Campaign Products Play Key Role in Rise of Trump and Sanders

ASI’s Counselor magazine says Vermont senator spent over $7.5 million on promotional products

TREVOSE, PA – May 19, 2016 –A new report fromCounselor® magazine says the millions presidential candidates are spending on promotional products is playing a key role in the unexpected rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Through February’s primaries, the Vermont senator spent $7.5 million on promotional products, which makes up 6% of Sanders’ total spending. The Republican billionaire spent $3.3 million, accounting for 9.8% of his total campaign spending, according to campaign reports reviewed byCounselor Executive Editor C.J. Mittica for a May cover story, “The Election Connection.”
By contrast, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton spent $1.3 million on campaign items through February, and former Republican challenger Ted Cruz spent $1.1 million, according to Counselor.

 “Through concerted marketing efforts that include savvy messaging and a heavy investment in promotional products, both Sanders and Trump wildly surpassed expectations in this campaign,” said Mittica. “There’s no doubt today’s candidates know the high value of promotional products in catching voters’ attention and getting the word out about their campaign, whether through hats and T-shirts or yard signs and buttons.”

Counselor magazine is published by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI). The magazine delivers award-winning content to executive-level distributors and small-business owners throughout the $22 billion promotional products industry. The Counselor election cover storyincludes sidebars on selling to campaigns, marketing lessons and how distributors are profiting from campaign advertising.

According to a recent Reuters report, spending on campaign swag by Trump and Sanders may have reached record levels, with nearly $20 million spent to date on campaign hats, T-shirts, bumper stickers and other merchandise. The promotional products are either given away at campaign events or sold through the candidates’ campaign stores.

The official Trump campaign store features a variety of promotional products, including apparel priced from $18-$55 and caps with his popular “Make America Great” slogan. Sanders’ official store offers dozens of items, like a $15 “Feel the Bern” coffee mug and $15 “Babies for Bernie” bib, along with a “Pride Collection” of rainbow-centric items.

The Hillary Clinton campaign store features the widest array of branded items, including a $5 “Woman Card,” $35 cellphone case and $55 “A Woman’s Place is in the White House” pillow.

Promotional products are items like pens, T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs and high-tech electronics imprinted with a logo or slogan and often given away by candidates, companies, schools and nonprofits to advertise their brand and events and to thank employees and clients.

For more information, contact Counselor Executive Editor C.J. Mittica at [email protected].To advertise in ASI’s magazines, contact Matt Barnes, ASI’s vice president of publishing and media services, at [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $22 billion promotional products industry. ASI’s flagship product, the technology platform ESP®, manages the industry’s entire supply and marketing chain. ASI also produces award-winning digital and print content, live events and educational programs that enable companies in 61 countries to be more efficient, productive and profitable. ASI’s Counselor magazine provides the most authoritative business content in the industry, and the ASI Certification Program features 500+ live and online education courses for over 40,000 professionals. The company, family owned and operated since 1962, is proud to have been consistently ranked among the “Best Places to Work” in Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA. For more info: