The thing about a mug is…… it doesn’t know it’s a mug!

So, you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can call it whatever you like, you can put into it whatever will fit – the mug won’t mind.

Do you have some mugs left over from the last time you “gave them away” at a trade show? Check this list out below. I challenge you to have a go at using your left over mugs in one or more of the ways listed below – see what happens.


1. It's reusable packaging for any product that will fit inside (reuse as a coffee mug or desk caddy).

2. It's a memo (imprint with important company dates, announcements, etc.).

3. It's a shirt box (stuff with an imprinted T-shirt).

4. It's a computer disk case (insert a mini-CD or DVD, or shrink-wrap to the bottom).

5. It's a planter (put a layer of small rock or gravel in the bottom first for drainage).

6. It's a candle (these are available in the industry).

7. It's a calendar (imprint a calendar on one side, company message on the other).

8. It's a desk caddy (fill with imprinted pens, pencils, small ruler, letter opener, etc.).

9. It's a candy dispenser (fill with candy...duh!).

10. It's a unique invitation (imprint invitation on side - another twist: require that they bring the invitation with them to the event).

11. It's a presentation container (insert client's product).

12. It's an award (imprint with achievement - consider gold imprint).

13. It's an enhancer (adds perceived value to whatever you put inside).

14. It's a thank-you gift (wrap in cellophane and clinch with a ribbon at the top).

15. It's a tool box (insert mini-screwdrivers, mini-flashlight, tape measure, etc.).

16. It's a first-aid kit (insert bandages, headache medicine, etc.).

17. It's a hangover kit (insert headache medicine, ear plugs, phone number for AA, etc.)

18. It's a watch case (insert imprinted wristwatch).

19. It's a coaster set (insert cork or disposable coasters).

20. It's a cold-recovery kit, AKA "get yourself back to work" kit (imprint with good wishes, fill with chicken soup mix, a thermometer, cold medicine, etc.).

21. It's a wedding favor (fill with birdseed to send off the bridal couple)

22. It's a business card (imprint with a business card on side -- sure to be remembered).

23. It's a sewing kit (insert sewing supplies).

24. It's a coin catcher (insert coin rollers -- great alternative to the old piggy bank).

25. It's a holiday greeting card (imprint with sentiment of choice).

26. It's a frequent shopper card (imprint with offer on side, redeemed with every visit - a funny twist: "refills free with coffee purchase")

