A landmark study by American Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) reveals that promotional products beat prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available.
He most significant findings of the Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study show advertising specialities are less expensive per
Impression than most other media and are very affordable and effective when compared to other forms of media.
To complete it’s research, ASI conducted a total of 3,332 online and in-person surveys, including interviews with businesspeople in London, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Sydney, Toronto and Montreal metro areas.
The study, a follow-up to the definitive 2008 survey, includes new demographic information on politics, ethnicity, gender and age, since knowing the likely recipient of products is paramount for an advertiser.
The latest report also adds global merkets and includes more products, such as automotive accessories and food. Key findings show:
Cost per impression: In the US, the cost per impression of a promotional product stayed virtually the same for 2008 to2010, at .005 cents. When compared to other forms of media, like television or radio, promotional products are are very affordable and effective.
For a modest investment, a small company can obtain the type of exposure normally reserved for large companies with significant advertising budgets.
Product usage: Bags have the highest number of impressions in a month, over 1,000 and over one-third (36%) of those with incomes under $50,000 own bags.
Current global awareness of the importance of reusing, rather than throwing away, combined with high end-user needs for cost saving, make bags a better-than-ever way for advertisers to spread their message.
Gender preferences: Males are more likely than females to own shirts and caps, while females are more likely to have bags, writing instruments, calendars and health and safety products.
Knowing the likely recipient of a promotional product is paramount for an advertiser. Decorating items that have special appeal to the end-user will mean the item gets used more often and held longer, extending the product’s ilfespan and increasing the number of impressions it makes.
Identifying the advertiser: Eighty-three percent in the US say thay can identify the advertiser on a promotional item they own.
Influencing user opinions: Forty-one percent of US respondents say their opinion of the advertiser is more favorable after receiving a promotional product. Because the promotional producs benefit is so clear to the end-user, they are more aware of the sponsor on the product and they are able to create a positive impression of the sponsor, as they find value in the item each time it is used.
Types of items owned by %
Caps / Headwear
Desk / Office / Business Accessories
Glassware / Ceramics ( incl. Mugs )
Health and Safety products
Electronic / Computer
Jackets / Hoodies / Sweatshirts / Fleeces
Recognition Awards / Trophies / Plaques
Males were more likely than females to own shirts and caps while females were more likely than males to have bags, writing instruments, calendars and heath & safety products.
Females are more inclined than males to give away a promotional product that
they don’t plan to keep (68% compared with 56%). On average, males owned more promotional products than females, 9.6 items, compared with 8.9 items. When it came to age, those aged 45 to 54 owned the most promotional products.
Global reach: Nearly two-thirs (63%) of respondents from Great Britain have received and kept a pen in the last 12 months. In the US, writing instruments are used the most often, an average of 18.2 times per month. Geographical and cultural differences can be addressed and exploited br promotional products so that the more effective products can be used in the most effective manner.
opular Products: The most commonly owned promotional products among US respondents are writing instruments (46%), followed by shirts (38%)
And calendars (24%).
“Our study once again proves the undeniable power of promotional products,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI.
“Distributors and suppliers should use these results to educate their customers, prospects and end-buyers about ways ad specialties can increase sales and brand exposure. Even smaller companies can deliver the kind of high-impact punch enjoyed by multi-million-dollar companies. It’s important to note that the pass-along rate has actually increased 11 points from just two years ago - which speaks directly to the global recycling trends.
“Not only do ad specialties make impressions on everyone who sees them, but messaging is reinforced everytime the item is used. No other form of media can allow the advertiser to so closely tie a benefit to the recipient.”
At $0.005, the average cost-per-impression (CPI) of an advertising specialty item is less than nearly any other media. According to data obtained by ASI* the CPI for a national magazine ad is $0.045; for a newspaper ad, $0.029; for a prime-time TV ad, $0.005; for a syndicated daytime TV ad, $0.005; and for a spot radio add, $0.058.
These statistics show marketers get a more favorable return on investment from advertising specialties than almost any other popular media, with a very low cost per impression, high recall among those who receive ad specialty items, and increased intent among recipients to make purchases from the advertiser.
Total impression/time an item is kept in Great Britain
Jackets / hoodies / sweatshirts / fleece
Caps / Headwear
Desk / Office / Business Accessories
Health & Safety products
Glasswear / Ceramics ( inc. Mugs )
Impressions / month
Length of time (months)
In Britain, 94% thought they could identify the adertiser on an item, compared with 83% in the US.
Items that were most frequently used had the highest advertiser recall. Glassware.ceramics (87%) and shirts (86%) had the highest recall. Electronic
Computer items had the lowest recall at 31%, suggesting a need for better advertiser identification.
Interestingly, over hal of all respondents across the counties indicated that they had done business with an advertiser after receiving an item.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media and merketing organisation serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufactuerers) of advertising specialities. Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 22,000 ASI distributor firms. Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers.