing director Peregrine Pole-Carew saw actor
Richard Griffiths produce a peppermill from his pocket in an episode of
BBC TV’s Pie in the Sky. ‘After it appeared in our catalogue we couldn’t
keep up with the demand,’ says Pole-Carew. ‘It was amazing.’
The silver-plated peppermill comes in its own leather case and is
described as ideal for barbecues, picnics, race days, sailing, point to
points and even for sandwiches in the office.
‘We have discovered that some people like to take their own pepper out
to dinner with them,’ Pole-Carew observes. ‘Some have even told us they
mix their own pepper, with white, black, green and red corns.’
Ready for next winter’s campaigns, Thermo Packs has reusable hand and
pocket warmers. They incorporate message areas that can be screen
printed in up to four colours.
New ideas among the compact binoculars and cameras from CZ Scientific
Instruments is a theatre glass which incorporates a torch. As well as
viewing the stage, the user can switch on to read the programme in the
dark. The glass emits an red light that will not distract other members
of the audience.
Pens feature prominently at the show. Colibri’s Crete ballpoint
collection enables corporate logos to be encapsulated under the lens top
as well as personalisation on the barrel. There is a choice of 18
Berol has a wide range of writing instruments, including its Osmiroid
fountain and calligraphy pens. AT Cross has lifetime guarantees on some
products. Biro Bic has both inexpensive giveaways and customised sets.
The Rotring selection includes the three-in-one Trio Hi-Lite ballpoint.
Reynolds features on its stand a 50-year-old ballpen, the Rocket,
originally launched with such extravagant claims as ‘15 years without
refilling’ and ‘writes underwater’. Today, Reynolds is more subtle about
its writing instruments, which include the new top-of-the-range Dedicace