What Works Best?

Promotional Products Ranked by the Number of Impressions Generated

ASI’s “Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study” 2016 Edition calculated the number of impressions a product makes by multiplying how long a recipient had a product and the number of people that came into contact with it while the recipient was using it.

According to the report, advertising specialties are still less expensive per impression than most other types of advertising simply because they directly touch the target demographic and encourage more interaction. The cost per impression is similar to radio and internet advertising and well below prime-time television, national magazine and newspaper ads.

Bags were the clear winner because they’re so often used in public spaces where they are seen by many people as are hats/caps, writing instruments, fleeces/outerwear and finally t-shirts, in that order.

Let’s check out the impressions for each item in Canada:

  • Bags – 4,724 impressions
  • Hats/caps – 3,634 impressions
  •  Writing instruments – 2,943
  •  Fleeces/outerwear – 2,805 impressions
  •  T-shirts – 2,253

While the exact number of impressions generated varies slightly from city to city and country to country, the overall list of products that generates the most impressions is remarkably consistent. To a degree, it relates to cultural and lifestyle habits, for example, the commitment to reuse and reusable bags, as well as what people typically wear in the office and on the street in addition to climate.

Wearables tend to deliver the most impressions because they are highly visible with the individual becoming the proverbial walking billboard. Health and safety items and USB drives produce fewer impressions because they’re intended primarily for a single individual but the connection lies in their relevance and value to the user.

Preferred, Affordable, Targeted, Interactive

Consumers like promotional products or advertising specialty items the most and best of all for advertisers, it’s also the most affordable, targeted and interactive.

Consider this – 85 percent of consumers worldwide remember the advertiser that gave them the promotional or advertising specialty item and recall is the highest for apparel, such as a shirt or hat.

If you’re asking the question: “Promotional products or internet advertising?”

Here is the answer courtesy of the Advertising Specialty Institute’s “Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study” 2016 Edition: “Consumers are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of promotional products than Internet advertising.”

On average in Canada, male consumers own nine promotional products or advertising specialty items while women own 10.

Consumers in Canada and the U.S. tend to give them away when they’re finished with them and in Canada 64% will give it away, 18% will file it and just 18% throw it out. In fact, in most countries, 50% of recipients will give away what they don’t want rather than store it or trash it.

Subtle & Discrete Over Blatantly In-Your-FACE

While recipients absolutely want to see brand names on promotional products because it confirms the quality, durability and value of the item, for example, Adidas, UnderArmor or Nike, promotional products and advertising specialty item distributors recognize that their customers may not want to share that space equally.

After all, their goal is to promote their brand, products and services not the manufacturer of that promotional product or advertising specialty item, whether it’s a fitness tracker, fleece hoodie, polo shirt, ball cap, watch, or, writing instrument.

As a result, increasingly industry experts and distributors note that their customers’ logos tend to take the most prominent position while the manufacturer’s logo will be discretely tucked away. In addition, experts and their customers recognize that recipients tend to be more likely to retain, use and display an item that is useful and attractive with a relatively subtle logo. Recipients will wear and use swag, but are more inclined to do so if it whispers or murmurs “promotional product from brand X” than if it shouts and screams it.

Useful, Practical, Attractive

To have the most impact and get the most value for your brand’s investment in promotional products, the report points out that above all, consumers want practical and useful items. When it comes to items such as writing instruments and USB drives, usefulness is more important than attractiveness by at least five to one. For outerwear, attractiveness comes in second to usefulness with more than half keeping it because it looks good.

In Canada and the U.S., carrier bags generate the most impressions, followed by caps/hats, writing instruments, outerwear and t-shirts, but companies also had success with everything from mobile chargers, mugs and thumb drives to umbrellas.

To best influence the recipients’ opinions of the brand, the report found that these are the top five most influential products in this order:

  1. USB Flash Drives
  2. Outerwear
  3. Drinkware
  4. Writing Instruments
  5. Performance Wear

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