SUPPLEMENT: INCENTIVE ’96; Gadgets and giveaways

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

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

style cab.

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.

Visionary ideas

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.

Pen names

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

different finishes.

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

cartridge pen.