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Although many marketers have started leveraging digital marketing to create or increase brand awareness, promotional products — items with an advertiser’s logo or message — remain to be one of the most powerful methods of marketing that can deliver amazing results.

Simply coming up with promotional products to give away, however, is not enough. You will need to choose one that suits your business and will resonate with your target audience.

Ownership of Promotional Products

The 2019 Ad Impressions study shows that 89% of consumers in the United States own at least a promotional product that falls under the writing material category.

With 9 out of 10 consumers reportedly owning promotional items from all categories, measuring the impact and impression of these items towards an advertiser provides strong proof of how it garners impressions for a brand’s identity and awareness.

In the United States, a household owns an average of 30 promotional items with Generation X owning as much as 34 items per household.

Among all promotional products, apparel such as outerwear, t-shirts, and headwear has the most number of impressions throughout their lifetime with 6,100 and 3,400 impressions respectively.

With consumers keeping these items at an average of 8 to 16 months, the impression is not only made on the user or the receiver of the item but also with the people their interact with on a daily basis.

A promotional USB that costs $5 will have a CPI of only 7/10 of a cent per impression, according to ASI’s 2019 Ad Impressions Study. Click To Tweet

Although there might be higher costs in producing these items, the average number of impressions reveals that Cost Per Impression (CPI) of each promotional item runs for only 7/10 of a cent for pricier items such as USBs.

For items that require less production costs such as pens and shirts, the larger number of impressions makes up for even lesser CPI.

Overall Consumer Opinion on Promotional Products

The Global Ad Impression Study 2019 was conducted in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and specific parts of Europe. According to the study, consumers highly regard Promotional Products as the best form of advertising with Newspaper Advertising coming in second.

Out of the seven forms of advertising including radio, magazine, television, internet, and mobile, consumers under the age of 55 chose Promotional Products as the type of advertising they like the best.

85% of consumers worldwide were also able to recall the advertiser who gave away promotional items under the apparel category such as a shirt or a hat.

With a high percentage of consumers who are able to recall the advertisers who gave them a promotional item, the likelihood of the consumer doing business with them also increases.

  • 51% of consumers stated that they would be more likely to do business with the advertiser that gave them a writing instrument as a promotional product.
  • 50% of consumers are more likely to do business with the advertiser who gave them a promo bag.

51% of consumers are more likely to do business with the advertiser that gave them a promotional writing instrument, according to ASI’s 2019 Ad Impressions Study. Click To Tweet

This proves the fact that promotional products do not only help increase brand awareness but also support the relationship between a brand and a potential consumer.

Promotional products do not only help increase brand awareness but also support the relationship between a brand and a potential consumer. Click To Tweet

Although more and more advertisers are switching to advertising online or on the internet, more than twice the number of consumers expressed that they prefer promotional products over advertising done on the internet.

Factors That Influence Impression of Promotional Products

Consumers keep promo items for three major reasons: quality, utility, and attractiveness.

While the quality and the use of a promotional item are major factors on why a consumer decides to keep the item, it also provides a business a longer and bigger brand impression.

Consumers keep promotional products for three major reasons: quality, utility and attractiveness. Click To Tweet

There are also other factors that are considered when an item makes an impression on a consumer. These are:

Location of Production or Manufacturing

53% of consumers also have a more favorable opinion if the promotional product was made in the United States.

This goes the same for other countries such as Germany, France, Mexico, and most provinces in Canada where more than 50% of customers have a more favorable opinion of the advertiser if the products received were made in their country of residence.


A promotional product’s environmental-friendliness produces a favorable opinion of the advertiser from the consumer. It’s production location also plays a vital part when it comes to getting a favorable opinion of the consumers.

Since last year, brands have largely benefited from the so-called “Eco-Friendly” Trend. With millennials topping the list of brand target audiences, more and more businesses are adapting their products and services to be sustainable and eco-friendly.

We can also see this trend across promotional products with a majority of consumers leaning more towards brands who show efforts in contributing to increasing environmental awareness and making efforts towards saving the planet.

42% of consumers favor advertisers who gave away promo products that are environmentally friendly, according to ASI’s 2019 Ad Impressions Study Click To Tweet

These countries also have a more favorable opinion of advertisers with Environmental Friendly promotional products.

  • Germany
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Mexico
  • France

In the United States, 42% of consumers have a favorable opinion of the advertiser if the received item is environmentally friendly.

Brand’s Social Responsibility

Next to a brand’s capability to produce or distribute environmental friendly items, the society also values brands that play an active role in social and cultural issues or those with corporate social responsibility.

While it may not directly play a role in conveying a brand’s message, showing corporate responsibility through promotional products is a great way to show a company that’s rooted with positivity and values.

Final Takeaway

Although using promotional products or branded merchandise is cost-effective and a good strategy in building your brand, understanding the power and impact of specific promotional products can help you better determine the best promo items that will work best for your business.

Image and Data Source: Global Ad Impressions Study 2019 by ASI

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