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Fantasy Football – Big Dog Bruisers vs. The FF “Experts” (Yahoo)

The so-called “experts”

So the draft results are in and the geniuses at Yahoo FF have rated my draft a C+. They pulled no punches in their reviews of my drafting talents. Of course, I was in the bottom three along with the only other two owners who didn’t auto-draft. The rest of you are Wussies.

So here’s what they said..


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I’ve been playing FF online since 2002. I have had 22 teams in that time and have finished in the top Five in 16 of those leagues, of which 6 times I won the league, twice in 2nd, 4 times in 3rd and 4 times in 5th. I think I have a decent grip on how to play and compete, but I also know that I don’t play the safe bets. I am a risk taker. When I gamble big, it pays off… So a guy like me isn’t going to fit into the Yahoo Lemming group.

Want to get a good draft rating? Just stick with their list and let the machine pick for you. That doesn’t work for me. If I win, I want it to be on my own skills. Sometimes I flop on a pick, but not very often. Taking risks is where it’s at.

Like in 1998 when I took Vinny T in a live (in person) draft and the commish (Keith) laughed so hard that his pitch sounded like a 14 year old boy in the throes of puberty. Did I mention I won that league? Keep laughing Keith.. It keeps the fire in my belly hot! 😉

Or in 2004 when I was in two leagues (different owner groups) and took Trent Green in one and Jake Plumber in the other and was made fun of by the other owners, only to win both leagues. I guess I have a knack for picking QB’s.

So fast forward to this years draft and Yahoo just “puberty laughed” and I have taken notice.

UPDATE – Week #1. is in the books and my C+ rated Big Dog Bruisers beat the B rated Obi Wanna Blowmi who got the #1 pick in the draft. This win earned me the Underdog award of the week and that’s my brother, so that makes it really sweet.

Big Dog Bruisers




Personal relationships protect buyers.

Here is yet another example of what can happen when dealing with companies over the internet. Pricing may look good, but product quality is often times lacking. Nobody wants to have their logo associated with a poor quality product.

Here’s an example that has picked up some negative attention for obvious reasons. Imagine as a buyer that you find a great online deal for moisture management shirts. You place your order and have them decorated with your brand and then find out after the fact that the care instructions are extremely offensive.

My advise… There are tangibles that internet companies cannot provide and the biggest one of these is a trusting relationship that you have a marketing professional looking out for you.

Gentlemen if you happen to ever buy a shirt that reads like this, tread lightly… That is unless you like quality time with your couch.

(This is an actual tag from the inside of a shirt)


Celebrating the life and accomplishments of our founder, Ann Morrissey.

On this coming Thursday 02/13/2014, our family will put to rest our company’s founder and my grandmother, Ann Morrissey.







She was 92 years old and spent many years of her life dedicated to the Promotional Products industry, working for equality and women’s rights before the national movement had even begun. She was an amazing person who carried herself with class and elegance, treating every person she encountered with dignity and respect. Our family is so very proud of her and I thank her for giving me the opportunity that I have today to be in the position that I am with the family business.

A few interesting things to know about my grandmother..

  • She started her career in 1953
  • She was the first woman elected to PPAI’s Board of Directors and served multiple terms
  • She worked with the U.S. White House for their promotional product needs and once dined with President Nixon and the first lady.
  • She was Counselor Magazines first female “Man of the year”, which was then change to “Person of the year” so that she would accept the recognition.
  • She won so many national and regional awards that my office walls could not fit them all.
  • She was very active and served many roles for the Chamber of Commerce.
  • She was a woman who was way ahead of her time. Rather than bow to the skeptics and those who didn’t want a woman in a position of power, she dug in with a work ethic that they themselves did not posses.

She did all of the above while still balancing family life. As a child I listened to my grandmothers voice knowing not to mistake her soft spoken words as a place of weakness because she could roll up her sleeves and handle any task (including me) as good as any man, if not better.

She was small in size, but I have enormous shoes to fill.

We love you Grandma..

2014 Color of the Year

Radiant Orchid… Have you ever heard of it? Me either.. But Pantone has announced that it is the color of the year for 2014. According to Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman, Radiant Orchid is “one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony  of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.”

