Did you know promotional products are one of the oldest forms of advertising? In fact, the first known use of promotional items in the U.S. dates all the way back to George Washington’s presidential election in 1789. Fast-forward to more than 200 years later and what was once considered the most simplistic of marketing tools has become the industry’s most versatile form of advertising — which is ultimately where its power lies.
It may be subtle, but persuasion by advertisers shows levels of success that prove television, radio, mobile and digital can—and do—draw consumers to their brands. Think about the Superbowl, more and more people watch just for the crazy commercials. In an overcrowded space, advertisers spend money on production and research to try and standout from their competitors and be the most talked about ad.
Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) studies conducted among media buyers and consumers reveal new insights into promotional products’ value and effectiveness.
Of the consumers surveyed who could recall receiving a promotional product in the previous 12 months, 88 percent could recall the name of the advertiser and 85 percent have done business with an advertiser as a result of receiving an item.
Imagine being able to craft a message one time, and see that message spread to an audience of hundreds, thousands and even millions. Now imagine that message being delivered by a t-shirt, a pen or a beverage cup. Promotional products professionals work with Fortune 500 companies and top ad agencies to create experiences people love through a product they can actually use.
While it is the oldest form of advertising, the promotional products industry has also proven to be the most fluid and the most meaningful. For example, take Starbucks’ recent U.S. Sign Language store opening. The coffee shop took elements of its store design, their offerings and reinvented them to be more effective for those who are deaf. This included special green aprons featuring "Starbucks" spelled out with ASL finger-spelling imagery and "I Sign" pins to designate employees who know ASL. This approach to promotional products combined with purpose strengthened the overall impact of the launch in a way that no other form of advertising could TOUCH.