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Putting Pen To Paper: Write Your Way To Successful Promotions With Writing Instruments And Note Paper Products

By Cherri Gann, PPAI

When asked why writing instruments and note paper products have held their spots as consistently strong performers in the promotional products arena, descriptors included utilitarian, useful, practical, serviceable, functional, effective and a resounding "solidly reliable."

"Everybody uses one," says Jaime Jones, export manager for The Quill Company (UPIC: quill). "No matter what, we're still going to have to write things down, so pens are almost always a sound choice." Others echo her stance. "Even with technological advancement such as computers and handheld devices, writing instruments are still used on a very broad scale," says Robert Spector, president of The Spector Image (UPIC: SPEC0038).

Emmanuel Marchand, vice president of Chameleon Books & Journals (UPIC: CHAM0005) says of journals, "They really are used by the recipients, or at least will be given to someone who will use it. A journal isn't going to be thrown away. In fact, most people want to keep it with them on their desk or in their briefcase." And Steve Josephson, president of Traffic Works, Inc. (UPIC: TRAF0001) supports the theory as well. "Journals become important to users because they are used to record details about their lives."

The same could be said for all facets of these product categories, including pencils, highlighters and markers (writing instruments) and the various types of note and adhesive pads. We do use them, all the time-a fact reflected in the 2001 PPAI Estimate Of Promotional Products Distributor Sales, which shows sales of writing instruments topped $1.75 billion dollars in 2001 and more than $1.25 billion for desk/office accessories (includes note paper products).

The primary benefits to using these products in client (or self) promotions are the same as the reasons why they've remained popular-they're truly useful, to almost everyone. "I can't imagine an organization not benefiting from a logo on an item giving frequent long-term exposure," says Rob Robinson, CAS, advertising and trade-show coordinator for Sun Manufacturing. "At work you have a pen in your hand or on top of your desk for most of the day," says Spector. "Since it's always going to be used, your logo will always get exposure," says Jones.

"Rule number one in advertising is to take advantage of maximum exposure," says Robinson. "With regular use, it's impossible to calculate the number of times a message on (these products) will be seen."

"That's true," says Spector. "Even if they 'disappear' from the initial recipient, they reappear with someone else, and continue to do their work-displaying the message of the advertiser."

COPYRIGHT © 2005 The Advertising Specialty Institute. All rights reserved.
Cherri Gann is an associate editor for PPB.

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