Latest Event Updates

Tech OnTarget

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Internet of things vector graphic icons setThe Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot tech topic these days. Defined as a system with the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction, IoT is just the tip of the iceberg relative to the way that technology has begun to impact our everyday lives.

Consider Wi-Fi, alone, which has changed the way we work, play, and even raise our kids. Today’s homes and offices would be unrecognizable to workers of the past thanks to Wi-Fi-reliant innovations such as email, video conferencing, laptop and tablet computers and other relatively recent innovations. Meanwhile, more and more of our personal time is influenced by our gadgets. In fact, for better or for worse, as a culture, we are finding it difficult to unplug.

3d printing of house. Schematic 3d illustration.

Here are 10 examples of how heavily we already rely on tech:

  1. 3-D Printing
  2. E-Books
  3. Global Positioning System (GPS)
  4. Interactive Calendars
  5. Mobile Banking
  6. Smart Phones, Laptops, Tablets & Desktop Computers
  7. Streaming Music and Video Subscriptions & Bluetooth Speakers
  8. Talking Tech (Google Maps, Siri and Cortana, Amazon Echo)
  9. Virtual Reality Gaming
  10. Wearable Health & Fitness Monitors

As anyone who has ever seen a science fiction movie can attest, the future promises more of the same. So, since technology isn’t going anywhere, a great way for business owners to promote their brands is with tech swag. After all – brand recognition is most effective when applied to something that customers and prospects use every day.

Business owners can choose imprinted tech gadgets for promotional giveaways, corporate swag, or even internal branding – all with options to fit virtually any budget.

speaker image (1)Here are just a few ideas of customizable items to consider:

  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Cellphone Cases
  • Cellphone Power Banks and Chargers
  • Cellphone Stands
  • Computer Cases
  • Computer Travel Kits
  • Cord Decals
  • Cord Organizersstylus-pen.jpg (1)
  • Digital Photo Frames
  • Fitness tracker bracelets and watches
  • Flexible, Wireless Keyboards
  • Gadget Grips
  • iPad sleeves
  • Keyboard Cleaner
  • Laser Pointers
  • Media Charging Stations
  • Media Stands
  • Mice (The electronic variety)
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
  • Mouse Pads
  • Retractable Charging Cables
  • Stylus Pens
  • Selfie Sticks

Playing Catch Monsters Game on Smartphone, a hand drawn vector cartoon illustration of a little kid playing video game on his smartphone.

Another way to catch the tech wave is by offering premiums to those who are using augmented reality games such as Pokémon Go.  The app’s growing ubiquity has clicked with business owners, who see it as a way to lure customers and build connections. A Culver City, California, ice cream shop. Coolhaus, launched a promotion offering a free cookie to customers who showed them a picture of a Pokémon caught at their location. Even business owners without nearby Poké Stops are also finding ways to take advantage of the Pokémon craze. Smoketown Helicopters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is advertising Pokémon Tours to help players catch Pokémon from the air.

Here are just a few ideas to consider as an incentive to players who show a picture of a Pokémon caught inside their location:

  • Free Earbuds
  • Free Flash drive (Load it with a special offer from your store.)
  • Free Touchscreen Gloves
  • Free Car Charger

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Riverside Big Business & Small Enterprise

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Riverside-ca-oranges (1)Located in the heart of the Inland Empire, Riverside, California was named for its location beside the Santa Ana River. With a population of approximately 317,000 residents, the city is 60 miles east of Los Angeles, near sea level, at an elevation of 827. Riverside was founded in the early 1870’s and is currently the 59th most populated city in the United States and the 12th most populous in California. Like most Southern California communities, Riverside was initially known for a thriving citrus industry – with miles of orange, lemon, tangerine and lime trees peppering the landscape.

Riverside is home to a variety of historical landmarks as well as fascinating museums and unique opportunities for education and adventure. Here are just a few:

Historical Landmarks

  • America’s Parent Navel Orange Tree
  • Benedict Castle
  • California Citrus State Historic Park
  • Heritage House
  • The Historic Fox Performing Arts Center
  • Historic Victoria Avenue and the Roosevelt Palm
  • The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
  • Riverside Main Street’s Sculptures of Famous Leaders

Arts Colorful Squares BurstMuseums & the Arts

  • Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts
  • March Field Air Museum
  • The Mission Inn Museum
  • Riverside Art Museum
  • Riverside Metropolitan MuseumMuseum Sign
  • Riverside Municipal Auditorium
  • Riverside National Cemetery’s Monuments and Memorials
  • The University of Riverside/California Museum of Photography
  • UC Riverside Sweeney Art Gallery