Radiant Orchid

While I don’t predict we’ll see professional sports teams incorporating this color into their brand anytime soon, you can be sure that you will see this color in the fashion world as well as your local paint store soon.

For the record, Radiant Orchid is listed as PMS 18-3224.

* Image borrowed from

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and e-commerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

Six Keys To Successful Project Management

Small and large scale projects are happening around us constantly. Whether it’s a new technology that’s being implemented or the execution of a marketing campaign, someone in your organization is running the show. But how do they do it, managing so many personalities (internal and external), deadlines and expectations?

Project management is a complex yet essential role in any business. From my experience, here are a few keys to ensuring that the next project you manage goes smoothly.

1. Understand the scope of the project. As the project manager (PM), be sure that you understand why it is that your company wants to devote their time and resources to this project. They aren’t just trying to keep you busy. They have an end goal in mind, whether it is increased awareness or increased revenue. Be sure you are on the same page as those who originally envisioned the final product.

2. Assemble the right team. Once you know your mission, get the right folks on the bus with you. Start by evaluating your current team. Do you need someone who understands HTML coding or video editing? If someone on your team already knows this or can pick it up quickly, great! If not, make sure you acquire the correct people. Otherwise you’re setting yourself and the rest of the team up for failure.

3. Create a common goal. As the PM you are more than aware of the desired outcome. Share that with your team! Not only is it essential that you know why you’re working on this project but your team needs to know, too. The last thing you want as a PM is to have a bunch of worker mice on your hands. Give their roles meaningful purpose, and show appreciation for it. Genuine appreciation.

4. Develop a schedule with built-in milestones (and buffer time). Yes, you should be working towards milestones! Build a schedule and share it with a few higher-ups as well as your team. Make your expectations for deadlines known and understood by the team. Build individual and team milestones so everyone can stay on track. Ultimately, though, as the PM it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is keeping up. A little secret is to build buffer time – a day, a week – so that you are always ahead of schedule.

5. Make yourself organized and available. Keep on internal and external communications. If you’re working with an agency be sure to build rapport with a primary contact person. You want to be sure that you have a mutual understanding with each aspect of the project. It’s also essential to have a grasp on where things are currently, where they are going and how you’re going to get there. Keeping organized notes based on your schedule is essential to the success of your project.

6. Evaluate. As the project moves along have your team take notes on what works, what doesn’t and how you can improve. Making notes as you go will ensure that nothing is overlooked. It’s hard to remember how things went at the start of a project six months ago. Reading over detailed notes from six months ago makes the evaluation process much easier.

Originally posted on the Proforma Blog –

Half-a-Cent – Study finds that Promotional Products average a Cost Per Impression of only $.005

Beating out Radio, Newspaper and Television, Promotional Products score big with smart advertisers looking to make big time impressions on small time budgets.

A 2010 study was conducted with businesspeople in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London, Sidney, Toronto and Montreal metro areas to determine the value of media and the cost per impression made with the target audience.

The Conclusion? Promotional products have a lower “cost per impression” than nearly all forms of media.



What is an “impression”? 

An impression is created when a person sees or hears your brand image/message featured in some form of advertisement. Impressions are critical in the effort of creating brand awareness. The more a person sees your brand message, the higher the chance that they will one day do business with you.

Top 5 product categories which average the highest number of impressions..

#1. Bags – 1078 impressions per month

#2. Caps – 443 impressions per month

#3. Pens – 437 impressions per month

#4. Shirts – 344 impressions per month

#5. Calendars – 295 impressions per month


Calculating Cost Per Impression


Impressions are calculated by multiplying the number of times an item is seen/used by the number of people that saw or used that item and the brand message it carries.

As an example, let’s look at a branded Bic Pen costing the advertiser $.46 per per pen for 300 pieces, a total cost of $138.00 for this order.

Based on the findings of the study, writing instruments average 437 impressions per month, which would mean that this particular pen would have a $.001 cost per impression.

For the sake of argument, let’s calculate this example at half the amount of impressions, bringing it in at 218.5 per month. This equates out to $.002 per impression. Even at just 100 impressions per month, the cost only reaches 4 cents per impression!

