Annie’s Marketing Mashup Part 4

Creating Interactive Promo Materials for Kids Entertainers

Last time we talked about how to create memorable giveaways that are easy on the pocket. Now, as promised, we’ll look into how to make interactive promo merchandise.

But first, let me tell you something. Some of the feedback I’ve been getting on this series of articles are amazing. What I find most wonderful is that many people who are using “business cards” are actually giving gifts. What I mean by that is they’re providing links to fun things on their website mostly. And that’s a wonderful gift, especially for kids.

This brings me to my favorite kind of promo: interactive promotional merchandise.

Building Relationships with a Kids Club

Do you have a kids club? If not, maybe you can consider creating one.

What I do for my kids club members is I offer them fun digital stuff every couple of weeks. It’s either stuff that I design (Story Starters, puzzles, creativity challenges, etc.) or something done by someone else (like coloring sheets). I often use Fiverr for a simple themed coloring sheet.

I’m also a member of a puzzle creation website. For my puzzles, I use balloon pictures as decoration.

So if you’re a magician, how about putting some magic tricks on your website that kids can download for free? If you’re a face painter or caricature artist, how about creating a video series where you teach little ones how to draw or paint popular designs?


Contests are great interactive promotional activities, so think about what kind of contests you can run.

For example, I have a story writing contest. My husband and I have also done Halloween costume contests, artwork contests, and random drawings contests.

You can run your contests on your Facebook page to increase your local Facebook interaction, or on your website’s kids page if you’d rather have people go there.


Here’s another great idea: have people challenge you to create something or attempt a spectacular feat.

My balloon artist friend Michael Floyd does this on his YouTube channel with his series “Balloon Win/Fail.” As of this writing, he has over 75,000 subscribers, so he’s certainly doing something right.

Build Loyalty with Your Live Events

Team up with a repeat business client and create some giveaways with both your info on it. If you work a farmer’s market, restaurant, or other weekly venue, this is a huge opportunity to delight your client while getting your promo into the hands of their customers.

I used to do six restaurant kids nights per week. I built loyal repeat customers by designing and printing Frequent Balloon Cards with the logo and info of the restaurant right next to my logo and info.

Every time repeat customers came into the restaurant and wanted me to visit their table, they’d put the postcard-size card on the edge of their table where I could see it (they often waved it in the air until I noticed them). When I visit their table, I would initial their card and they’d get a prize every time they filled up the card. I also made sure to give the completed cards to the restaurant’s general manager so he or she would know how much repeat business I was responsible for.

I found this idea on, which is an amazing resource for balloon artists.  There are lots of ideas there for anyone who wants to build a successful restaurant kids night. It’s not as active as it used to be before Facebook groups got popular, but it’s a great archive of past discussions. This link will get you to a page where you can search for any topic talked about in the discussions.

A Challenge for You: Promotional Merchandise Brainstorming Game

There are many other ideas for promo merchandise that I will not be able to touch on here. But I’d like to leave you with this fun game that you can do the next time you get together with your entertainer friends.

Pick a business—any business. It could be a big business, a small business, a local one or a national one. It doesn’t matter what you choose, but for now don’t look at another solo performer because the purpose is to make you look way beyond your own type of business.

Look at that business and decide how they’re presenting themselves in the marketplace. What does their branding say? Are they an educational business? Environmental? Food-related? Look at their branding to find out their personality and the thing that most defines them.

Now using the list in my article about how to design memorable gifts, come up with a huge list of promo items for their company. Don’t consider things like price limitations for now. Just be creative.

When you’ve done this for a few companies, you’ll be amazed at how many things you can come up with, and you’ll wish you could call up their marketing director immediately and pitch your ideas.

You’d discover that a group of fellow performers is one of the most powerful marketing teams you’ll ever have.
The second half of this game is to do it for each other’s businesses. Each performer will explain to the group what his or her core brand is (if the performer isn’t sure what his or her core brand is, the group can help with this, too). After everyone understands what the performer’s branding is, do the brainstorming just like you did for the big companies. You’d discover that a group of fellow performers is one of the most powerful marketing teams you’ll ever have.

If you play this game, please let me know about your experience in the comments section below or in the Kids Entertainment Hub Facebook page.

Have fun playing the game, and here’s to promotional merchandise that makes your clients think of you first and always!