Who makes Yelpstick?
November 18, 2010 2:56 PM   Subscribe

Who makes the free promotional lip balm (Yelpstick) that Yelp gives out? My wife liked the tangerine Yelp Stick handed to us at an event, and I'd like to buy her some more. I don't need to (and would prefer not to) get it from Yelp if it's just a rebranded/generic lip balm from some other manufacturer.

Unfortunately I don't have the Yelpstick in front of me at the moment, but I did note that it said this on it: "Branding Boulevard, Berkeley, CA 94703". I looked at the Branding Boulevard website, and they do have a number of lip balms for sale, but nothing in tangerine.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's less about the manufacturer and more about the essential oil/flavour used to get the tangerine into it, since the actual composition of the rest of it is fairly uniform between brands and makers. Tangerine is probably a custom essential oil dropped into their standard naked lip balm only for the Yelp order.

Were it me, I'd order a couple off Etsy and see if I could find one that was a close match.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:00 PM on November 18, 2010

Unfortunately, the progeny (if that's the word I want) to get that lip balm is gonna be hard to track down, and the exact make may not even be sold in stores. Branding Boulevard is a promotional products distributor (as is the company I work for), and they almost certainly bought the lip balm (with the Yelp graphics slapped on) from one of the many suppliers of lip balm to our industry. Tangerine is actually one of the standard flavors that many of them carry.

In short, it's just a rebranded generic lip balm from some other manufacturer.

I could find you some with some of my industry lookup tools, but unless you're in the market for 500 tubes or so, it's not a practical proposition, and I'd have no way to know (unless you got lucky with some of the info found on the tube) exactly which vendor they used.

I'd do one of two things:

- just look around at some of the drugstores that carry a lot of different lip balms. You'll probably find something similar.
- if you feel up to it, a wittily, nicely word begging letter/e-mail to Yelp might get you a few tubes in the mail, if some marketing minion is in a good mood (especially if you're an active user of their service and have put in a lot of reviews)...
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:18 PM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

clarification: one of the difficulties here is that the MAJOR retail branded balms do not, to my knowledge, work with companies like mine. Therefore, any lip balm that Yelp is handing out is made by a company which sells mostly to the promotional products industry.

I would expect that some of these companies also make lip balms for store brands (ex. "Walgreen's brand lip balm"), but as a distributor I cannot, for example, buy custom-labeled Chapstick(R) or Carmex(R). Therefore, the inverse is true: anything you get with a custom logo on it like Yelp is unlikely to be found in stores in a way that you're sure of what you're getting (again).

Some of them are, nevertheless, as your wife found out, fantastic products. The QC on them is very good, and they are required to hold the same FDA standards as any retail brand.
posted by randomkeystrike at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

You're sure it wasn't something like passionfruit or citrus? It's not like it's the real fruit in there-- it's probably a chemical made to taste/and smell close enough. (Think: banana candy vs a banana.) "Passionfruit" probably markets a lot better.

(There are a lot of other flavors that might be close enough to be mistaken for tangerine.)

Failing that, call them and ask. They might be able to tell you if it was custom, or which product it was. I don't think they'll mind the inconvenience when they're selling you a ton of lip balm (if you can get a friend or twenty to go in on it with you).
posted by supercres at 4:35 PM on November 18, 2010

I have no idea who makes the Yelpstick, but as I do enjoy tangerine lip balm, I can tell you that Aubrey Organics, Alba, and Whole Foods each have their own.
posted by crankylex at 5:29 PM on November 18, 2010

Maybe this?

posted by Linnee at 5:30 PM on November 18, 2010

Response by poster: Even just looking around at the Branding Boulevard site there's lots of things to consider besides the flavour, such as whether it has sun protection, whether it contains beeswax, whether it has aloe, etc.

It smells like an orange creamsicle, so it could be orange flavour and they gave it a fancier name. I guess I'll have a look around at a store for tangerine and/or orange lip balm.

Plan B would be to ask Yelp for a sample. I'd feel like kind of a chump asking them for free promotional products :)
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:31 PM on November 18, 2010

posted by Linnee at 5:32 PM on November 18, 2010

... the progeny (if that's the word I want) ...

posted by Bruce H. at 6:43 PM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Here's a big list of lip balms that smell like orange creamsicle (and a few with just a creamsicle color so ignore those), plus reviews so your wife can choose the consistency she wants.
posted by acidic at 7:26 PM on November 18, 2010

My friend's dentist hands out lip balms and they come from Second Story Promotions. They have something like 18 scents (look in the dropdown box), not counting the medicated and plain. Note that they are scented but not flavored.

There is not currently a tangerine on that list but I would guess they vary, since I have a Fruit Punch which is not on their list. Also, avoid the lemonade flavor - it's gritty for some reason.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:46 AM on November 19, 2010

... the progeny (if that's the word I want) ...


Yeah! That's it!
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:07 AM on November 19, 2010

I don't know about Yelpstick (though I have one), but my favorite tangerine scented lip balm is this: Avalon Organics Vitamin C Soothing Lip Balm. Can be easily found at Whole Foods and the like.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:27 PM on November 19, 2010

I'd contact Yelp and see if you can get in contact with their promotions department.
posted by radioamy at 11:39 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

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