Promotional Products – An Essential Marketing & Communications Tool

Let’s be honest – people will always love free stuff!

Dylan Martin, a BostInno staff writer, Tech, recently attended the Boston TechJam event where he scored “some serious swag”. In fact, he got such a kick out of the promotional products, he went on to model and even demonstrate his favourites, from FitBit’s water gun to SmartBear’s cheeseburger chair.

After attending the Advertising Specialty Institute’s promotional products expo in Chicago in the fall of 2016, Chicago Tribune reporter Cheryl V. Jackson showcased some of the coolest items: a custom bicycle, virtual reality viewer, doggie rain jackets with reflective stripes, screen cleaners, smart tags that can find items such as keys or smartphones, lanyards with a built-in flat USB cable charger, a foldable pen that doubles as a business card, a transformable pen with a stylus and LED light that folds into a smartphone stand and reusable handwarmers.

Admit it – you’d love to see and receive even one of those ultra cool items – even though Jackson also noted that shirts, pens and bags remain the top three categories in the corporate giveaway and employee gift industry.That’s why whatever your preferred term – swag, promotional products or advertising specialty items – free stuff is still a great way to connect your target demographic with your brand’s products and services.

Here’s proof:

Carrier bags, hats/caps, writing instruments, outerwear and t-shirts continue to produce the most impressions according to the Advertising Specialty Institute’s “Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study” 2016 Edition.

Promotional products or advertising specialty items are defined as anything that has the advertiser’s logo on it and is typically given away free of charge by the company. The intent is to develop a connection with the recipient in order to increase brand recognition, enhance the perception and/or reputation of the brand and embed the brand in the recipient’s memory with the goal of eventually influencing the purchasing decision.

The ASI interviewed thousands of people in-person and online in key cities in the U.S. and Mexico (over 100,000 consumers surveyed online), Canada (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver), Europe (London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid) and Australia (Sydney). When asked about the cost analysis of promotional products versus other advertising media, those interviewed reported that advertising specialties remain one of the most high-impact, cost-effective advertising mediums around.

When asked for their overall opinion of advertising mediums, consumers under 55 years of age prefer promotional products or advertising specialty items, which indicates they are also considered the most highly regarded form of advertising ahead of TV, magazine, newspaper, radio, targeted mobile and internet advertising.