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I read with interest ‘The gift that keeps giving’ article by William Kestin. Well that is one mans opinion based on how he sees the world (given he is the CEO of the Australasian Promotional Products Association of course promotional products would be the hero in the story). Whilst I agree with much of his sentiment regarding retail gift vouchers having little lasting value towards the brand that gave it, one cannot lump experiential vouchers into the same lot. But I do not speak alone ? and clearly RedBalloon Days own success has clearly been caused by the lasting value of one person telling another what a great experience they had. But let me share the opinions of others rather than just my own opinion.

?Experiential purchases or life experiences make people happier than material purchases. The initial thrill of a possession wears off quickly but memories last
forever. A person?s life is the sum of their experiences, not their goods. Experiences have greater social value in their connectivity.?
Gilovich T, Cornell University & Van Boven, L, University of Colorado.
(December 2003) US Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

?We enjoy talking about our experiences much more than our possessions. Talking about our experiences ? including our shared experiences ? is the stock in
trade of our relationships… Good relationships are strongly associated with happiness.?
Gittins, R (2004, February 18). Activity is the goods for true satisfaction.
The Sydney Morning Herald.

?For more than 56% of all respondents, the best reward that an employer could give for a job well done is a fun
thing to do, with a dinner for two (at over 17%) trailing far behind in second place. The five least popular rewards were in order: desk accessories (0.1%), flowers
(0.4%), CD/DVD vouchers (1.4%), movie vouchers (1.6%) and food hampers (1.7%).?
The Summer 2003 Pleasure Survey (4000 respondents)
To get a copy from

Promotional products have a place ? but they are an advertising medium, not a gift. Gifting is about the intent of the giver and about the desires of the receiver. Gifting is about generosity ? not trying to get someone to advertise on your behalf. Keep promotional products in the advertising budget please.


Reader Interactions


  1. The problem with traditional vouchers are that they’re very impersonal and are usually bought by people who just don’t know what to get. Red Balloon vouchers are the opposite as you’re taking the time to get something really special for them. $50 of groceries just doesn’t compare to wine tasting or horse riding.

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