After Curb Your Enthusiasm Star Turn, Branded Umbrellas Look Pretty, Pretty… Pretty Good
It’s always a moment when promotional products make an appearance in pop culture, testifying to the value and ubiquity of branded products. In a recent episode of HBO’s hit sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, a branded, green umbrella appeared alongside show star Larry David, with the episode’s plot focusing on whether the umbrella should be returned to its “owner”—or the company whose branding was featured on its external canopy.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, which first aired in 2000, follows the everyday comedic life of a somewhat recounted version of Larry David, creator of NBC sitcom Seinfeld, who plays himself. In season 11, episode five, of the show, titled, “IRASSHAIMASE!”—the Japanese term for “Welcome to the store!”—which aired November 21, 2021, David forgets his umbrella at a restaurant following a dinner date. When David returns to retrieve it, the host asks him why the umbrella has “Omni Dallas Hotel” printed on it, and questions whether he should return the umbrella to David or the hotel. The host and David go back and forth, with the host accusing David of stealing, and David explaining that the umbrella is simply a courtesy the hotel gives to its guests.
Although the umbrella bit was intended to add humor, it’s a fine example that promotional items are useful and used by recipients in their day-to-day lives, even after they’ve parted ways with an event, establishment or experience. It also shows the power of branding and also product placement.
In an episode wrap-up written by Collider, an entertainment website, writer Ross Bonaime explained that Curb Your Enthusiasm fans can already expect the branded umbrella to make another appearance, this time in the hands of another character. This detail demonstrates yet another important quality of promotional products for brands: the ability and common tendency of recipients to pass products along, all the while spreading the brand’s message.
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The product featured in Curb Your Enthusiasm, pictured here, was a standard-sized umbrella in navy blue or black, with the Omni Dallas Hotels branding on the external canopy. In the clip it was raining, so this umbrella certainly came in handy. In particularly rainy cities, such as New Orleans, Louisiana, and West Palm Beach, Florida, these branding tools can certainly prove useful. But promotional umbrellas are also uniquely beneficial to brands because of the large branding surface they offer. And because of the array of options available, brands can select the exact style, color and functionalities they feel will best suit their customers.
Here are a few umbrellas to consider for your client’s next campaign.
The Revolution from Newark, New Jersey-based supplier Peerless Umbrella Co., is a bestseller, and it’s made perfectly to withstand the pressure of a windy day. Featuring a 42-inch arc, the umbrella opens automatically and is made from nylon with a standardized handle, a steel shaft and steel ribs. If an especially windy day causes the frame to be inside-out, a good shake will get it in working order. Each umbrella features a matching color rubber spray handle and a matching nylon sleeve for easy storage. Includes a single-color, single-location heat transfer or screen print design. Available in 18 canopy colors, shown in cyan blue.
Peerless Umbrella Co. / PPAI 112666, S10 / www.peerlessumbrella.com
As its name suggests, the Sport or Street umbrella by Norwood, New Jersey, supplier AAA Innovations is built for every day, active use. This full-size umbrella features a 48-inch arc and opens automatically, with a steel construction and super sleek wooden handle. Best of all, it’s powered with the supplier’s RainAlertz app, which sends users a text to alert them if rain is in the forecast that day. A one-color, one-panel, eight-by-five-inch imprint area is included. Available in 13 colors, shown in black.
AAA Innovations / PPAI 110972, S4 / www.aaainnovations.com
The ShedRain® Auto Open Bubble Stick With Fabric Border offers a unique, old-school yet whimsical design that’s worthy of a double-take—offering extra brand exposure for your client. This umbrella from Mason, Ohio, supplier IMAGEN Brands features a 52-inch arc, which closes to 36 inches, with a steel-chromed shaft and black fiberglass ribs. It opens automatically, and has a high-gloss plastic crook handle and a PE clear canopy with a fabric border. Included is a single, one-color, 5.5-by-five-inch imprint area. Available in red (shown).
IMAGEN Brands / PPAI 114197, S10 / www.imagenbrands.com
The Arc Golf Umbrella With 100% RPET Canopy has a green story to tell, as it’s made from post-consumer-recycled water bottles that have been melted down to create a new polyester fiber. Made with the environment top of mind, the 60-inch arc umbrella features an aluminum frame, a wood grip handle and opens manually. Featuring a 10-by-six-inch imprint area, it’s available in four colors, shown in green.
Hit Promotional Products / PPAI 113910, S13 / www.hitpromo.net
The Sabre Umbrella is a good umbrella to have if you’re embarking on an all-day excursion, as it’ll come in handy even after the sun goes down. The 32-inch arc plastic umbrella is available in three options—blue, red or white—and features colored lights that travel up the umbrella shaft for enjoyment after hours. For added safety, it also comes with a flashlight on the bottom of the umbrella to illuminate your path. Customize with a four-by-four-inch message on the exterior canopy. Three AAA batteries are included.
The Magnet Group / PPAI 338534, S12 / www.themagnetgroup.com
The Bund Compact Umbrella UPF 50+ is the widest compact umbrella offered by Minneapolis, Minnesota, supplier Coolibar, and also offers protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Featuring a 43-inch arc, it blocks 98 percent of UV radiation while the underside reduces glare. Made with a water-repellent, durable, nylon fabric, it features fiberglass ribs, a color-coordinated sheath and a manual push-pull runner to open and close the canopy. Recommended for use when traveling in sunny, busy or crowded areas.
Coolibar / PPAI 797582, S1 / www.coolibar.com