Trade Them Up !
When it comes to supplying a useful gift, utility is not the be-all and end-all of the equation. The item MUST replace what the recipient is already using, right?
If you are going to give a logo brand gift that your client or prospect is supposed to keep and use, and therefor give your message the most bang for your buck, KNOW that the gift is going to have to be nice enough or different enough to actually push aside an item they're already using.
Example: MUG. Everyone has a mug. Maybe two. Or eleven. The mug you're asking them to accept and use, and be happy about pouring their coffee into, needs to be attractive. Simple as that.
Look, people love gifts. If you give me the cheap $0.88 mug, I'll use it. Just, not at my desk where I might see it all day every day. It'll hold paperclips in the garage at home. Sorry, you've really sort of wasted $0.88 each. Not including the slightest cost of packaging or delivery.
This holds true with any of the standard fare - mugs, mousepads, writing intruments, key-tags. Don't consign your valuable message to the junk-drawer or the garage. It's doing you no good there.