To see this study in full, see here for a direct link to the PDF.
You'll see that t-shirts are the items that is most often owned by promotional product recipients in the US, followed by drinkware, writing instruments and outerwear. All promotional products have strong ownership though, with one-quarter or more of recipients owning each.
Product Popularity Outside the US
Product Spotlight: T-SHIRTS
Product Spotlight: WRITING INSTRUMENTS
Product Spotlight: BAGS
Product Spotlight: CALENDARS
Product Spotlight: DESK ACCESSORIES
Product Spotlight: CAPS & HEADWEAR
Product Spotlight: DRINKWARE
Product Spotlight: USBs
Product Spotlight: HEALTH & SAFETY ITEMS
Product Spotlight: OUTERWEAR & FLEECE
Product Spotlight: UMBRELLAS
Product Spotlight: MOBILE POWER BANKS
Promotional Products that have the Biggest Impact on Opinions about the Advertiser (by state)
If you want to influence opinions, give away USB DRIVES
42% have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser if the promotional product they receive was ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Staying Power - Promotional Products Don't Fade Away
Promotional Products Are Passed Along
Usefulness is Key
How Many Items Do People Own?
Promotional Products Make an Impression
In the US, BAGS continued to generate the most impressions (5,772) of any item measured in the study. This is because bags are used often in public places where they can be seen by many people. Other items that deliver a large number of impressions are writing instruments, hats, outerwear and t-shirts.
Items that create the fewest impressions tend to be those intended mostly for one person, such as health and safety items and USB drives. The value of these items is more in the connection they make with the user rather than the total number of impressions generated.
Promotional Products Are Cost-Effective
As the chart below illustrates, promotional products have a lower cost per impression in the United States than prime-time television advertising, national magazine advertising and newspaper ads, and a similar CPI to radio and Internet advertising. Plus, while all of these other forms of advertising are often passive, advertising specialties allow for much more active interaction, such as storing valuable information on a USB drive or carrying groceries or other items around town in a promotional bag.
Also, consider that when consumers receive promotional products, they are often the exact market segment the advertiser is trying to reach. Banks aren’t simply mailing out pens to consumers of all ages from all areas, whether or not they have a branch there. Rather, they are giving out the pens only to current or prospective customers in the geographic areas that they serve. This targeted approach to advertising is much more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve in other forms of mass market advertising.
More good news: The cost for promotional products are not expected to increase markedly in the next few years, making them a more stable, reliable and innovative way for advertisers to reach consumers. Even more good news: Consider that the cost of producing a 30-second radio or television commercial is often out of reach for all but the biggest advertisers. Many would have their entire advertising budget eaten up before they even aired the commercial more than a few times. This isn’t true with promotional products. Companies from the smallest local businesses to the largest Fortune 100 companies have access to the best that the promotional products business has to offer.