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ASI Study: Promotional Products Beat Prime-Time TV


Ad specialties are less expensive per impression than most other media

TREVOSE, PA - The Advertising Specialty Institute today released a landmark study that proves advertising specialties beat out prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available. 

The most significant findings of the Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study show advertising specialties are less expensive per impression than most other media* and are very affordable and effective when compared to other forms of media.

To complete its research, ASI conducted a total of 3,332 online and in-person surveys, including interviews with businesspeople in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London, Sydney, Toronto and Montreal metro areas.

The 2.0 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. This year, the comprehensive report also adds global markets and includes more products, such as automotive accessories and food.

The study was released at the fourth annual ASI Power Summit in Aventura, Florida. Among key findings, results show:

  • Cost per Impression. In the U.S., the cost per impression of a promotional product stayed virtually the same from 2008 to 2010, at .005 cents.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ethnic Preferences. African Americans have more promotional products on average (11.3) than any other group.
  • Positive Reinforcement. Seventy-five percent of independent voters prefer consumer-branded products; nearly 1.5 times more than Democrats or Republicans.
  • Identifying the Advertiser. Eighty-three percent in the U.S. say they can identify the advertiser on a promotional item they own.
  • Influencing User Opinions. Forty-one percent of U.S. respondents say their opinion of the advertiser is more favorable after receiving a promotional product.
  • Global Reach. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents from Great Britain have received and kept a pen in the last 12 months. In the U.S., writing instruments are used the most often, an average of 18.2 times per month.
  • Popular Products. The most commonly owned promotional products among U.S. respondents are writing instruments (46%), followed by shirts (38%) and calendars (24%).
  • Promo Product Capital. Los Angeles has the highest average number of items owned, at 12.7.

For a downloadable pdf of the study, a video and graphics, click here. Click on the social network icons at bottom to instantly post news of ASI’s ad impressions study.

ASI’s research studies are the most influential in the industry’s history, continuously cited throughout the B-to-B industry and across the advertising and marketing spectrum.  

“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 trend. Not only do ad specialties make impressions on everyone who sees them, but messaging is reinforced every time 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, $0.018; for a cable prime-time TV ad, $0.005; for a syndicated daytime TV ad, $0.005; and for a spot radio ad, $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.  

For more information, contact Larry Basinait, executive director of research for ASI, at (800) 546-1416 and lbasinait@asicentral.com.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties.  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.  ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools.  Visit ASI online at asicentral.com and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, the CEO's blog and the ASI Social Network.

* Numbers derived by ASI from data provided by The Nielsen Company, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Columbus Dispatch and AdAgeOnline.com.

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