Net#work BBDO and Sinister Studio’s are applying technology to advertising in ways that have never been seen before.
Green? There's an idea . . .
While many of us merely have a little frog or green tree on our e-mails warning that you'll be killing a forest if you print them out, new company Promo4good is taking "green" - and the creation of impactful promotional gifts with economic, social and environmental sustainability at their core, very seriously.
"The promotional and corporate gift market has traditionally churned out items that are often made in China with little or no thought as to environmental impact," says Michelle Pretorius, a partner in the new company. There is a growing trend among corporate clients like Nedbank, Continental OutdoorMedia, Avis and Discovery towards "Gifts with a Conscience" - Promo4good's motto.
After working with marketers for over 15 years, Pretorius spotted the opportunity to meet their needs in a way that enhances the triple bottom line.
"Clients want something a bit different for their events, launches and gifts, but also a sense of responsible manufacture and either a lower environmental impact or some community benefits. Promo4good can often offer both."
With a bit of effort, the Promo4good team, consisting of marketing veterans Sandra Gordon, Craig Smith, Bette Kun and Pretorius, have sourced a wide range of goods that are "green" by virtue of being made from recycled, organic or eco-sustainable materials many of which are created by community driven initiatives. The items are locally sourced and hand-made, often the only source of support to many economically challenged communities.
"We have conference bags and wallets made from recycled billboards, pencils and pens which used to be paper drinking cups, a beautiful range of recycled papers, decor items, fun,funky, practical and creative gifts of every shape, size and use," says Pretorius. "It has been particularly satisfying to see how many small, dedicated groups of men and women, able or disabled, are out there supporting their families through stunning crafting." The range is extensive.
The company will feature all the goods via a website www.promo4good.co.za and detail the materials and methods of manufacture. "We liaise directly with the suppliers to ensure "green" materials are being used, quality is maintained and deadlines are met. As with many small businesses, we'll be developing them where necessary on how to complete orders on time, charge a fair trade price and maintain quality standards."
"For example, about three years ago I needed a hand-beaded, custom-designed gift for a client and found a guy on the side of the road selling his wares. Through our sustained promotion of his work, he now employs people from his community, and produces unique items we design and he makes. He's made specific items to order for product launches and other events that have blown away anything mass produced in the East. We have watched him develop his business and we have met our clients' needs for creative and unique promotional gifts. It's been a rewarding experience all round."
Pretorius also intends to source items that potential clients have seen elsewhere; "We will try and match any item, but will always source them from local communities as well as recycled or earth friendly goods. It takes extra thought and preparation sometimes, but we feel it's worth the effort and we like to be challenged to come up with the goodies."
Is it worth it? "It is. I really think every small effort makes a big difference," says Pretorius. "I also think the advertising and marketing communities are in a position to make a great contribution in supporting the disadvantaged and protecting the environment. Many of our clients are delighted when we propose using reclaimed materials and special community initiatives - we intend sourcing enterprise development certificates where possible."
Promo4good is open for business at www.promo4good.co.za or contact Michelle Pretorius at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the site will be constantly updated with new items as and when they are discovered.
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