Utilizing Promotional Products in Campaign Strategy

Image courtesy of Allen Company

We’re down to the final weeks before the Presidential election, and as to be expected, the marketing messages are coming at us in full force. Political commercials, print ads, billboards… they are all part of the election machine. As we look at a two of the most elaborate marketing campaigns created every four years, it’s interesting to see the critical role promotional products play in campaign strategy.

According to an article featured in USA Today, promotional products are a very important part of President Obama’s campaign. In fact, the Obama campaign is spending four times as much on promo items than Gov. Romney’s. Selling promotional items proves to be a steady stream of income for the democratic campaign, as well as provides a way to track and solicit supporters for further financial support. In the article, the campaign’s director of marketing and merchandise reported the campaign raised $37 million off merchandise sales in 2008.

According to an ASI Impression study, 42% of people who receive a promotional item have a more favorable impression of the advertiser. No wonder politicians use this strategy to increase their “like-ability.” Another 62% of respondents said they’d do business with a company after receiving a promo item, meaning free promotional products could equal earning votes.

Promotional products aren’t just being used to drum up support and campaign revenue amongst the common voters. Delegates, journalists and special guests get in on the promo action at each party’s National Convention. Click here to read an article from Promo Marketing on what was in the Republican and Democratic Convention swag bags.

Will work for t-shirts? The value of promotional products become even more evident as Boston.com reports both campaigns provide free political t-shirts, bumper stickers, badges and more in exchange for volunteers hitting the streets on behalf of their campaign. Romney’s political director asked Republican supporters “to help Mitt Romney to the White House without ever leaving your home and earn free Mitt gear, too.”

Whether it’s mobilizing volunteers or persuading voters, what we see is promotional products are a very motivating tool – one President Obama and Gov. Romney are depending on.

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