10 ‘Out of the Box’ Merch Ideas to Promote Your Band

Just in time for Christmas, Hasbro toy company are to release a Metallica-themed version of the classic board game Monopoly.

The metallic titans will be featured in a new version of the board game, where instead of buying bits of London for bizarrely cheap prices you will be able to buy Metallica albums. This is an interesting use of merch to promote both a band and in this case a board game. All of which got me thinking about other merchandise opportunities that have been exploited; we are all familiar with the obligatory band T-shirt, the hoodie, button badge etc. but which bands have pushed the boundaries and stuck their logo onto items not usually associated with rock ‘n’ roll?

We thought better to start with something gentle …



1. Coldplay – Ceramic Mug. Released to promote the 2009 ‘Viva la Vida’ album.


2. Wilco – Knitted Water Bottle cooler. Wilco being proud of their eco credentials released this re-usable one-size-fits-all knitted koozie wonder that insulates your beverage, hot or cold, and stops bottle sweat and wet hands in 2008.



3. U2
 – Lego. A band as gigantic as U2 has a selection of merchandise as huge as your average department store, so making available a limited run of U2 in Lego form was an inspired idea.


4. Metallica
 – Light Switch Cover. The metal masters are not content with dominating the heavier end of the rock market, now they want to move into interior design.



5. Bloc Party
 – Condoms. Not the only band to have had their logo stamped onto a packet of three, but were certainly one of the first; they cleverly used the lyric “make it long, make it last” as a tag line.


6. Ween
– Colouring Book. It’s always good to encompass all age demographics; so to further this, Ween released a children’s colouring book, thus allowing junior fans to reinterpret the bands cover artwork.



7. No Doubt
– Band dolls. Again not the first to have their images transferred to dolls, however No Doubt took it one step further and included instruments, stage and backdrop.


8. Led Zeppelin
– Blankets. I suppose someone thought these would be ideal for relaxing upon at a chilly North European festival; they clearly had never been to a real UK festival where a Led Zep canoe might be more useful!



9. Kanye West – Glow in the Dark Tour Lanyard. This comes with laminate and black lanyard strap so you can hang back stage with the KW posse … NOT!



10. Dr Dog
– Sunglasses. Sunglasses are an essential for any self-respecting rapper, clearly US-based Dr. Dog thought they were as equally essential for his followers.


We’ll be adding another 10 interesting merch ideas to promote your band next week! Sign up to our e-news to make sure you don’t miss out on finding out on the next 10.

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