Outdoor Attractions

  • California Citrus State Park
  • Castle Park
  • Downtown Farmer’s Market
  • Mt Rubidoux
  • Oak Quarry Golf Club
  • Riverside Sports Complex
  • Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

beautiful golf courseEducational Centers

  • Gary Anderson Graduate School
  • California Baptist University (CBU)
  • California Southern Law School
  • Center for Social Justice and Civil Liberties
  • Intercoast Colleges
  • Kaplan College – Riverside
  • La Sierra University
  • North-West-College-Riverside
  • Riverside City College (RCC)
  • The University of California Riverside (UCR)

Riverside is also home to big businesses and small enterprise, with the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce boasting a membership which includes 1,300 business owners,  civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. One such business is On Target Promotions, which has been helping entrepreneurs and community leaders market through promotional products since 1985.Coachella Palm Trees and Clear SkiesPalm Trees and Clear skies fill the image in Coachella, California. Two airplanes flying past in the distant background. Summertime and the living's easy.

Dennis and Debbie Johnson, owners of On Target Promotions, were born and raised in Riverside, CA. The city is a place they hold near and dear to their hearts, as they have built friendships within the community dating back to their days in elementary school. Debbie also serves the community by serving on boards at the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce. Since education is one of her passions, Debbie also serves on the Business Education Partnership and is co-chair and volunteer coordinator of College and Career Fair, which sees some 7,000 attendees each fall at the Galleria at Tyler. While not on the job, the couple serve at their local church, Dennis as an elder and Debbie as a women’s Bible study leader. They enjoy walking in the evenings near their Riverside neighborhood.

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

The Story of Promotional Products

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Promotional products doodleThe first documented use of promotional products in the United States were commemorative buttons made by a Scottish engraver in 1789 to mark the inauguration of George Washington. Thereafter, the use of promotional products gained enough traction to birth the promotional product industry we know and love today.Metal Letterpress Types.
A background from many historic typographical letters in black and white with white background.

One of the earliest contributors to the budding industry was a newspaper man named Jasper Freemont Meek. Like many of his contemporaries, Meek supplemented his newspaper printing income by printing other items between editions. His first idea came when he saw a child drop her school books in the dirt. He brainstormed FREE burlap bags reading: “Buy Cantwell Shoes” to promote his client’s company. Cantwell and the children were delighted at this new advertising idea.

Artboard 1-100 (2)On the heels of his burlap bag success, Meek started printing company names on horse covers, and eventually opened the first ever promotional products company in 1887, the Tuscarora Advertising Company. Meek’s first competitor was a man named Henry Beach. Both men aggressively sold printing packages for virtually anything that could fit onto a newspaper press, such as cloth caps, aprons, hats for horses, marble bags, buggy whips, card cases, calendars and fans.

Further Matters of Note in Promotional Product History:

  • The use of metal signs was first used to advertise products such as Coca Cola and Budweiser
  • The concept of an “art calendar” was established in the late 1800’s by other early industry leaders, Thomas Murphy and Edward Burke Osborne.
  • By 1894, Osbourne acquired a process now known as letter press printing.
  • In 1904, representatives of 12 manufacturers of advertising goods formed an industry trade association they called the Advertising Manufacturer’s Association. That group is now called the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI).
  • Although the industry was hit hard by the Great Depression, it was booming by the late 1940’s.
  • Today, membership in the PPAI is more than 10,000, with industry sales of $17.5 billion.
  • Founded in 1985 by Debbie and Dennis Johnson, OnTarget Promotions is located in Riverside, California. Over the past 31 years, Debbie has served on the PPAI board as Awards Committee chair, which gave her the joy of judging the best of the best promotional programs. On Target has also received the President’s Council Award and the Million Dollar Circle of Excellence Award for the past nine years.

Vintage 2016 wall calendar with watercolor birds and flowers; March

Promotional Products Work

A basic marketing principle suggests that it takes seven “touches” before someone will internalize your call to action (become your customer). These touches can take many forms:

  1. Meeting face-to-face, in a meeting, at a networking event or a tradeshow
  2. Seeing a physical or digital ad
  3. Seeing your social media posts in a news stream
  4. Receiving your e-newsletter other electronic marketing piece
  5. By phone
  6. Word-of-mouth recommendation of a friend or colleague
  7. Seeing your brand displayed on a promotional product – This method of advertising is a no-brainer, because potential clients will see your logo as many times as they use the product it displays. So you could potentially increase the number of touches simply by giving away your personalized pen, notepad or coffee cup.

For the last three years, OnTarget Promotions’ client Blackhawk Plaza has held a Summer Concert Series, designed to increase traffic at the shopping center’s stores. Community support is key to the success of this series, so they purchased branded promotional items to tie in with the series to “woo” attendees. The strategy works, as the plaza has repeatedly “sold out” of the T-shirts because the community wants to support the event and loves the look of Blackhawk-branded apparel.  blackhawk goodies (1)

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.




