If you think catalogs are outdated, think again.
Utah-based HandStands (asi/59525) has put a fun twist on the traditional marketing measure, implementing its own version of “Where’s Waldo?” into its 2018 catalog. Throughout the 110 pages, there are tiny images of new team member Darron Losse’s face. Now here’s the fun part: the first five distributors to find and circle all the images and send the catalog back to HandStands will receive $1,000.
“We had no idea we would create a storm of activity,” says Losse, vice president of key accounts at HandStands. “We’ve had a ton of traffic of people wanting a catalog, which is nuts since we know catalogs are hard to make people take, especially seasoned vets.”
Losse attributes the popular concept to Charley Johnson, the supplier’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. Johnson pitched the idea as a way to make Losse more visible to clients, following HandStands’ acquisition of Losse’s Seattle-based Upcycle Goods (asi/92767) in November. “I’m really the new kid on the block who could handle it,” Losse says. “I’ll be going to all the shows and really building the brand with clients big and small.”
It’s all a part of HandStand’s aggressive advertising push for 2018, Losse said. The company has invested in more banner ads, catalogs and social media activity to promote new products like its LitUp cable that rapidly lights as you charge your phone and its Rawhyde leather holder for earbuds and wires. “We want to be the ‘go to’ for tech accessories and cooler stuff that have a sustainable, retail feel to it,” he says. “So many suppliers offer the same thing so we’re trying to create something a little bit different.”
The contest launched at the ASI Show Orlando during the first week of January, and since then, Losse said HandStands has been fielding hundreds of calls. “It’s so silly but people are taking it seriously,” he says. “We ran out of catalogs in Orlando, which is unheard of. There was a girl sitting at our booth for an hour trying to find all the pictures.”
Losse said 25,000 more catalogs have been printed for the PPAI Expo and ASI Show Dallas. Distributors are encouraged to stop by HandStands’ booth to pick up a catalog and begin the hunt for Losse. “I don’t know if anybody has won it yet,” he says. “A lot of people keep guessing the number of faces, but I don’t think anyone has hit the right number yet.”