2020 ASI Global Ad Impressions Study Proves Promo’s Value, Effectiveness And Affordability

Latest edition of annual study includes first-ever data on usage and popularity of branded face masks

TREVOSE, PA – October 2, 2020 – The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today released the 2020 edition of its annual Global Ad Impressions Study, which demonstrates the value, effectiveness and affordability of promotional products to consumers. In addition, the study arms ASI members with powerful data proving promo items deliver commanding advertiser recall among 85% of consumers surveyed, with recall highest for apparel items.


Plus, the study proves promo products offer a strong rate of return on investment (ROI), with the cost per impression (CPI) as low as 1/10 of one cent, making items like T-shirts, caps and mugs attractive choices for smaller businesses lacking large advertising and marketing budgets. And, when compared to newspaper, radio, magazine, television, internet and mobile advertising, ASI’s study shows that promo products are the most highly regarded form of advertising.

“Businesses confronting the toughest economic market in decades need and demand the best possible ROI and bang for their buck, along with the smartest use of limited marketing dollars,” said Timothy M. Andrews (@Tim_Andrews_ASI), president and chief executive officer of ASI. “With our annual study at their fingertips, distributors calling on clients will have the strongest, most convincing tools in the industry to make an unbeatable case for choosing promo products above all other advertising.”

For the 2020 study, ASI conducted over 50,000 additional surveys in the U.S. and Canada, bringing the total to well over a quarter million consumers whose views are represented. This year’s study includes an entirely new section on face masks, the most-searched promo product in ASI’s ESP® search engine of the last six months. For instance, the study shows that 61% of consumers aged 35-54 would have a more favorable opinion of an advertiser who gave them a logoed mask.

Among other critical data, the study includes category spotlights on promo items such as pens, calendars and USBs, showing the percentage of consumers who told ASI they own each item, how long the items are kept and number of impressions items generate over a lifetime, along with breakdowns by age, sex and region.

ASI’s Global Ad Impressions Study is available to download, free, at asicentral.com/study, where ASI members will find more than 120 end-buyer-friendly infographics ready to share on social media and with potential customers. Study highlights will also be included in the November print and online edition of ASI’s award-winning Counselor magazine.

“The biggest surprise in this year’s study was the dramatic impact face masks are having on advertising,” said Nate Kucsma (@Nate_Kucsma_ASI), ASI’s executive director of market research and corporate marketing. “No question, end-users report a strong positive reaction to companies using the hottest, most essential PPE item as logoed promo products.”

Watch a Facebook interview with Kucsma and Counselor Editor-In-Chief C.J. Mittica (@CJ_ASIEditor) or an Instagram interview between Kucsma and ASI Social Media Manager Melissa Newman (@Melissa_ASI) discussing the updated ad study (#PromoFacts).

Highlights from ASI’s 2020 Global Ad Impressions Study include:

  • Promo products have impressive staying power. More than half of consumers report keeping some of the items they’ve received for at least five years, and 40% of consumers kept a promotional item for over a decade.
  • Consumers will pay for promo. In the last year, nearly a quarter of consumers say they’ve paid for a promo product. Consumers in the Midwest (28%) were the most likely to spend money on logoed items like memorabilia, while those in the West (19%) were the least likely.
  • Gen Xers own the most promos. Households own an average of 30 promotional products, with Generation X owning the most, for an average of 34. Regionally, the South holds on to the most promo items, owning around 32 products per household, on average.
  • Quality matters. The study details why consumers keep top promo items like bags, drinkware and umbrellas. For instance, 69% told ASI they keep pens because of quality, followed by utility (41%) and attractiveness (16%).

ASI’s research studies are the most influential in the promo industry’s history, continuously cited throughout the B-to-B industry and across the advertising and marketing spectrum. Data was collected pre-COVID-19, except for mask data, which was collected in mid-August.

For more information on the Global Ad Impressions Study or other ASI research, contact Nate Kucsma at [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®; asicentral.com) serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $25.8 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 53 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.