Special Interest Groups Use Promos to Spread Message at DNC

Nonprofits and other political activists at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week were well aware of the power of promotional products in getting their message out. A slew of special interest groups set up tables in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, stocking them with buttons, bumper stickers, T-shirts and other swag.

The Save the Children Action Network directed drained delegates to relax and recharge at a lounge area furnished with cushioned chairs and low tables. People were invited to play cornhole on custom branded sets. Or take selfies with props like gag sunglasses, feather boas and silly hats in the “photo booth” area of the lounge. Save the Children was also handing out swag bags put together by Axis Promotions (asi/128263). Among the promo products were oversized foam hands, hand clappers, mints, hand sanitizers and foldout virtual reality viewers.

“We’re really trying to make it fun for people to come here and also [be] educational,” said Brendan Daly, senior director of communications for Save the Children. The VR headsets and interactive tablet apps set up throughout the lounge immersed visitors in the group’s mission to improve children’s health and educational opportunities both domestically and abroad.

Virtual reality was also a part of the setup of ONE Vote 16, a nonpartisan project dedicated to fighting extreme poverty. Visitors could don a Samsung Gear VR headset and watch a short video about an HIV-positive woman from Ghana. Those who signed up to help the cause could shuck shoes and socks and jump into a White House-replica bounce house, which attracted adults and children alike.

Kate Kight, a representative of lesbian political action committee LPAC, was dressed as superhero “Wonder Queer,” in blue tights, star-spangled top and a rainbow-striped cape. She was giving out comic book-themed laptop stickers and Hillary 2016 coloring books to people who signed up for the group’s mailing list. LPAC was also distributing buttons with the slogan “Lesbians for Hillary,” or “Lesbros for Hillary” for male allies. “Our goal is to celebrate the fact that it’s now possible for us to be out and proud as queer women and lesbian candidates and just make sure our power in the election is visible,” Kight said.