So what happens if this advertiser gives out all 300 pens at an event and then decides to be conservative by calculating each pen at just 100 impressions in six months time.. This calculates out to 30,000 impressions at a cost of $0.0046 per impression. In 6 months time, the advertisers brand message was identified 30,000 times! All for $138.00 in branded Bic Pens!

What about that $35 branded shirt you’re wearing?

Did you realize that shirts average 344 impressions (views by others) per month? That equates to $.10 per impression after just one month. What happens to that number after 6 months? Your impressions average 2064 over 6 months and your cost drops to $.01 per impression.

Other findings from the study..


Top 5 types of promotional products used by those who participated in the study..


#1. Pens – 46%

#2. Shirts – 38%

#3. Calendars – 24%

#4. Bags – 23%

#5. Caps – 16%


Ability to identify the advertiser..

83% of those surveyed in the U.S. said they could name the advertiser on a promotional product that they had been given, with glassware (87%) and shirts (86%) having the highest recall.

Reasons for keeping an item..

75% of those surveyed said that the items usefulness is the primary reason they keep an item. The next highest reason was an items attractiveness, coming in at 27%.

Impressions of the advertiser..

41% of U.S. respondents indicated their impression of the advertiser was more favorable after receiving a branded promotional product.


Business after receiving a branded promotional product..

60% of respondents in the U.S. say that they have done business with the advertiser after receiving the branded promotional product.

Likelihood to do business in the future..

Among those who had not done business with the advertiser since receiving the item, 27% of U.S. respondents thought it likely that they would eventually do business with the advertiser.


Fate of items not planned to keep..

62% of respondents indicated that when given an item they do not intend to keep, they choose to give that item to someone else rather than throw it away.


Number of promotional products owned..

U.S. respondents have the most promotional products, averaging 9-10 items that contain and advertisers brand.


Importance of branded merchandise..

57% of respondents indicated that the brand name of a product is important, but only 18% consider them very important.


Gender & age marketing..

Males are more likely than females to own branded shirts and caps, while females are more likely to keep bags, writing instruments, calendars and health & safety products.

Those 45-54 years of age tend to keep the most items given to them (averaging 9.8 items) while those aged 22-34 tend to keep one less item than their more experienced counterparts.


The end result, promotional products not only have a great cost per impression, but they also get results. By using promotional products, small businesses are able to compete with their bigger budget competition and achieve a better result with less money.

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and ecommerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

Five Tips for Choosing a Great Promotional Product

Whether traveling by car, train or plane, this computer bag comfortably carries your laptop while keeping all the essentials organized. It's made from 600 denier polyester material and features a suspended, padded laptop compartment (fits up to 17" laptop), front compartment with pockets for cell phone, water bottle, multiple accessories and an adjustable / detachable, non-slip shoulder strap. This bag is certain to be a successful product.

Whether traveling by car, train or plane, this computer bag comfortably carries your laptop while keeping all the essentials organized. It’s made from 600 denier polyester material and features a suspended, padded laptop compartment (fits up to 17″ laptop), front compartment with pockets for cell phone, water bottle, multiple accessories and an adjustable / detachable, non-slip shoulder strap. This bag is certain to be a successful product.

Any business that is looking to build awareness in the marketplace needs branded promotional items. However, the amount of options available can be overwhelming. Here are some quick tips that can serve as guidelines when picking your next promotional product.

1.    Items That Reflect Your Business – When selecting a promotional item, whether it’s a t-shirt or a tumbler, think about what would best reflect your business and target audience. You want the item to always be in view and your logo to stand out. Thinking about the number of times an item will be used is also an important consideration. A good example would be a gym offering a promotional CamelBak® bottle. The item will stand out during a workout with the logo prominently displayed.

2.    Get Trendy! – Be forward-thinking about what is trending right now in the marketplace. This will leave a great impression on clients and give you a cutting-edge image. Look at what products are hot in the marketplace, such as computer tablets. Finding a top-notch case or stylus pen could be the exact promotional product needed to showcase your brand and the image you are looking to promote.

3.    Quality Before Quantity – The old saying “you get what you pay for” can be very true in promotional products. The goal is to find products that are of higher quality and will be used longer, so your company’s brand will have greater exposure. Taking advantage of buying products with a higher quality level will increase the consumer’s opinion and create an opportunity to showcase your business logo or message for a longer period of time.

