Advertisers Build Brands With Promotional Products Advertising, Multi-Sensory Media


If you’ve ever worn a logoed shirt, drunk out of a branded mug or used a logoed pen, you’ve seen, smelled, heard, tasted and touched one of the most popular, longest-lasting and most cost-effective forms of multi-sensory branding and marketing available—and one of the fastest-growing, promotional products.

One reason key buyers of promotional products, such as ad agencies and corporate advertisers, rate this medium so highly is that promotional products are found to be extremely effective in helping to drive a high rate of return on the dollar as part of a core advertising planning and buying strategy.

In a 2014 benchmark study by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), 96 percent of respondents who were buyers at ad agencies and large corporations said they had purchased promotional products in the past 12 months and 75 percent had done so three or more times during that period. Nearly three-quarters considered promotional products effective or highly effective and the same percentage said inclusion of promotional products in an advertising/branding campaign contributed to the campaign’s ultimate success. Looking ahead, 88 percent said they would recommend promotional products as an integral part of future campaigns.

The key to the effectiveness of advertising lies in a medium’s ability to be remembered. Unlike a TV commercial that zips by as you go to the fridge for a snack, an advertiser’s message and logo stay ever present on promotional apparel, drinkware, writing instruments, calendars and hundreds of thousands of other useful items that people use every day.

Not only are promotional products advertising for which the recipient often thanks the giver, but consumers remember the product and the company associated with it. In a PPAI intercept study of travelers at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, seven in 10 respondents said they had received a promotional product within the past 12 months and one in four had a promotional product in his or her pocket or purse. Perhaps even more remarkable was that 88 percent of travelers could recall the advertising logo on at least one product. Research also shows that certain categories of promotional products lend themselves to more memorable recall. The product at the top of the charts in terms of consumer recall is apparel (shirts, caps, outerwear), followed closely by writing instruments and then drinkware, sporting goods, personal products and bags.

The key to this high recall can be culled down to several factors-at the top is usefulness. Among the most useful product categories, according to the LaGuardia consumer study, are tech products, health and safety products, and writing instruments. The other factor that’s critical to improving high recall is frequency of use. Nearly a quarter of consumers who participated in the study said they use promotional products at least once a day to several times a day.

Whether you’re advertising with logoed promotional products, the newspaper or other media, there are a few things you should know about just what advertising can do for your business.

According to the experts at the U.S. Small Business Administration, advertising can:

  • Establish and maintain your distinct identity
  • Enhance your reputation
  • Encourage existing customers to buy more of your product or service
  • Attract new customers and replace lost ones
  • Slowly build sales to boost your bottom line
  • Promote your business to customers, investors and others.

The first step in creating an effective advertising campaign is to establish the theme that identifies your product or service in all your advertising. The theme of your advertising reflects your special identity or personality and the particular benefits of your product or service.

If advertisers can get their brands into their prospective customers’ hands and get them to remember the message, chances are good this can successfully influence and affect behavior toward a desired action. Promotional products are a proven medium that consumers can see, smell, hear, taste, touch and remember, and ad agencies and advertisers believe in. The truth is in the numbers.

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  • Ms. Filipski is editor of PPB magazine.

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