Product Spotlight: Adult Coloring Books

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Coloring-BookWe have all seen these books online and in retail stores everywhere! But why are they so popular? Adult coloring books are a fantastic product that allows you to relax and have a bit of fun. Studies show that art is therapeutic and the creativity it ignites can help reduce both physical and emotional symptoms of stress. Since coloring elicits a calming mindset, it can also help improve our focus and concentration. It is a wonderful activity for relieving the mind of negative thoughts and feelings (Dovey, 2015).

Adult coloring books are in high demand and now your company can have their own set of BRANDED books. Clients will see your logo on the front cover every time they color. With up to 24 pages of detailed coloring designs, this product will certainly be a cherished keepsake before and after the pages are filled.

Remind your clients to take a moment for themselves. Mail your coloring book with a thank you card to recent customers or pair with an educational brochure. Get ready for spring with a nature coloring theme or imprint your logo with a date and website to promote an upcoming event. Give the gift of relaxation to show your company truly cares about the well-being of its clients.

To order your branded Coloring Books: Call (951) 682-8427 or Email


Dovey, Dana. (2015, Oct 8). The therapeutic science of adult coloring books: How this childhood pastime helps adults relieve stress. Medical Daily, Under The Hood.

The Graphic Tee Lives On

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T-Shirts“A printed tee is a quick, sure-fire way to communicate and express your identity” (Judah, 2015). It has the potential to influence society and create a sense of community. The article “The Return of the Graphic T-Shirt” in The Business of Fashion reviews the power of the infamous graphic tee and how it has made its comeback to mainstream fashion in recent years.

This revival of the graphic tee is vital in the promotional products industry. According to the 2015 Counselor State of the Industry, t-shirts was the #1 selling product category in 2014 – surpassing other popular categories such as bags, writing instruments, and drinkware by over $1 Billion in distributor revenue (“T-Shirts on Top”, 2016). Wearables Magazine predicts sales in 2016 will increase by 11% (“T-Shirts on Top”, 2016). Graphic T-shirts are the ever-present trend on the rise for 2016.

How does this benefit you, the client?

1. Your Brand is On Trend

T-Shirts have been around for decades yet it is one item that never seems to go out of style. How? Trends! It is easy to make your promotional tee a desirable wearable by staying current with today’s trends. If your company’s logo color is red, try using a heather red or heather maroon tee to add dimension to your brand. Switch it up with a burn-out fabric in gray or tan to make your bright blue logo pop! Promoting an athletic event or team fundraiser? Go for a raglan baseball tee or the popular ladies racerback tank for a sporty, performance-wear look . And don’t forget about the texture! Graphic tees are no longer limited to heavy, stiff feeling fabrics. Ring-spun cotton and tri-blends are the superior choice for soft, lightweight apparel.

2. Your Brand is Noticed

In today’s “image driven culture” (Judah, 2015), the graphic t-shirt is difficult to ignore, making it a lucrative investment for event promotion and brand awareness. With industry improvements in screen-printing equipment and graphic design programs, t-shirt possibilities are endless. You are no longer limited to a 1-color, 1-location logo, but are capable of printing photo images and full color artwork. Play around with metallic foil inks over a tone on tone background design. Multiple print locations provide a huge imprint area that is unique to this promotional item. Is your t-shirt promoting a particular event? Take advantage of the imprint locations by showcasing event sponsors on the back side of the tee. Create a custom design for the event on the front of the shirt and place your company logo on the sleeve. Run a slogan along the t-shirt’s bottom hem line. The graphic t-shirt is the perfect promotional product for imaginative and innovative designs.

3. Your Brand is Remembered

The graphic t-shirt is a mode of communication and its implications go beyond promoting your brand with a free gift. When your tee is worn, it acts as a moving billboard for your brand. You are not just promoting your brand to the individual wearing the shirt, but to everyone who views that shirt. When I wear the t-shirts On Target has created for our clients, people come up to me to ask about the design and they leave with new knowledge about the brand it supported. Your promotional product becomes a tangible aspect of your brand and being able to wear it makes your supporters feel like a part of the team. The graphic tee is both a treasured item that people will love and a simple tool to help accomplish your company’s promotional goals.

Start your new project Call (951) 682-8427 or Email


2015 Counselor State of the Industry & 2016 Wearables Sales Forecast. T-shirts on top. Wearables Magazine, January 2016, 33.

Judah, Hettie. (2015, July 12). The return of the graphic t-shirt. The Business of Fashion [BoF], Intelligence.