Tapping into the Memorability, Creativity of Self-Promo Campaigns


Funny. Creative. Unforgettable. The ‘Simplicity Brothers’ campaign has been described many ways, but boring was never one of them. We’re breaking down the why and how behind one of the most memorable (and award-winning!) self-promo campaigns in our industry.

Bringing Simplicity to the Masses

When Goldstar® Pens launched its Simplicity Business Model that focused on creating an easier way to do business in promo, Kenny Ved, Vice President of Sales, and Charles Duggan II, National & Strategic Accounts Manager, looked to deliver this new brand message to customers through a light-hearted and fun experience. And inspiration for the ‘Simplicity Brothers’ was nothing short of serendipitous.

“I was in the airport waiting to catch my flight, scrolling through my phone, and there it was,” said Ved. It was an image from the movie Step Brothers, featuring two grown men wearing matching argyle sweaters in an Owen Mills-esque portrait. “It just clicked.”

Evolution of their signature photo: from superimposing their images on a poster to having a professional portrait taken at the local mall.

Creating a Brand Experience

“This campaign is about delivering a fun experience for customers and showing them some personality behind the Goldstar brand,” said Duggan, who was recently named the ASI 2020 Supplier Sales Rep of the Year. “When we walk out of a meeting, someone else walks in. We want to create an enjoyable experience for customers that they’ll remember.”

Using the staying power of promotional products, the team has partnered with other suppliers to create branded socks, towels, hand sanitizer and lip balm, sporting the the ‘Simplicity Brothers’ photo. “It’s staying power,” said Ved. “And it helps keep us top of mind and make people smile.”

“It’s relatable and it makes people laugh,” said Duggan of the awesomely awkward photo that sparked a viral, ongoing self-promo campaign. “We have people wanting to take photos with the cardboard ‘Simplicity Brothers.’”

Value Prop, Mic Drop

Fast-forward, and the team continues to grow its campaign and share Goldstar value props by personifying fun. Matching outfits, Car Pen Karaoke videos from the road, and idea kits are just a few tactics that come to mind.

From sweater vests to cowboy hats to Fun DMC, Ved and Duggan have created a campaign that’s just as dynamic as its masterminds. Recently, the team was awarded the gold PPAI Pyramid Award in marketing programs for supplier self-promotion campaigns.

If you’re planning to attend the 2020 PPAI Expo in Vegas, be sure to visit the ‘Simplicity Brothers’ and the Goldstar sales team at booth #5931.


“If you’re not first, you’re last. See you at Expo 2020.” -Simplicity Brothers



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