I would venture to guess that most everyone has received a stress ball at some point in their life. You know, those round (not always) balls that you’re supposed to squeeze to relief stress. They are a very popular promotional tool for many reasons. These great stress toys are inexpensive, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors that can fit most any brand image and people use them and keep them!

I have one on my desk that I enjoy because of the saying on it. It’s been there for months and it’s not going anywhere. Talk about reinforcing your company’s name and brand on an on-going basis.

Stress Balls are Therapuetic

Stress relievers have been around literally for centuries. The original wasn’t the squishy ball that is most common today. It was designed as a way of helping to manage stress through your hands.

Chinese Health Balls relieve stress through targeting pressure points

Chinese Health Balls relieve stress through targeting pressure points

They were designed back in 1368 A.D. as Chinese Health Balls and were made of solid metal.

They were designed so that you could rotate the metal balls to the various pressure points on your hand and thereby relieve stress.

Today, most are made from closed-cell polyurethane foam rubber. Some are just solid foam others are filled with liquid or a gel substance that many times gives it a “squishier” feel and some people like it’s more soothing texture.

Stress Balls Come in Thousands of Shapes

As I mentioned there are so many stress reliever shapes today from the most common round ones to stars, hearts, brains (yes, we actually just did these for a neurological department of a hospital), all sorts of animals (think, pig, cow, dog, horse, turkey, sheep, chickens), phones (cell and desk), computer mouse, food (pizza, bean, hotdog, hamburger, apple, strawberry, even broccoli), cubes, globes, traffic lights, dollar signs, brick, states, cars, trucks, fire engines, ambulances and so many more.

Custom Shapes Capture Attention

Custom Shapes Capture Attention

And even with all the choices there is still the need for custom stress balls or relievers. We’ve done one in the shape of a cruise ship, miniature binoculars (for a binocular manufacturer of course – big hit at the trade shows) and one in the shape of a U for the University of Miami (the design was tricky so it would stand up!). It really does help you stand out and be makes your promotions memorable.

It you want to know how to make stress balls for a custom design, it’s really not that difficult but it does take time. The most cost effective options at this time are still made in China, so the design might take a couple of weeks, then you need to make a mold which is injected by the liquid components of the foam to make the shape you are looking for. All told, the process can take 60-90 days (as I said it took us a bit to get our U stress reliever to stand up properly so we had to keep making adjustments to the mold) plus additional time to ship it to the final destination. But well worth it!

However, if you’re not looking to brand your company and are only in need of some stress relief you can always make homemade stress balls. Even the process of making them can relieve stress! Remember back in elementary school when you may have filled latex balloons with flour or sand? Well, that’s how you can make your own. And you can make it just about any size and density that you may need.

As you can see, a stress reliever is not some “throw away” trade show item or dust collector, it’s a great brand ambassador that helps manage stress!

Danette Gossett

Danette brings more than 30 years of experience developing advertising campaigns, direct marketing programs and sales promotions to her clients. Prior to starting her companies, she worked for New York advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi & Lowe Marschalk.

Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More

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