Role of Promotional Products

Research Study:
Impact of Promotional Products Compared with Print and Broadcast Advertising

Many traditional forms of advertising like print, television, radio, direct mail, and billboards are losing ground to internet, social media, email, and other digital marketing options. 

Yet, this trend presents some interesting opportunities for those selling promotional giveaways, according to a study of 18- to 34-years-olds that was conducted by researchers at Louisiana State University and University of Texas at San Antonio for the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). 

The study was designed to measure the:

  • Effectiveness of promotional items compared to television and print
  • Synergistic effects of these products when used with other media
  • Buyers preferred medium for information about a brand.

Participants in the study were exposed to three forms of advertising for a new pizza product: television, print and promotional items. They were then asked to complete a 60-item questionnaire measuring their perceptions of the advertising.

Specifically, the questions measured advertisement credibility, product attitudes, purchase intention, referral value, and perceptions about the product. Additionally, respondents were asked about media use and preferences for product/brand information.

Key Research Findings

  • Advertising Effectiveness: While print came in first overall, giveaways outperformed television with higher scores on attitudes towards the advertising, product, message credibility, purchase intent and referral value.

  • Synergy: Adding these items to the media mix increased favorable attitudes, credibility and referral value across the board, including a more positive outlook toward the brand.

  • Brand Evaluation: In all cases, integrating a product gift with television and print proved more effective than the use of a product alone, or TV commercials and print advertisements in combination.

  • Media Information Preferences: These items were the second most preferred source of information following television advertising among the target group. They scored ahead of billboards, magazines, internet, radio, posters, newspapers, word-of-mouth and yellow pages (in that order).


Promotional items may be effectively employed as a stand-alone advertising medium, second to television in terms of reported information value. They enhance the media mix, creating impact by supplementing other advertising media such as television and print.

In addition, giveaways serve as a useful information-and-reminder medium – and enhance impressions about a brand. They also contribute to a decision-maker's intent to buy.

Reprinted with permission from PPAI. For the complete study, visit

Related Information - Promotional Products

Imprinted Promotional Products for Trade Shows
Drawings for Promotional Items
Trade Show Giveaways 
Staffing at Trade Shows

  1. Trade Show Advisor HOME
  2. Trade Show Promotional Item
  3. Promotional Products

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