Industry Insight

Are Promotional Products Still Effective in 2019?

We are in a world of Google and Facebook ads, Spotify and YouTube spots, and all kinds of other digital marketing. With all that said, you’re probably wondering as a business owner – is there room anymore for old-fashioned items like pens and water bottles featuring your logo?

The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), an organization founded in 1950, had the same question. Their Market Research team talked to consumers in the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe to see how they feel about promotional products. The results were incredible!

It turns out, there’s still a place in our hearts for tangible advertising. People will always love getting free stuff, and computers don’t deliver in that regard. It’s no wonder consumers are 2.5 times more likely to have a positive opinion of promo products compared to internet advertising.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into all the facts!

Which Promotional Products Do People Own?

The research team at ASI spoke with consumers in the United States to see which promotional items they currently own. These ranged from drinkware in the kitchen to desk accessories for work.

Which Promotional Products Do People Own?

Writing instruments, like pens and pencils, were by far the most popular. People likely have these in their drawers at home to write checks, make grocery lists, and play Pictionary with their family. They also keep them in a jar at work for quick memos and passive aggressive sticky notes. It will always be useful to have a good writing instrument on hand!

Close behind in second place, drinkware was another popular item with consumers. Their coffee mugs, tumblers, and water bottles keep them caffeinated and hydrated throughout the day!

Overall, these results prove that consumers interact with promotional items and find them useful. Let’s see a digital ad do that!

How Many Impressions Do Promotional Products Get?

Promotional items are used by consumers. They find value in these materials and interact with them whenever they have a need. This results in impressions that make your brand recognizable and memorable.

How Many Impressions Do Promotional Products Get

Wearing a brand on your clothes is a guaranteed way to get it noticed. Collectively, outerwear, hats, t-shirts, bags, and polo shirts generate 18,500 impressions!

The smaller items, however, still have an impact. Writing instruments create up to 1,100 impressions, while power banks can generate 900 impressions for your business. These items are insanely affordable, making them a good choice for trade shows and networking events.

No matter what you use, a good promotional product will be seen by many other people. In turn, they might ask questions about your brand or look you up themselves later on. This is free publicity that you’ll get over and over again.

How Popular Are Promotional Products with Certain Age Groups?

You better think twice if you consider promo products to be an outdated form of advertising. It turns out, millennials are all about the swag!

How Popular Are Promo Products with Certain Age Groups?

Millennials may have technology at their fingertips, but over a quarter still use their promotional calendars every day. Since they spend so much time on the computer, they’re also likely to think highly of a company that gives them a branded accessory for their desks.

Gen X’ers are fans of promotional calendars, but are also big on drinkware. In fact, close to ¾ of their generation owns some form of branded drinkware, whether it’s water bottles, tumblers, or coffee mugs. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, own even more promotional drinkware and the same number of branded bags!

Every generation has over 20 promotional items in their household! These are objects that make their daily lives easier. Overall, something as simple as a pen can make all the difference when it comes to thinking about your company over everyone else!

How Long Do People Keep Promotional Products?

Are you worried people get your promo giveaways and throw them right in the trash? Don’t be! People hang onto their items for a surprisingly long time.

How Long Do People Keep Promotional Products

Outerwear, umbrellas, and t-shirts are kept the longest at an average of 15 months, followed closely by USB drives, desk accessories, and polo shirts for about 13 months.

For these top 3 items in particular, an average of 62% of people will pass them on to someone else when they’re done with them. Across the board, 55% of people will give their promotional product to someone else, regardless of the item.

The trend of giving away promo items when not in use is most popular in the United States. The Northeast in particular loves regifting their promos, with a resounding 61% likely to give them to someone else. People love sharing a good promo item with others, meaning your brand will be on display for even more eyes!

Why Do People Keep Promotional Products?

People keep promotional items because of their quality, usefulness, and attractiveness. Some of these qualities prove to be more important than others, depending on the product.

Why Do People Keep Promotional Products

Wearables, like hats and t-shirts, need to be appealing or the consumer won’t be interested. Power banks, USB drives, and writing instruments, on the other hand, should be of a high quality.

Age, gender, and location also affect a person’s opinions toward promotional items. Millennials look for attractiveness less than Gen X’ers. Quality is important to females, whereas males look for usefulness above anything else. Finally, ½ of the people in the Midwest value an item’s usefulness, but only 46% have the same thoughts in the South.

When it comes to promotional items in general, 52% of consumers keep them based on quality, 42% on utility, and 36% on overall attractiveness. It just goes to show that function beats all the bells and whistles any day!

Check out ASI’s full 2019 study of promotional products!

If this study proves anything, it’s that promotional items still have a place in this digital world. The general consensus is that promotional products are the most highly regarded form of advertising, beating out newspaper, radio, magazine, TV, internet, and mobile ads!

Still not convinced? Consider the fact that 85% of people remember the advertiser on a promotional product. Recall is highest for t-shirts and hats in particular.

These feelings are also shared by our friends around the world. People in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada all have favorable opinions toward brands that advertise with promotional products.

At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong advertising with promotional items. It may be 2019 but people still love getting a free gift, especially if it’s useful and of high quality. That’s a feeling that will never go away, no matter how many internet ads you put out there!