4.    Serve Your Purpose – Like an advertisement, your purpose is to serve the intended business goal and catch the user’s attention. You can think of a promotional product in the same manner. Are you trying to generate general awareness? Is the product for your top-end clients? Are you a new company that is trying to catch the attention of consumers with something fun and exciting? Start with your intended goal in mind to choose a promotional product and this will also help dictate your budget.

5.    Consult a Pro – As a decision maker in your company, it’s your job to work with the proper promotional product professionals to learn what is available and how an item will look when finished. Talking with an expert in the promotional products industry can save you countless hours of research, thousands of dollars and the stress of choosing the wrong promotional product. Relying on their expertise will help you avoid the pitfalls of a trial and error approach and will help get you on the right track to selecting a winning promotional product!


*Article from Proforma Blog


How Will Technology Affect marketing To Younger Generations?

Over the weekend, I saw a commercial where children were sitting around talking about how much they love to read. Instead of showing them flipping through the pages of an actual book, however, they were holding up Kindles! With recent studies showing that more toddlers can play a computer game (58%) than ride a bike, it’s time to face the fact that children growing up in our high-tech world are going to experience everything in a much different way than I and many other generations have. The Kindle commercial got me thinking – what does all of this mean for marketers?

The facts below illustrate key findings and how the information can be translated in a way that may help marketers to target younger generations as they come of age in this new, technology-centered world.

Fact: 58% of boys and 59% of girls can play a computer game or make a mobile call (28% boys, 29% girls). This means that the tech gender divide between boys and girls is almost nonexistent. Takeaway: There may be less gender stereotyping with online and mobile advertisements in the future. This may mean larger and more diverse markets for products and services that typically were marketed mainly to one specific gender in the past. Additionally, both men and women will be equally accessible through mobile and internet channels of communication.

Fact: More than half (51%) of six to nine year-olds use some type of children’s social network, including Webkinz and Club Penguin. Takeaway: Many individuals today still insist that social networking sites such as Facebook will die out over time. This fact, however, proves that social networks will continue to become an important form of communication for children in the future. The sense of community that they find through these sites, and the opinions and experiences that they find on there, means an even higher likelihood that friends, family and acquaintances in these networks will play large roles in how they perceive brands and products.

Fact: 7% of babies and toddlers have an email address created for them by their parents. Takeaway: It can be assumed that most children in this age will have several email accounts: a personal email set up by them or their parents, a school email address and possibly a work email address down the road. The personal email will always be the most important, and they will be maintaining these email accounts for a much longer time than any of us have so far. Because of that, email marketing will need to be eye-catching, relevant and infrequent in order to grab their attention. Otherwise, they’ll just learn to filter everything that they don’t want to see.

Fact: Almost half (47%) of eight and nine year-olds talk to their friends online. Takeaway: When’s the last time that you saw someone showing their friend something that they found in a newspaper? The days of sharing tangible news items are over. In our world, and in the world of future generations, information will continue to be transferred quickly from one person to another via online communication. This means that a brand’s online presence must not only be informational but entertaining as well in order for it to be shared. A good example of this is the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercial, which has exceeded more than 45 million views on YouTube. At the end of the day, however, it is still a product advertisement.

Fact: The rise of the internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and efficiently. Children are becoming more skilled in where to find things and less skilled in actually remembering information. Takeaway: Future generations aren’t going to remember exactly where they see an advertisement online. They will, however, remember how to find it again if it sparks their interest! Providing valuable product information and creating engaging, memorable content will be the best way to grab the attention of future generations. Since younger generations will be used to quickly scanning sites for information, high quality, colorful images will play a very important role in how to draw them in.

Technology and communications are changing, and they will continue to change. Marketing to a younger generation will be a challenge. Will your business be ready for the generations to come?


AVG Digital Diaries and The Huffington Post

Is print dying? Not so fast!

This post contributed by Pamela Thomas from Proforma’s Corporate Headquarters in Ohio.

Is print dying? Not so fast!