27. It's a commemorative souvenir (imprint with event info or picture).

28. It's a fundraiser (imprint with worthy cause info -- then sell it).

29. It's a premium (insert product or attach to product as an added premium with purchase).

30. It's a hardware storage container (nuts/bolts).

31. It's a sugar packet dispenser.

32. It's a soup bowl (insert cup-o-soup packet and spoon).

33. It's a political statement (imprint with candidate photo and info).

34. It's a history lesson (imprint with historical dates/info).

35. It's a recipe card (imprint with recipe - great for unique restaurant).

36. It's a picket sign (imprint with union message, etc.).

37. It's an anti-smoking aid (imprint with Surgeon General warnings).

38. It's a paper clip dispenser (fill with unique paper clip).

39. It's a reminder ("Change the batteries in your smoke detectors when Daylight Savings Time changes.").

40. It's a company brochure (imprint with company info, mission statement, etc.).

41. It's a map (imprint a map on it).

42. It's a mini-blueprint (imprint with floor plan - what a great idea for a home builder!).

43. It's a written guarantee (no fine print here - "We're proud to display our guarantee").

44. It's a "warm fuzzy" (insert hot chocolate packet).

45. It's a motivator (imprint with compliment such as "Top Achiever" - assign to different person in office each week).

46. It's a safety program reinforcer (imprint with safety protocols).

47. It's an instruction manual (no excuse for not following instructions).

48. It's a scavenger hunt game (imprint with list of items to find).

49. It's an operation manual (can be fun or serious).

50. It's a company policy manual (excellent reinforcement).

51. It's a prize (imprint with illustration of game, such as a basketball going into the hoop "Score!").

52. It's a clue (imprint on bottom of mug).

53. It's a token ("Return for __________").

54. It's a checklist (imprint with checklist).

55. It's an announcement (imprint with announcement of achieved goal, expansion, etc.).

56. It's an exclusive pass (only those bearing this mug can gain entry into the elite section).

57. It's an inspiration (imprint with scripture or quote).

58. It's an agenda ("These are the items we need to discuss in this meeting.").

59. It's an old-style shaving mug (insert bar of soap and brush).

60. It's a status symbol (given in exchange for major purchase or contribution).

61. It's a desktop basketball goal (add cardboard backboard - another imprint area!).

62. It's a dessert dish (order this dessert at restaurant - get to keep the mug!).

63. It's a delineator (decaf drinkers get green mug, those drinking regular get the red mug).

64. It's a business card dispenser.

65. It's a "share a penny" container (next to the cash register).

66. It's a toothpick dispenser.

67. It's a tip collector.

68. It's a billboard (imprint with a dozen or more small block advertisements - use at favorite local breakfast diner).

69. It's a barbeque kit (insert basting brush, combine with sauce).

70. It's a theft deterrent device ("This mug stolen from...").

71. It's a membership card (coffee club, change mug color each year).

72. It's a name badge (personalize imprint).

73. It's a cheat sheet (imprint with math formulas).

74. It's a phone book (imprint with list of important company phone numbers and/or extensions).

75. It's a whimsical... [need help here]

76. It's a soap dish (insert a bar of soap).

77. It's a written warranty (this one will not be lost or misplaced).

78. It's a measuring cup (imprint with scale on inside or outside).

79. It's an initiator (imprint with "step one, step two, etc.").

80. It's a conversation-starter (imprint with opening line, such as, "What's your name and what do you do?").

81. It's a memorization aid (imprint with items to memorize).

82. It's a translator (imprint with common expressions in another language)

83. It's a paint can (the handle makes it easy to hold for touch-up work).

84. It's a play book (imprint with football plays) Perfect for those who "eat, sleep and drink football!"

85. It's an excuse eliminator (imprint with a "round tuit").

86. It's a feng shui garden (fill with sand, add pebbles, tiny rake).

87. It's a computer aid (imprint with list of computer shortcuts for a particular program).

88. It's a fire safety map (imprint with floor plan showing fire exits).

89. It's an in/out sign for the desk (imprint with "I'll be back in a moment" on one side, and "Out to lunch" on the other).

90. It's a marker board (insert dry erase marker and eraser - works great on a plain white coffee mug!).

91. It's a weight-loss aid (imprint with calorie info and/or how many minutes of exercise it takes to burn off a Twinkie, etc.).

92. It's an awareness tool (imprint with important statistics, etc.).

93. It's a how-to guide (imprint with instructions, diagrams, etc.).

94. It's a work of art (the imprint area is your canvas, let your creativity soar!).

95. It's a schedule (sport games, etc.).

96. It's a menu (imprint with restaurant menu, kid's menu, senior's menu, breakfast menu, etc.).

97. It's a container to bake "mug recipes" in. (Find a recipe you like and include the ingredients and directions. You can Google "mug recipes" to get many recipes.)

98. It's a tiddlywinks game. (Use the mug as "the pot" - go to www.etwa.org for the rules of tiddlywinks - simplified version)

99.It's a brush holder (for make-up brushes or paint brushes for crafters) 

100. It's an appointment getter. (Send to a prospect filled with something and include a letter to pique interest to hear more. Now make an in-person appointment to get your foot in the door) 

97. It’s a cookie cutter.

98. It’s a picture frame.

100. It’s a Stress kit (holding a stress ball or aroma therapy oils)

101. It’s a Toothbrush holder (and a tube of toothpaste).

102. It’s a Seedling starter (reusable).

103. It’s a Measuring cup (imprint scale on inside).

104. It’s a Scoop for bulk foods such as grain (leave in bucket).

105. It’s a traveler’s refresher kit (filled with refresher towels, a small soaps)

106. It’s a relaxation pack (insert coffee and sugar sachets, herbal & standard teas with a long life milk and a teaspoon)

You know what else? 

Your tee shirts, don’t know they are tee shirts.

Your cooler bags, don’t know they are cooler bags.

Your pens, don’t know they are pens.

In fact, none of your promotional gear “knows” what it is – so, what can you call them that puts a spin on the everyday?.