What is a free giveaway

Promotional gifts with your own logo: How useful are free promotional items?

Anyone who wants to survive successfully in the market as a self-employed or freelancer has to do more than just good work. This is, so to speak, the basis of success, but much more decisive is the external presentation, the promotion of one's own service or product. In the advertising industry, one speaks of "unsupported brand recall" when it comes to naming the effect of advertising messages enclosed in objects - this is significantly higher for promotional gifts with a logo than for classic channels such as radio, television or advertising in print. Media. But how useful are free promotional items for companies?

Due to the special feel of the advertising medium, aspects such as usefulness and the like are equated with the brand associated with it, since the promotional gift is often within sight or reach; a decisive advantage in order to increase the recognition value of your own brand and to ensure this in a particularly cost-effective manner.

What is the effect of promotional items?

Own, according to a recent survey 91 percent of the population a promotional item and can also name them specifically. The overwhelming majority make regular use of it, and over half even like to use the promotional item. In this way, promotional gifts convey a specific advertising message, sometimes over several years, depending on the type.

In order to be able to compare the relevance of individual advertising media, it is necessary to compare parameters such as reach, recall value, etc. - The following is a non-exhaustive presentation of the effectiveness of various advertising media in Germany:

Advertising MaterialsRangeMemorable
Promotional items85 percent59 percent
radio78 percent29 percent
watch TV71 percent28 percent
daily newspaper63 percent26 percent


For more information and dates, see the following Infographic acceptance and effectiveness of promotional items, which was created by the advertising material specialist ADLER:

Infographics Business Gifts - An infographic from ADLER Business Gifts


The data comes from the Promotional Product Impact Study 2017 and the Promotional Product Monitor 2016 of the GWW Gesamtverband der Werbeartikel-Wirtschaft e.V.

How should promotional items be designed to be effective?

The question that the entrepreneur is now asking himself is: What good do promotional products still do in a modern, technologically advanced world? The answer to this is clear: a lot!

  • High-quality promotional items are sometimes used by customers or potential customers for years, which forms the basis for a sustainable advertising effect. It is important to have high-quality workmanship, ease of use and practical benefits, which means that the target group you are addressing uses these promotional items again and again.
  • Those who distribute gifts ensure a positive association with their company. This has to do with the fact that endorphins (so-called "happiness hormones) are released as soon as someone is given a gift - they can create joy and other positive feelings, which from now on are associated with the bearer or the company behind the promotional gift.
  • A well-made promotional item is original, if possible in the colors of the advertising company and offers the target group a specific benefit. Technical gadgets or promotional items that reflect a certain trend are particularly efficient. “Classics” such as USB sticks, umbrellas and the like are not bad per se, but they should stand out from the competition in terms of quality or in some other way and be given away specifically in a certain context.
  • Advertising causes costs and is a good way to reduce operating profit for tax reasons. You can sell advertising as a business expense. However, please note the legal peculiarities when selling promotional gifts.

As an entrepreneur, make it clear to yourself that personalized promotional items or particularly useful promotional items may have a long-lasting effect. The cost / benefit calculation should therefore take into account that free promotional items primarily represent image advertising and work for a much longer period of time than comparable advertising media - this could be the crux of the matter that ultimately leads to the decision for or against a product / service .

Final remarks

Things that we can pick up are better memorized and they represent lasting value. Provided that they are convincing in terms of both functionality and quality. If you as an entrepreneur would like to benefit from the latent mode of action of a subliminal free advertising medium, the selection of a suitable promotional item is recommended. Compared to all other forms of advertising, this promises the best association with your company, it forms the basis for a distinction and a striking distinguishing feature in the confusion of countless service providers, producers and salespeople. Bring your advertising message to the point with a meaningful, target group-specific promotional item!

Photo credits: © Tanja Bagusat - Fotolia.com