Custom Promotional Products: The Then and Now of Advertising


    Most people do not understand the great history of custom promotional products, or freebies because it is not something that is extremely well known. These products have been around for way longer than most people know and are extremely effective.

    The Then

    Promotional products were first used in the United States in 1789 during the election of President George Washington. By using commemorative buttons in his campaign, he introduced the idea of promotion- an idea that slowly began showing people the power of using such buttons and eventually changed the world of advertising.

    Promotional products were first known as ‘novelty and specialty’ goods and were used by business owners who felt the need to attract more customers. These business owners soon found that using such items was a great way of promoting as well as advertising their range of products. Eventually, businesses put their names on t-shirts, buttons, and baseball caps and in this way, custom promotional products became an immediate hit.

    The Now

    Business today have pushed the usage of customised promotional products to an even higher level by increasing the range of products used. This is exemplified from the range being from something as small and mundane as a coffee cup to something as bizarre as an inflatable maraca.

    It has been found that there are over 250,000 promotional items that one can choose from, and the most common of these are office supplies. This is because office supplies are used regularly and will stay in the minds of people for a long period of time because of constant exposure to it. This increases top of mind recall of the business in the minds of customers.

    Another category of common promotional products is household products, especially items used in the kitchen such as mugs and plates. Refrigerator magnets are also consistently used as they tend to be in visual vicinity a lot of the time.

    There are some companies that use other every day products like key chains to promote as they are carried around everywhere.

    Yet another popular promotional product category is apparel. While people do not wear the same shirt for weeks on end, this is an advantage as when one person wears it, it is also viewed by several other people.

    Using custom promotional products has become such an efficient advertising strategy today that small as well as big companies set aside some amount of their budget for it. Because getting items in bulk is a cheap option, the budget does not impact the company hugely.

    How is it done?

    The creation and customisation of promotional products is done in three simple steps. First, pick a product that best fits in with your company. Second, have you company logo printed or inscribed on the product. Third, distribute the products in an effective manner so as to reach maximum number of people who will end up buying into your business.

    When you look at it, there is no easier or more cost effective way to advertise than through customised promotional products. It is an easy way to reach out to the public and this is verified by its extensive history of success.


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