We’re taking a look at some notable launches for December 2021, and to wrap up the year, we’re looking back at some of our favourite merch and promo products for 2021!
1. Mariah Carey x McDonald’s = Mariah Menup>Following other McDonald’s collaborations with artists such as BTS and Saweetie, the Queen of Christmas herself joined the ranks this holiday season with 12 days of deals dubbed the “Mariah Menu”. Customers were able to claim a free menu item (e.g. Big Mac, McChicken, sausage biscuit, etc) every day between Dec 13-24 with a $1 minimum purchase on the app, and limited edition merch was also available for free over 2 different dates.
The beanie (released Dec 15) features Mariah Carey’s signature, and the t-shirt (released Dec 21) features a photo of Mariah enjoying her go-to McDonald’s order (FYI—cheeseburger with extra pickles).
2. Arby’s Holiday Yard Inflatables
If you’ve ever wanted an unconventional yard inflatable—well, look no further! For the holiday season, Arby superfans could get a giant 5 x 6 feet inflatable Beef ‘n Cheddar combo for $375, perfect for making the whole block jealous and/or hungry. Luckily, these aren’t meat scented like their sweats or wrapping paper, so hopefully the raccoons won’t be after this combo!
3. Fresh Del Monte Wrapping Paper
Del Monte has had quite the year with their “Pinkglow” pink pineapples, but for those who wanted to up their gifting game, Del Monte offered a limited supply of free scented wrapping paper this past holiday season!
The sheets feature illustrations of banana, pineapple, and their Pinkglow® Pineapple, and those interested were required to send an email to email@example.com with a valid United States-based home mailing address.
4. P.F. Chang’s Clothes and Cookware
Chinese-American P.F. Chang’s casual dining restaurant chain has finally released an online retail store selling clothing and cookware, with prices ranging from $45-$75 for apparel and $20-$100 for the kitchenware.
Currently only available online, the collection was released to help the organization “connect with customers on a more experiential level”. (Source: Restaurant Business Online)
5. Miller Lite’s Beernaments
It’s the most wonderful time for a beer! For a unique way to enjoy Miller Lite during the holidays, the beer brand released their “Beernaments”, a drinkable holiday ornament that can be hung from a Christmas tree.
Drinkers can add a 8oz can to the ornament to transform Christmas time into Miller Time. Sofia Colucci, global vice president of Miller explains, “Our Beernaments are not only hilarious, but a great way to keep the holidays bright for beer lovers everywhere, from drinks to décor.”
6. Champion Athleticwear x Hasbro Gaming Collection
Hasbro meets Champion this holiday season to create an extensive collection of fun apparel and footwear for the whole family! Featuring characters and graphics from Monopoly, Twister, Scrabble, and Candy Land, these pieces bring comfort and fashion to family game nights.
7. Barbet Tote Bags
Born in Toronto, newly launched sparkling water brand Barbet has been making a *splash* on the scene with its bold sparkling water blends. Featuring natural ingredients such as blood orange with hot jalapeno pepper, and grapefruit with ginger, they can also be mixed with spirits to elevate the experience.
Barbet doesn’t just do quality drinks, but also quality tote bags! Their totes are not only thick and sturdy, but feature deep interior side pockets designed to hold Barbet cans…or two bunches of asparagus!
Notable 2021 Merch and Promotional Products
2021 has been an interesting year of merchandise and promo product drops, and we’ve seen all sorts of creative projects ranging from apparel to food to tech. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite projects from the past year, and we’re excited to see what new products are launched next year!
8. Arby’s Vodka
Arby’s? Vodka? While the fast food giant has had some interesting merch in the past year, this one is perhaps the most buzzed about.
Launched in November 2021 and polarizing its audiences, Arby’s limited edition potato-based vodka comes in two flavours: Crinkle and Curly Fry flavour. The Crinkle Fry vodka pays homage to the restaurant’s crispy and golden Crinkle fries with a blend of kosher salt and sugar, while the Curly Fry vodka pays homage to the Curly Fry with hints of cayenne & paprika. Coming in at $59.99 a bottle, these sold out immediately despite reactions on social media.
Not to be outdone, potato chip manufacturer Lays launched their own potato-based vodka made with the same potatoes they use for their potato chips. However, unlike Arby’s, they’ve opted to keep their vodka clean instead of infusing it with a ketchup or all dressed chip flavour.
Would you try any of these vodkas?
9. Wendy’s Phone
Instead of generic apparel, Wendy’s Canada decided to go BIG and be the only quick serve restaurant with its own phone.
With a red exterior and a Wendy’s branded skin, the Android-based device features a digital assistant (Wendy) that can set an alarm, get directions, tell a joke, lead you to the closest Wendy’s, and more. With 20 phones launched in September 2021, these phones were only available through Wendy’s Canada Twitter contest. Congrats to the lucky winners of these one-of-a-kind phones!
10. BTS-Branded McDonald’s Bags
While McDonald’s is no stranger to co-branded meals with celebrities such as J. Balvin and Saweetie, their collaboration with K-pop boy band BTS was immense. So immense that the collab boosted sales in the US by 26% that quarter.
You might be thinking, what’s so special about this collaboration? K-pop boy band BTS has been a major force over the past few years, winning several music awards such as the American Music Awards, Asia Artist Awards, Billboard Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and more. They were the 3rd most streamed artist on Spotify for 2021, and continue breaking records with their music.
Not only was new food packaging released for the collaboration, but merchandise featuring sweatshirts, T-shirts and tote bags were also launched. Fans were so crazy for the merch and packaging that these items were being resold online at high markups.
Boss Promotions’ Featured Projects
We’ve worked on some amazing projects with clients in 2021, and we thought we’d toot our own horn to celebrate!
11. Fire and Flower Tote Bags
We worked on these bags with our friends at Fire & Flower, a Canadian cannabis dispensary. A series of limited edition tote bags were developed in collaboration with Indigenous artists Chief Lady Bird, Fallon Simard, CHIPPEWAR, Kyle Natkusiak Aleekuk, and Emily Kewageshig. The artists created artwork for the tote bags, with 100% of proceeds going to the artists’ choice of an Indigenous-led charity to support Indigenous communities across the country.
12. Skyy Vodka Glasses
13. Boss BBQ Sets
We thought our BBQ sets were pretty awesome! Featuring Boss-branded beer cans, BBQ sauce, dry rub, a cooler bag, and recipe cards with the CEO’s and VP’s favourite recipes, these kits were well-received by our clients, and got us excited about putting future themed kits for client appreciation.
What were some of your favourite branded products for the year?
Missed our previous roundups? Check out our past monthly roundups!