Product Review - November-December

A funny thing happened at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Expo in 2009 — some famous names showed up. The Expo, which is held each January in Las Vegas, is a smorgasbord of inexpensive giveaways and gewgaws that can be used in promotions, marketing campaigns, loyalty programs and to reinforce traditional advertising.

In 2009, the PPAI Expo featured a first-ever PPAI brand pavilion, an innovative gallery highlighting the importance of premiums and incentives within the promotional products industry. With its sleek upscale, retail-style optics, brand is focused on informing promotional professionals about the unique incentives selling strategy through education and product promotion.

The brand component has grown each year since its inception. The brand component at this year’s show, which is scheduled for Jan. 15-17 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, will feature notable names such as Canon, Cabela’s, Tumi and Waterford.

This review of new products includes some popular names in their own right, most of which will be exhibiting in the brand pavilion at the upcoming PPAI Expo. The PPAI Expo itself is mainly targeted to incentive and promotional product distributors, who use the event to arm themselves with product knowledge for the coming year. But end users — sales managers, marketing strategists and others — should keep in mind the importance of using branded merchandise in selected campaigns to rise above the daily din. You can expect to spend a little more, but as the adage states, sometimes you have to spend money to make money.


Professional espresso and cappuccino

The Capresso EC PRO commercial-grade espresso and cappuccino machine features an advanced 15-bar pump boiler system and two filter choices that allow coffee lovers at any skill level to prepare barista-quality espresso. High-pressure power frother for perfect microfoam for cappuccinos. For details, contact Becky Sawicki via email at or call 201-297-8271.


Nikon 1 AW1

The Nikon 1 AW1 is a sleek, lightweight, waterproof, shockproof, interchangeable lens camera that is ready for your toughest adventure. The camera is equipped with a super-fast continuous shooting frame rate so you can always be sure special moments are never missed, wireless connectivity with the WU-1b* Wireless Mobile Adapter for easy sharing, full HD video for when those moments seem to last forever, and slow view functionality for when you never want those moments to end. Give your team an incentive that complements their hard work and dedication. For more details on Nikon’s reward opportunities, call 888-547-8684 or visit


Air Raid by Skullcandy

Snow, dirt, water…whatever, Skullcandy’s Air Raid can handle it all while still delivering premium sound and seamless integration with Bluetooth-enabled devices. A rechargeable battery promises to last longer than your recipients will. It’s audio and lifestyle free of limitations. For more information contact Allyson Krichman at Rymax Marketing Services: or call 866-RYMAX11.


Char-Broil four-burner grill

Char-Broil has been an industry leader since 1948, merging cutting-edge technology with outdoor grilling. The Quantum Infrared Grill features an Auto-Clean© mode, SureFire© electronic ignition, a stainless steel lid and can utilize liquid propane or natural gas. For more information, contact Jody Running ( of Top Brands at 800-431-2127.


Kosta Boda basket bowl series

This collection from designer Anna Ehrner is somewhat reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting, one splash with the paint brush and full of color. The bowls come in two sizes (3x12 and 3x15 inches) and six colors, white, black, pink, green, turquoise and yellow. Pink is only available small and turquoise is only available large. The color makes a vibrant impression while still keeping the clearly defined glass surface beautifully visible. For information on this or other items from Orrefors and Kosta Boda, contact Kimberly Biggs, Director of Corporate Sales, at or call 856-626-1328.


Score with Foot Locker Gift Cards

Foot Locker is the largest athletic footwear and apparel retailer in the world. Foot Locker Gift Cards are available in both traditional plastic as well as a virtual eCard format. All cards are redeemable in-store, at more than 2,000 locations in the U.S and 150 locations throughout Canada, and online. Foot Locker Gift Cards are available in either U.S. or Canadian dollars, never expire and never have dormancy fees applied against their balance. For more information, contact Danielle Degnan of Foot Locker Gift Card Sales at 800‑690‑5996 or via email at or visit