Have you ever been found guilty of using promo to close the world’s largest post office for a day? Well… this PPAF board member has.
In KJ Summers 22-year career in promo, his work has earned his clients and his agency distinction. But one time, it wasn’t the kind of attention they wanted.
His promo once closed the world’s largest post office, in downtown New York City, for a whole day.
Here’s how he tells the story…
“To age myself, this happened back in the early aughts when Compact Discs were a big thing, “ begins Summers, current VP of PPAF. “Because great promo meets consumer needs, one of our best-sellers was CD cases. I don’t like selling off-the-shelf items, though. I like to go big when it matters and get my clients attention in the marketplace. Especially when it’s a non-profit with a compelling call to action, like New York Blood Center who bought loads of them.
“We found a manufacturer in China that made plastic CD cases that we could fill with a glittery, colored fluid and insert small logos that would float around. For New York Blood Center, that meant bright red glittery water, with small logos and a little blood drop surfing character, floating around. Emblazoned on the outside was the imprint: Catch the Wave. Donate Blood.
“Everything was going swimmingly, until one January night a blood donor recruiter put a dozen in a box addressed to an elementary school, attached a New York Blood Center mailing label and dropped them into a mailbox in Manhattan.
“As you can guess, the CD cases froze overnight. Some burst their seams. In the warmth of the post office the next morning, they began thawing. And a box labeled ‘blood center’ started leaking a red ooze onto the post office floor. Seeing BLOOD, everyone ran.
“Within 30 minutes, I was dragged from a meeting in Indianapolis, where I lived and worked, by an irate purchasing agent who called needing a comprehensive list of what was in the red fluid, so the hazmat team could clear the post office to reopen.”
Today, KJ Summers is with BAMKO, based in Tampa – St. Pete. He still loves going big when it matters for clients—and telling this story over drinks in a bar.
In his job, he works in business development for BAMKO, headhunting national, enterprise accounts and then heading up the teams that service them. Within PPAF, his passions are membership development and increasing member ROI through enhanced, more engaging programming and events.
In life, he says you will find him and his partner Miles enjoying everything Florida has to offer that Indiana didn’t—the beach, the water and The Mouse. They have two dogs, Jackson the maltipoo and Banjo the Goldendoodle puppy. Banjo is already active in the family business, selling promo. Although only three years old, he closes deals—by being a frequent attendee on KJ’s zoom calls, where he wins hearts and opens budgets.
KJ is here to help PPAF and its members thrive.