atlas mugged

Client: Ayn Rand Institute (ARI)

ARI offers educational experiences based on novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand’s books and ideas for a variety of audiences, including students, educators, policymakers and lifelong learners.

Challenge: Karst was challenged with creating an ARI booth giveaway for the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference. The goal was to stand out from the sea of swag offerings from other vendors and encourage introductions and conversations with their target audience – a variety of conservative activists and elected officials.

Solution: ARI initially asked for a simple white mug, but after looking over the audience demographics and researching the other exhibitors in attendance, we suggested something more exciting, enticing and in-line with ARI’s current brand identity.

They went with our suggestion and we created matte neon mugs instead. The color matched ARI’s brand guidelines and color palette perfectly and the quote from Ayn Rand on the mug added an opportunity to promote ARI’s brand messaging. We delivered the mugs directly to the conference venue for added peace of mind and easy traveling.


ARI attracted a captive audience by using one of the most used and oldest promotional items there is – the coffee mug. Once the mug started to circulate the crowd, ARI booth staffers were happily flooded with traffic from attendees, giving them the opportunity to speak to people who otherwise might have passed them by. It wasn’t, in this case, about the originality or uniqueness of the item, but about the design and the thought put into the imprint.

A simple blue mug was now the most coveted item at a political conference, an event that is heavily saturated with promotional merchandise.

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