Promotional Products Beat Prime-Time TV

Monday November 8, 2010 | Filed under: Industry Initiatives, Member Benefits, News About ASI, Research, Using Ad Specialties

ASI just released the results of a landmark study that proves advertising specialties beat out prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available. Soon, we’ll send the message about the power of promotional products to the world via a far-reaching public relations campaign. 

The most significant findings of the 2010 Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study show advertising specialties are less expensive per impression than most other media – just a half a cent! – and are very affordable and effective when compared to other forms of media.

Click here for the global study results, an explanatory video and supporting graphics.

Everyone in this industry should make it their business to deliver this message loud and clear to customers, prospects and end-buyers, across every channel available to you. Bring the data with you on every sales call. Perhaps even include the study’s link on your email signature.

To help, we’ve prepared a pdf of the study to download, and we encourage you to send it out and especially to chat it up on your social networks. Click here for the pdf to pass along. To Tweet about ASI’s 2010 ad impressions study, use this shortened link:

We released the study at the 2010 ASI Power Summit, an exclusive annual gathering of the best minds in the business, taking place this week in Aventura, Florida. Hopefully, everyone there will immediately start spreading the news.

The study is the result 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.

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.
There’s good reason 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: They work. I credit ASI’s executive director of research services, Larry Basinait, and his research team, for delivering the material that can help us once again prove the undeniable power of promotional products.

At $0.005, the average cost-per-impression (CPI) of an advertising specialty item is less than nearly any other media. To make that claim, Larry gathered data from the Nielsen Company, Outdoor Advertising Association of America, Columbus Dispatch and

What this study shows us is that even smaller companies can deliver the kind of high-impact punch enjoyed by multi-million-dollar companies.

It’s also 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.

So start spreading the news. All we ask is that you properly credit ASI when distributing the study.

Let me know your ideas for getting out the message by posting a comment or emailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.