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Patriotic Promotional Products

By Arn Bernstein

In the aftermath of September 11, patriotic feelings flooded the country, closely followed by patriotic products, which people were scrambling to buy at almost any price. In our industry, however, most responses were from the heart, not the wallet…

For right now, let's forget targeted marketing, retention, cost-effectiveness, longevity and measurable results. Those are proven facts. Instead, think intangibles. For decades, one of the things the promotional products industry has used to distinguish itself from other media is that it's a people profession. A touchy-feely industry. A marketplace brimming with warm fuzzies and truckloads of goodwill that only an imprinted product, given without conditions, can adequately represent. After September 11, however, a few more self-descriptors got tossed into the mix. Things like compassion, selflessness, generosity and caring. As with so many others across the country, industry practitioners wanted to help in some way, either through monetary contributions to one or more of the attack-related funds or via direct contributions of products that could be useful to recovery workers. They also realized that a major wave of patriotism was rolling in, and that their profession would inevitably become a key part of it. As a result, many saw a way to simultaneously fill several needs, supplying patriotic items and donating proceeds to the Red Cross and other charitable organizations and relief funds.

COPYRIGHT © 2002 The Advertising Specialty Institute. All rights reserved.
Arn Bernstein is executive editor/news director of The Counselor

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