2021 Wrap-Up: Our 8 Favorite Stories From This Year
Well, folks, this is it: Our final wrap-up post of 2021! As we ease into the holiday break, we thought we'd tie a bow on a weird, wild year by bringing you one last look at our favorite stories. So put on some cozy slippers, grab a mug of hot chocolate and join us for this rundown of our top 2021 picks. As always, thanks for reading!
1. Cincinnati Apparel Company Partners With Reds Right Fielder to Recreate T-shirt Designed by His 7-Year-Old Son
Right away, this story had all the elements of a favorite-in-the-making: Major League Baseball, kids' artwork used on merchandise, the heartwarming bond between father and son. But, if we're being totally transparent, the main reason this was one of our favorite stories of 2021 is that it let us use one of the greatest memes of all time—as there’s a drive into deep left field by Castellanos, and that’ll be a home run—not once, but twice now.
We always appreciate when a brand really goes for it with a promotional marketing campaign, and that's what Pabst Blue Ribbon did here. The beer company created dozens of branded items ranging from fairly standard (tablecloths and floor decals) to bizarre (toilet lids and banana stickers), and then paid people to decorate their homes with them. A little invasive, maybe, but fun!
3. DC Public Library Supporters Hoped to Sell 50 'Punk' T-shirts—a Few Months Later, They've Sold 7,000 (and Raised $100K)
Punk rock, public libraries and branded merchandise? What's not to love?!
4. Minor League Baseball's Rocket City Trash Pandas Sell $4M in Merchandise Before Ever Playing a Game
It's no secret that we're big fans of the Rocket City Trash Pandas around here, so it should not surprise you that this story made the list. The team with the best logo in sports had its inaugural season delayed by the pandemic, but it didn't matter in the merchandise-sales department.
We've yet to see "The French Dispatch," but as certified Wes Anderson-heads, we loved this pop-up cafe concept that combined print and promotional products for some thematically-appropriate experiential marketing. Now, if we can just track down one of those gorgeous coffee mugs for our collection...
6. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly's New Merch Comes With a Screen Printing Kit So Fans Can Decorate It Themselves
Since we wrote this headline, Machine Gun Kelly put out a pop-punk album and started hanging out with the Kardashians, so he's had a pretty big year. But the best thing he did was still this screen printing kit that let fans decorate their own MGK merch at home—another neat experiential concept that also likely introduced plenty of folks to screen printing.
Honestly, we just wanted to show you this cute little robot one more time.
Aldi is a grocery store—the greatest grocery store, but a grocery store nonetheless. Its move into branded apparel says a lot about how far merch has come in the eyes of brands and the public. So does the fact that most of the merch sold out and started popping up on resale sites, from which certain PM editors may have strongly considered picking up a hoodie. If only that overseas shipping from the U.K. wasn't so pricey.
That's it! This was the final wrap-up of 2021. We thank you for reading Promo Marketing this year and can't wait to come back in 2022. Happy holidays!