ASI Releases Results of 2012 Election Survey

Reveals Dems buy more campaign booty, Reps like free pens and everyone wants USA-made

TREVOSE, PA – August 14, 2012 – Election survey results released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) reveal Republicans prefer free pens and plenty of facts, Democrats are more likely to buy campaign booty, female voters usually go green and nearly everyone prefers “Made in the USA” political products.

ASI’s 2012 Election and Promotional Products Interaction survey analyzed the effects of advertising specialties on voter opinions. The study’s purpose was to understand how promotional products influence voters, what kinds of products are preferred and if there are differences in the perceptions of promotional products based upon political affiliation.

Promotional products, or ad specialties, are logoed or branded products like pens, caps, T-shirts and even electronic gadgets, often given away by political candidates seeking votes or sold by politicians courting campaign cash.

Advertising Age cites a Borrell Associates report projecting 2012 election spending will reach $9.8 billion. ASI estimates $870 million will be spent on ad specialties – including $350 million on federal elections alone.

Survey highlights include:

  • Take Action. Over two-thirds (67.4%) of respondents have taken an action as a result of receiving a promotional item, with over half visiting a candidate’s website.
  • Dems vs GOP. Promotional products may be a better fundraiser among Democrats than Republicans, as 36.1% of Democrats have bought them, versus only 24.1% of Republicans.
  • Donate Now. Nearly one-quarter of Democrats and males have donated money after getting a promotional product, underscoring the opportunity to use the products as fundraisers.
  • Men vs Women. Males (34.0%) are more likely than females (23.8%) to vote for the candidate after receiving the promotional item.
  • Go Green. Eco-friendly/green products particularly appeal to Democrats (71.5%), Independents (66.0%) and females (67.8%).
  • Make it American. Nearly three-quarters (73.4%) of respondents felt it important that election-related promotional products be made in the USA.
  • Just the Facts. Nearly one-half (48.5%) of respondents felt messages containing detailed facts are the best way to deliver a memorable message, with Republicans (53.7%) more likely to want the facts.
  • Pens and Shirts Rule. Writing instruments appeal the most to Republicans and Independents, with Democrats preferring shirts.
  • To Spend or Not to Spend. Relatively expensive items are as likely to negatively impact perceptions of a candidate as they are to positively impact them.

To read the complete survey results, click here.

“It’s clear from ASI’s election survey results that candidates need to pay close attention to how they brand their campaigns and get out their core messages, since what they choose to sell or give away can sway voters to pull a lever, give money – or choose the other guy,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI.

While campaign signs, buttons and pins remain popular giveaways, Democrat Barack Obama’s reelection campaign store offers everything from $12 “I Meow for Michelle” cat collars to $90 silver-plated Obama-Biden bangles. Among other items, Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign store features $3 Mitt photo buttons and $60 Romney sweatshirts.

ASI’s election survey was prepared by Larry Basinait, ASI’s executive director of research services. For more information, contact Dawn Marie, ASI’s public relations manager, at (215) 953-3119.

ASI surveyed potential recipients of promotional products in the upcoming U.S. election in November. Respondents were screened to be registered voters for the November election. In total, 1,489 respondents completed the online survey. Findings were tested at the 95% confidence level, with a margin of error of +/-2.54%.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 27,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.