Working at a print and promotional company for almost a year now, I utilize both mediums, and also use social media to support campaigns that I’m working on. But is print dying? This question has been a common topic around the marketing world since the internet and social media adoption has increased, and quickly seems to be taking over. Many businesses have changed their marketing to the web mainly because it is cost effective. Regardless, print is still powerful and a necessary component for businesses throughout the world.

Newspapers – Even though some newspaper companies are closing due to technological advancements and availability, some people still prefer to have something tangible compared to pulling it up on the internet. They are portable thanks to laptops, tablets or e-readers, and if you want to read one in the car, you can. But remember, battery life can only last so long.

Brochures – Companies still order brochures. It is an easy way to show all your products and services on one piece of paper. They are typically priced very reasonably and serve as a great marketing tool. Cards – Most companies will send out a company holiday card or a birthday card to you as a gesture of appreciation. It shows more sincerity than sending an online e-card.

Direct Mail Campaigns – Direct mail is one of the most overlooked yet effective and inexpensive ways to increase your company’s presence.

Coupons – At the checkout of your local grocery store you may have used coupons to get items at a discounted rate. Coupons are often times available on the internet. Be sure to setup your printer to take advantage of various offers.

These are just a couple examples of the main printed items that are still used and are just as powerful as before. The best way to market your business is to use as many printed, promotional or online tools as possible. Sometimes print and the internet work together to create a campaign, you just have to know how to use it.

Integrated Marketing – Getting those much needed impressions.

Looking to increase your marketing’s effectiveness? Read on..

Traditional marketing has significantly changed with the shift to digital media and growth of technology. At the same time, some forms of the traditional, old-school marketing like direct mail, have seen resurgent success, in part, due to people suffering from techno overload.

An integrated, multichannel marketing effort can create an opportunity to branch out into the new and make best use of traditional marketing methods, while getting the best bang for your marketing budget.

Consider this.. When was the last time you sent a hand written birthday card? Or better yet, received one? How did it make you feel to know someone took the time out of their day to do something that wasn’t digital. For most of us, we get the Facebook Birthday overload.. Hundreds of people you haven’t talked to in years, taking 5 seconds to write Happy Birthday on your wall because Facebook reminded them that today is your birthday! Still a gesture of kindness, but not much for a lasting impression.

So before we look into a few great examples of how this can be done, let me define what I mean by “multichannel marketing” — simply put, creating different touch points through different mediums, that ultimately all play together and help you increase your sales conversion rates.

An example of multichannel in action would be when you receive a postcard that includes a QR code or SMS short code to receive some exclusive incentive (such as a discount or giveaway entry.) Once you scan the QR code or send the SMS, you’re sent to a mobile landing page where perhaps a video might play to further the messaging. The sequence can go on to include a follow up phone call (automated or live,) reminding you of the video you watched, and then an email encouraging another call to action via an ecommerce website.

The beauty of this process is that it hits the consumer at many different angles, some of which may be more powerful than others. Just as some people are visual learners, while others learn by listening or demonstration, we take in marketing the same way — some platforms are more resonant than others. By varying our marketing modalities, we have a better chance of getting a serious look or, not only through repetition, but also when we hit the modality that resonates with the end-user.

If your marketing efforts have been strictly traditional approaches, consider including some digital elements like ecommerce, mobile or social starting in a multichannel campaign. This will allow you to closely track the campaigns effectiveness and test your new media experiment, while diversifying your marketing toolbox.

Here are a few interesting reads of multichannel elements in action:

The remarkable success story of Drew Houston – Commerce technology is a massive oppportunity (and retail … 22

And whether the composition of the industry is dominated by pure-play or multichannel, we know that all the players will need massive amounts of technology in order to be successful.

Brand Marketers Only – How to balance traditional, online, and social media – 11

And the number one obstacle cited to digital marketing growth was lack of a single, cross-channel digital marketing platform. What the marketing team must do is align the company’s content marketing and campaigns (owned) with media “buys” (paid) while also leveraging and measuring earned media.

3 Ways Mobile Insights Are Informing Online and Offline Marketing – gyro 28

Because mobile devices are an extension of each consumer’s life—set up and customized to their individual needs and preferences—they potentially offer marketers more personal data about their audiences than ever before.

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, an award winning provider of printing services, promotional products, multimedia production and ecommerce solutions. To reach Chris:;